This is iCub. He is a 95 centimetre-tall robot built by researchers at the Italian Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies in Rome. ICub has sophisticated visual, auditory, and tactile sensory abilities. Unlike other robots, iCub is designed to develop autonomous behaviour and, in particular, to learn in a completely organic way.
Professor Stefano Nolfi, a researcher at the Italian National Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies says, “In order to display intelligent behaviour, a robot has to develop skills by itself. It cannot be programmed by an engineer, it has to, just like humans or animals, it has to develop skills by a process of trial and error.” According to his developers, iCub will be not only able to do physical things like grabbing objects, but should also be able to develop complicated social skills. They want him, for example, to learn to understand human words in the same way as a human child does by picking up language from other people. Professor Stefano Nolfi says it is important to have a robot that can interact with a human, so the research on human-robot inter-action and language-learning certainly can be an application on this area, for example.” The project involved 11 European universities and research institutes, and the ultimate goal is to build and train robots to be social companions. For more informatin about iCub see his website: