Humanlike Robots - The ultimate challenge to mimicking biology in a synthetic form
Evolution over millions of years led to effective solutions to nature’s challenges and they offer humans a great model for innovation and problems solving. The field of seeking to understand and use nature as a model for copying, adapting and inspiring principles, concepts, mechanisms, and designs is now known mostly as biomimetics. In recent years, the related efforts have intensified where systematic studies of nature are being made towards better understanding and applying more sophisticated capabilities. Making humanlike robots, including the appearance, functions and intelligence, poses the ultimate challenges to biomimetics. For many years, making such robots was considered science fiction, but as a result of significant advances in biologically inspired technologies, such robots are increasingly becoming an engineering reality. There are already humanlike robots that walk, talk, interpret speech, make eye-contact and facial expressions, as well as perform many other humanlike functions. In this part of the course, the state-of-the-art of humanlike robots, potential applications and issues of concern will be reviewed.