Animatronic baby and the ‘Uncanny Valley’

So there’s this:


Just, utterly, horrifying. Really, just beyond creepy.

After picking up the pieces of my shattered psyche, I was able to reflect a bit on what this thing is. It presents an interesting amendment to the Uncanny Valley principle of design. This principle states that an artificial human appearance is progressively attractive as it approaches the real thing. But right before it achieves a 100% likeness of the human visage, its cuteness factor careens into the region of uncanniness, creepiness. Just really not attractive in any way.
But the animatronic baby presents us with something not quite the same. Here we have an object that looks very little like a real human baby. On the surface, it’s far from Uncanny Valley territory. In fact, were it to remain still, it might even be considered cute (maybe not).
However, its motion is so uncannily close to the movements of a real, live human baby, that this monstrosity careens into the realm of uncanny. I mean, that really doesn’t even begin to describe just how awful this thing is. The Terminator is a cuddly teddy bear compared to this thing.
So, realistic motion coupled with unrealistic appearance can plunge us into the Uncanny Valley. It speaks to a difficult-to-define but instantly recognizable “humanness” in the range of motion.
Now someone, please, burn this thing.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s