could quickly reprint them, which allowed for fast
experimentation,” disclosed Huff.
Not All in a Name, but Some
So, where did the name ALAN come from; how did it
emerge? After slaving gruelingly over the name and waiting
for something magical to appear in his mind, Huff saw the
movie, “The Imitation Game,” which presented him with
Alan Turing. “Turing’s thoughts and ideas about AI and
machines paralleled what we are trying to develop here.
Then came the acronym: A for Adaptive, L for Learning, A
for Android, N for Node,” Huff shared.
How will ALAN evolve and gain mainstream adoption?
How will any android for that matter? Huff believes the key
to accepting humanoid robots in everyday social
environments will be how they look visually and function.
“We had to leap over that uncanny valley (the foreseeable
instance where humans reject robots because they are
indistinguishable from humans) to make ALAN acceptable
as a humanoid. An android is human in its form, and we
wanted to stay clear of it looking (too) human,” said Huff.
Thus explains the obvious absence of hair, skin tones, eye
lashes, and the like.
The ALAN android head is modular in its design, and
its creator has a lot of planning in the works for
performance upgrades including facial expressions. “We
even have designs for an entire body for ALAN with some
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Monthly coverage of commercial, unique, and military robotics.
ALAN shown face off with camera
embedded in face plate and cable