World’s ‘most advanced humanoid robot’ moves to Edinburgh

The National Robotarium of Scotland has acquired an Ameca model, which was developed in Cornwall, can reportedly wink, laugh and shrug and is hoped to ‘demystify robotics and foster trust’

Scotland’s National Robotarium has purchased what is claimed to be the world’s “most advanced” humanoid robot and hopes the technology will help “demystify” robotics.

The Edinburgh-based site will be the first place in the UK to showcase the cutting-edge humanoid robot, named Ameca. It will use the robot as part of its study on human-robot interactions, taking “public engagement to the next level,” Steve Maclaren, chief operating officer at The National Robotarium, said.

It is hoped this initiative will provide insights on the development of technologies that prioritise trust, transparency, and user-friendliness.

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Developed by Cornwall-based manufacturer Engineered Arts, Ameca  (pictured above) can perform facial expressions and has embedded microphones, cameras, facial recognition software, and articulated motorised components which enable it to interact with people in a natural way. According to the university, the robot “can wink, laugh, and shrug”.

Maclaren added: “The arrival of Ameca at the National Robotarium marks a significant step forward in our mission to make robotics more accessible and relatable to the people of Scotland, the UK and beyond. By giving people the chance to interact with this state-of-the-art humanoid robot firsthand, we aim to demystify robotics, foster trust in human-robot interaction, and showcase the remarkable potential of these technologies to improve our daily lives and benefit society as a whole.”

Based at Heriot-Watt University, The National Robotarium hopes to make Edinburgh the data capital of Europe.  The centre is part of the data-driven innovation initiative and it launched in 2022, with a combined fund of £22.4 from the UK government and the Scottish Government.

Sofia Villegas

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