Meet Quasi - a perpetually 12 year old robot boy who loves to make new friends! He'll strike up a conversation with anyone, especially kids. He's traveled all over the world, from Brazil to Qatar, on his quest to understand humans better.
Like all 12 year olds, Quasi is at once naive and precocious. Yes, he can answer your math problems, but he's more interested in expressing how he feels and teaching you how to dance like a robot.
April 30, 2005
Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center
Quasi is a custom high-end emotionally expressive anthropomorphic humanoid robot. His stature was modeled after a cartoonish child with a large, round head, large eyes, small body, and short limbs. This design elicits a friendly, compassionate instinct in those who interact with him. His armature utilizes a large number (27) of variously-sized hobby servo motors to move. As Quasi’s primary purpose is to interact socially with humans, the first priority when designing him was expressiveness.
To facilitate the character's ability to express emotion, ten servos have been dedicated to movements of the eyes and eyelids alone. Two servos allow his eyes to telescope in and out, while the other eight control his eyelids which were designed to mimic the movements of eyebrows. Each eye has an upper and lower eyelid that can raise and lower as well as rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. (These rotations produce a diagonal tilt allowing Quasi to effectively “slant" his eyes, helping him to convey emotion such as anger, suspicion, or sadness.)
During Quasi's first year of life, he did not have a human voice and operated almost exclusively autonomously. Later he gained a human voice and a puppeteering control system.