Human or Machine? Life-Like Android Robots from Japan Show Glimpses of the Future

A new exhibition entitled “Android: What is Human?” showing at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo will showcase some of the most realistic humanoid robots ever seen.

The three android robots include Otonaroid, an adult female android robot; Kodomorid, a human female child robot and Telenoid, a minimally designed robot. The robots are the brainchild of Japanese robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University’s Department of Systems Innovation who has been developing robots for over 20 years.

Otonaroid is a teleoperated android robot resembling an adult female, and according to the museum, she/it has been “hired” by the Miraikan as a “robot science communicator”.

Kodomoroid is an android robot that resembles a human child. Unlike a real child, however, she/it is a robot news presenter, able to recite any news report gathered from around the world in a variety of voices and languages, 24 hours a day.

The third robot, Telenoid, is also a teleoperated android robot, but with a difference. It’s meant to have a minimal design and the minimum physical requirements for humanlike communications, so that people can pretend that the robot is anyone they wish it to be.

A complete plaster cast is taken of the model in order to create the android robot.

Mapping out a humanoid robot’s facial expressions: On the left, researchers test out commands sent from a computer to the robot Otonaroid to see its reactions. On the right, you can see the mechanisms inside the robot’s face.

Robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro (left) and Miraikan museum director Mamoru Mori (right) pose with Kodomoroid and Otonaroid at the press conference held in Tokyo.

Source and video: IBT

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