Aimec Child Robot Built By Childless Couple

Aimec is the creation of Tony and Jude Ellis, a childless couple from England. Their rationale was simple - if you don't have a child, why not build one? The result - Artificially Intelligent Mechanical Electronic Companion - Aimec.

'Meet the 21st century family,' says Mr Ellis, 54, patting three-year-old Aimec on the shoulder.

Aimecís head jerks up and swivels alarmingly to one side as if it is about to fall off.

'We still have a few teething problems,' he says, readjusting Aimecís head, 'but itís nothing serious.'


(Judie, Aimec and Tony Ellis)

Tony Ellis is not a completely typical dad; he created the Cube World game, and having extra millions helps when developing your own family.

In Supertoys Last All Summer Long, a 1967 story by Brian Aldiss, a childless couple adopts a young robot boy while waiting for government permission to have a child.

...When she had come down from the nursery, Monica had de-opaqued the windows, so that they now revealed the vista of garden beyond. Artificial sunlight was growing long and golden across the lawn - and David and Teddy were staring through the window at them.
Seeing their faces, Henry and his wife grew serious.
"What do we do about them?" Henry asked.
"Teddy's no trouble. He works well."
"Is David malfunctioning?"
"His verbal communication-center is still giving trouble. I think he'll have to go back to the factory again."
"Okay. We'll see how he does before the baby's born.

I'd like to point out that, in his 1966 story The Simulacra, Philip K. Dick made an entire robotic family available - the famnexdo.

...at the far end, taking up most of the available space, he saw four simulacra seated in silence, a group: one in adult male form, its female mate and two children. This was a major item of the firm's catalog; this was a famnexdo...

A man, when he emigrated, could buy neighbors, buy the simulated presence of life, the sound and motion of human activity - or at least its mechanical near-substitute - to bolster his morale in the new environment of unfamiliar stimuli and perhaps, god forbid, no stimuli at all...

Robotic youngsters are more common than you might think; see Roboticist Has Real Son Zeno, Robot Son Zeno for a recent example.

Via Daily Mail.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/17/2010)

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