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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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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