May 13, 2011
Japan's latest humanoid robots are more realistic than ever
Japanese humanoid robots of series Geminoid F and Actroid F are a frightening example of just how incredibly lifelike robots have become.
Watch this report by NHK:
These latest silicone puppets, developed in collaboration by a team researches from the Intelligent Robots Laboratory at Osaka University and Tokyo-based robot maker Kokoro Co. Ltd., have the ability to replicate facial expressions (and even breathing) in a much more natural way than previous robots. They are also built with more efficient technology. The newest Geminoid F is equipped with only 12 pneumatic actuators while the earlier model used 48.
Geminoids and Actroids (which are slightly improved versions of Geminoids) run off a household power supply and are remotely controlled by a human operator via Internet link. They are equipped with a smart camera that tracks the remote operator’s behavior in real time while an audio speaker inside the body is used to project a human voice.
Here’s a video of the Actroid F model in action:
Also, don’t miss this interview with a Geminoid F:
The improved design makes the robots easier to produce than previous models. Kokoro, which sells these robots for about 10 million Yen (about $123,000 or 86,000 EUR), targets them primarily for use in museums and hospitals, according to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.
In March 2011, the first ever summit of three lifelike Geminoids was organized at the ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories in Nara, Japan.
Watch this video of the meeting of the robots with their human counterparts (note that the date is 2011, not 2010 which is a typo):
Once these robots start walking around on their own, things will get interesting!