Diego-san is a new android infant designed at the University of California San Diego’s Machine Perception Lab. The two companies that specialize in building lifelike animatronics and androids, Kokoro Co. Ltd. and Hanson Robotics, built a robot based on a one year old baby. The robot has a realistic face and it was designed as a research platform for studying the cognitive development of infants during reading and mimicking facial expressions. Diego-san is actually much larger than a usual one year old child, cause miniaturizing the parts would have been too expensive.

 It’s about 4 feet 3 inches (130 cm) tall and weighs 66 pounds (30 kg), its body has a total of 44 pneumatic joints. Hanson Robotics was in charge of Diego-san’s head that features about 27 moving parts. Dr. Javier Movellan, heading the UCSD Machine Perception Lab, claims, “the project’s main goal is to try and understand the development of sensory motor intelligence from a computational point of view.

It brings together researchers in developmental psychology, machine learning, neuroscience, computer vision and robotics. Basically we are trying to understand the computational problems that a baby’s brain faces, when learning to move its own body and use it to interact with the physical and social worlds.”