Word on the street is that the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology is working on a robot that can learn through gestures - and even repeat the gestures in the appropriate contexts. This would be huge, since it would mean the robot could learn without having to rely only on spoken instructions. It could also pave the way for a robot that understands the subtleties of body language and facial expressions.
It's even learned how to bow in the traditional Japanese demonstration of respect.
That's good, right? Ah, but you may change your mind once you see the pictures. For some reason, this robot is nearly man shape and size - 85 kg or around 194 pounds and 155 cm, or about 5 feet - but with no skin to speak of. One of the blogs compared it to the first Terminator, after the skin fell off, and I'd agreed. It's a bit of a horror show - right in time for Halloween.
You can see a picture on the blog Pink Tentacle, though you'll probably want to read the PhysOrg.com article. I tried to find a NICT press release in English, but all I could come up with is a Google translation - and it's a beta application, which showed the date as Oct. 24, 1919. Apparently, the original press release did go out in English via a subscription service.