Exemplifying the attempts by Japanese researchers to put a friendly face on their robots, DB's creators are teaching it the Kacha-shi, an Okinawan folk dance. Unlike most robots, DB did not acquire the dance by being programmed. Instead, it observed human dancers?project researchers, actually, and repeatedly attempted to mimic their behavior until it was successful. Project member Stefan Schaal, a neurophysicist at the University of Southern California (in red shirt), believes that by means of this learning process robots will ultimately develop a more flexible intelligence. It will also lead, he hopes, to a better understanding of the human brain. The DB project is funded by the Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) Humanoid Project and led by independent researcher Mitsuo Kawato. Based at a research facility 30 miles outside of Kyoto, Japan. From the book Robo sapiens: Evolution of a New Species, page 51.
- © 2000 Peter Menzel, www.menzelphoto.com, Robo Sapiens
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