Roboy, a childlike robot with artificial tendons, being built over nine months

When it comes to building a robot, humanoid designs aren’t always the best solution — specialized, nonhuman shapes often make it more effective, and the robot may fall into the frightening, quasi-human “uncanny valley” if it resembles a person. But Roboy, a project from the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, isn’t just meant to move like a human — it’s being built in the nine months a child would take to gestate. The project started in June 2012; if all goes right, Roboy will be shown off during March’s Robots on Tour exhibition in Zurich.