David Hanson - Genius Machines

From OpenCog

David Hanson's and Ben Goertzel are teaming up to create robotic toddlers.

Interview with David Hanson by Adam Ford

David Franklin Hanson, Jr is an American robotics designer and researcher, responsible for the creation of a series of realistic humanoid robots. Hanson develops human-like robots with realistic facial expressions and conversational abilities [Hanson et al., 2006]. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in film/animation/video, while developing robots as art. Hanson later worked as a sculptor and a technical consultant at Walt Disney Imagineering. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas in spring of 2007. Hanson currently serves as president and founder of Hanson Robotics. Hanson's robots were shown first at the 2002 AAAI conference in Edmonton, Canada [Hanson, 2002] and in 2003, he showed the Kbot at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting [Ferber, 2003]. In 2005, Hanson and team received an AAAI award for their "intelligent conversational portrait" of Philip K. Dick [AI Magazine, Fall 2005]. First shown at the 2005 Nextfest, the robot incorporated thousands of pages of the writings of PKD, including journals and letters, into an LSA corpus and conversational system constructeandroid [Hanson et al., 2005].

In November 2005, Hanson demonstrated an expressive walking humanoid, a portrait of Albert Einstein, in collaboration with the KAIST Hubo group of Korea. KAIST built the walking body, and Hanson built the head using a flexible rubber like skin material he has created called Frubber [WIRED, 2006].

Hanson has also designed and built a series of Conversational Character Robots. These have heads incorporating Frubber, with varying levels of facial mobility and expressiveness, and are capable of responding to human speech. Projects include Joey Chaos, Jules (created for University of West England in Bristol, UK) and Alice (created for MIRALab in Geneva, Switzerland).

Hanson Robotics - http://www.hansonrobotics.com/