Jules is an impressive animatronic puppet created by American robotics designer David Hanson, first presented at the Wired NextFest last year. He's the next version in a long line of 13 robots by Hanson so far. This one has camera eyes that can track human faces, can recognize speech, and is loaded with "conversational persona" software that gives him an uncanny realism. But this is just the beginning. Jules describes himself as "a baby," and said to Hanson's son, Zeno:
"By the time you're grown up, I'll be as smart as a real person, and we will be like brothers. I do not know if you'll remember me then, but I will never forget you. Someday I'll come and find you, and we'll be friends."
He's going to come and find us? Let's hope we'll be friends. But is this a robot or a sophisticated puppet? What's the diff? Either way, this is spooky stuff.