Affetto the Child Robot, research advances

Prototype Upper Body for a Child Robot “Affetto
Asada Laboratory, Department of Adaptive Machine Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan

“Affetto moves flexibly thanks to 22 pneumatic actuators in its body (3 for neck, 7 for each arm, 1 for chest, and 4 for waist.

Purpose and Background of the Research
How the microscopic neural activity is reflected in the human behaviors is a big mystery shared by many different disciplines. Medical and neuro- science have tried to explain the microscopic structure inside a brain but have not much focused on the macroscopic structure of social interaction. Contrarily, cognitive science and developmental psychology mainly observe human behaviors and therefore it is difficult to understand the internal mechanism.

We have been advocating Cognitive Developmental Robotics (CDR) which aims to provide new understanding how human’s higher cognitive functions develop by means of synthetic approaches that developmentally construct cognitive functions.

In this project, we focus on an issue of self/other cognition, based on CDR approaches: 1) a large scale simulation of brain development with realistic body, 2) imaging studies for real-time interaction, 3) building a realistic child robot with muscle-skeleton system, 4) behavioral experiments with robot platforms, and then, 5) establishment of constructive developmental science.”