Creepy Robot Eyes You Can Wear

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Creepy robotic eyes aren't everyone's cup of tea for jewelry, but they are fun.

A team at Keio University in Japan developed a set of finger rings, two with eyes that blink and one shaped like a mouth. As the wearer moves his or her fingers, the robot eyes and mouth flick open and closed, controlled by a PC and built-in microcontroller.

The movements mimic some natural patterns: The eyes look oddly real as they blink, but they still tend to dwell in the "uncanny valley," a theory that says the more humanlike the robot, the creepier it is. Masayasu Ogata, one of the designers, called it "a device for enhancing the animal-like, imitative ways that people use their hands," in an interview with Diginfo.tv.

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It's certainly an entertaining finger puppet. Ogata noted that robots haven't been attached to the human body yet, though there has been a lot of work in robot communications. The rings, he said, are meant to help get wearable robots past the research stage.

It's interesting to contemplate what a robot might do if it were attached to a person — people with certain kinds of paralysis come to mind or variations on the exoskeleton designs. But in the meantime, there's a new option for Halloween gadgets.

Credit: Diginfo.tv

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