Agnes Roboknit: A Robot So Creepy it Even Has a Facebook Profile

agnes-and-andy

[Andy Noyes] is a British artist-inventor who recently debuted his latest project, Agnes Roboknit, at the 2013 Maker Faire U.K. Agnes is a humanoid robot who knits, scares small children, and occasionally looks around as if wondering why her maker condemned her to such a boring existence.

[Andy] wanted her to look human from a distance, but he also wanted to show off her mechanical parts upon closer inspection. She’s almost completely hand-made—down to her homemade gears driven by DC motors and her latex skin cast from plaster casts of real people. He originally planned to have her knit with real needles, but after discovering how difficult it was, [Andy] opted for a knitting loom instead.

He named her after his grandmother, Agnes, although he had hoped to accompany the name with a clever acronym (A.G.N.E.S.) like other classic robots from the 80’s. Stick around after the break to see a fascinating close-up of her weaving away on her loom. The motions are surprisingly simple, but simultaneously mesmerizing.

If you’re in need of a robotic friend, she also has a Facebook profile.

Comments

  1. cooperised says:

    Very cool, I saw this at the UK Maker Faire. Mesmerising to watch.

    Just have to add though, “weaving away on her loom”? Her knitting loom? I think that’s unlikely. There’s a big difference between weaving and knitting (and crochet, and…)

  2. garym53 says:

    I always find it somewhat disconcerting, if not suspicious, when a guy builds a female robot…

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    I had to share this with my niece, who knits and will likely be creeped out by this.
    ;)

  4. Matt says:

    Probably shouldn’t have watched this as I’m falling asleep…

  5. Staal Burger says:

    Some guy makes himself a girlfriend and then makes her KNIT! WTF?

  6. Tom the Brat says:

    “Frightens small children?” Works for me!

  7. Ben Robeson says:

    Missed an opportunity here – Name her Dr dr Robotknit

  8. soopergooman says:

    Finally the mystery of where Dr. Who gets his scarves has been revealed.

  9. MarkS says:

    A nice little robot cat, on a pedestal next to Agnes – could feed her wool.. making the purrfect pair… and save laying it out on the floor…

  10. CNK says:

    I only came here to see the attempts at the acronym.
    Here’s mine:
    “Automated Garment and Natural Emotion System”

    I think it’s close, but there must be a better one.

  11. pucebaboon says:

    Very, very impressive! How’d she get such old hands though, Andy? It looks like she’s been knitting for twenty years solid.

  12. static says:

    To make it really creepy devise a way where it can make eye contact and give a wink.

  13. Buddhi says:

    Uncanny valley anyone?

  14. Edward says:

    Cool!

    I’ll finally have a girlfriend.

    Just kidding. I’ll never leave you inflatable doll.

  15. SATovey says:

    “Agnes is a humanoid robot who knits”

    Don’t let the humanoid similitude confuse you.
    This is a robot that knits, not a robot who knits.
    Who is improper for an object or other non living entity.
    Who implies an actual person that has a personality
    and can express oneself with that personality.
    Regardless of the sophistication of software governing the
    robot’s functionality, it will never have a genuine personality
    in all it’s own.

    • garym53 says:

      Agree totally until you write “it will never have” – now whilst, by definition, a non-person cannot have a personality, that is merely semantics, there is no reason to believe that a non-person cannot have all the traits and responses that we perceive as personality.

      • SATovey says:

        “””
        that is merely semantics, there is no reason to believe that a non-person cannot have all the traits and responses that we perceive as personality.
        “””

        Having all the traits that we perceive as personality does not equate to having personality.

        A good ventriloquist makes his dummy look as though it has a lot of personality but it is still absent of personality. The differences between a ventriloquist dummy and this robot are the manner of operation and the end product that is created.

        A good programmer can in fact make the Agnes bot look as though it has personality, it would in fact however, still not have personality. Personality requires a bit of free will. A robot will always be controlled by its program.

        • garym53 says:

          There is no evidence that a real person has “free will”. “Free will” is a theistic point of view – in any event even if a person can exhibit “free will” then there is no reason to assume that a robot can not also be given the trait of “free will”. Anything the human intellect can produce can theoretically be replicated, it is, after all, only physics…

  16. SATovey says:

    Fast forward!

    Really!!?

    What a crappy video.
    Why bother making a video the robot knitting if you’re
    not going to let people actually watch the thing knit.
    And kill the musical serenade. It would be more interesting
    hearing the actual whirls and clunks of the machine running.

    Am I the only one who is tired of the musical fill of videos when a
    bit of narration, real environmental sound or no sound at all would
    be better?

  17. This site owned by Andy Noyes? http://andysmachines.weebly.com/introduction.html

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