Thursday, July 28, 2005

Electric Geisha

Hmmm. I think I can detect a trend here.
Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a "female" android called Repliee Q1.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Photo Credit: BBC
Caption: Professor Ishiguru (r) stresses the importance of appearance
Powered prosthetics, power-assist rehabilitative gear, sweeping and mopping robots. Combine them all, design to look like a member of the opposite sex, sounds like a complete system to me. Wait! What's missing here? Oh, yeah, sex. But wait, there's more! Seems that the sex aspect has been covered too. CAUTION: This explicit link is NOT work safe, children safe, spousal safe, and maybe not even pet safe. Exercise caution before going HERE.

Throw in the ability to perform your online shopping, file your taxes, control your house/apartment, cook your meals... who needs people any more?

Update: I neglected to mention the interactional aspect of a robot. A good companion needs to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation, and think for themselves (within reason, of course - you don't want headaches at inappropriate times). I guess I should add But wait, there's more! here.
Most robots are programmed to make certain decisions, but are unable to think for themselves.

According to Prof [Mark] Lee, the project's purpose was to try to "unravel" the way in which the brain worked and to then build a robot that could "think" for itself.
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