Apparently if you work at Pixar, everything you make has to be adorable. So Alonso Martinez, a technical director at the company, designed and built a simple robot called Mira that’s just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen when it’s playing peek-a-boo.

Watching Mira get sad and change colors when Alonso hides his face is a fun trick, but seeing her excitedly bounce and chirp like a real baby when he reveals himself again makes us want one for our own desks. Sadly, there’s no word on when Alonso might make his creation available to the rest of the world, but he does intend to develop her further along with Aaron Nathan and Vijay Sundaram to help enhance her simulated emotions and make her interactions with humans feel even more genuine.

Mira is a desk companion that makes your life better one smile at a time. This project explores human robot interactivity and emotional intelligence. Currently Mira uses face tracking to interact with the users and loves playing the game “peek-a-boo”. As her understanding of the world and people’s emotions get richer so will her ability to interact with people in a more meaningful way.


[YouTube via IEEE Spectrum]

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