“And inside that rusted iron strait-jacket lurked gibbering hideousness, perversion, and diabolism. Here, truly, was the apotheosis of the unnamable.” – HP Lovecraft.
Sometimes, technological progress can be an awful thing. For proof, look no further than the Atomic Bomb, Agent Orange or (cough) Windows Vista. Joining these ignoble ranks is the Babyloid – a robotic infant designed to cure depression in the elderly.
Spawned from the damaged brain of Japanese inventor Kanou Masayoshi, the Babyloid is a ‘therapeutic robot’ that encourages patients to take on an active care-giving role.
Japan has one of the fastest ageing populations in the world, with 21% of all Japanese people aged over 65. Babyloid is designed to help bring meaning and happiness to these pensioners’ lives.
Meaning and happiness. ...Meaning. ...And happiness.
The Babyloid is roughly the same dimensions as a newborn baby, measuring 17 inches and weighing just 2.2kg. The robot is capable of independent movement; wiggling its arms, blinking its eyelids and opening its mouth at random intervals.
Inbuilt LED lights replicate human emotion, via indicators like tears and red cheeks. It is hoped that the Babyloid will be able to stimulate emotional responses in reclusive patients and help to make them feel important again.
We approve of the Babyloid in concept (anything that keeps old folk from playing Bingo can’t be all bad) – but just look at those photos. The thing looks like a cross between an oversized maggot, No Face from Spirited Away and a half-gestated Rosemary’s Baby.
We strongly advise that you don’t spend too long looking at Babyloid’s face. If you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you…
You can find out more about the Babyloid at the inventor's website.