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October 28 2012
Product designer Neil Usher has built a robot that aims to "improve the efficiency of our leisure time" by automatically scanning for faces in clouds.
Usher describes the robot, called the Nimbus MkIII, as automating pareidolia -- the psychological phenomenon of ascribing significance to random or vague patterns in nature. Famous examples are the man in the moon, or hearing hidden messages on records being played backwards.
Another example is spotting shapes in clouds. Usher's pareidolic robot scans the sky for patterns that resemble faces and, when it spots one, takes a photo.
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