Meet Jia Jia
Have you ever seen something so human-like, that it left an unsettled feeling in your stomach? You know that it's not a real human, but it looks and acts like one?
Well, if you haven't, you are about to. The University of Science and Technology of China just created a humanoid robot so incredibly realistic, that it walks on the thin line that exists between familiarity and creepiness in the Uncanny Valley.
Her name is Jia Jia, and she's got a wide array of features. She can interact directly with humans, answering questions that are asked to her. She can give micro expressions when responding to questions or actions. During the press conference, someone from the audience tried taking a picture of her. Her response - "Don't come too close to me when you are taking a picture. It will make my face look fat."
What also makes Jia Jia stand out so much more than previous models is that her eyes move freely around the room, and her lip movements are synced almost perfectly with her speech.
Jia Jia Version 2.0
In total, the team took three years to complete the project and create Jia Jia into the robot woman she is now.
The team hopes to fix and improve some specs for an updated model; a potential Jia Jia 2.0. They want to make her hands look less like a mannequin's and more versatile. She also can't cry or laugh, which are features the team hopes to add to the next model. They also want to make Jia Jia respond and connect to humans on a much deeper level.
As she is considered a "priceless" invention, there are no solid plans to mass produce her - yet. But maybe in the near future, we will be able to deeply connect with humanoid robots in our everyday lives.