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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Androids -vwv

A few weeks ago, I was watching a show on TV where a guy was explaining research into how humans react to androids (humanoid robots) that look like real people. He said that while one would not usually care if he kicks a robot that resembles a box with wheels, people would get upset if he were to hit a robot that looks a lot like a human being even if the robot is equally robust.

I never really thought about this before but it does seem kind of true. I'm quite sure I wouldn't care if someone slaps C3PO and I wouldn't mind giving R2D2 a kick myself. But I think I would feel kinda bad if someone kicks her (see picture) in the face.

This is Repliee Q2, an android designed to look and have subtle facial movements like humans. It looks a little creepy up close (I think she doesn't blink often enough) but from a distance, it's pretty realistic. Her movements are a little jerky because they used pneumatic actuators rather than electric motors.

Here's a video clip. Embedding is disabled so you'll have to click on the link. Here's the site at Osaka University. There are more video clips and explanations.

If she can move like these robots, it'll be awesome. If only I could borrow one of them to take part in the TechX Challenge and win a million bucks.

Here's another video about the Repliee android, not sure whether this is Q1 or Q2.

Link to YouTube clip
It's rather amusing when you read the comments and find things like "I'd have sex with it". And to think they used to call the iMac sexy. I guess if there are people who find a rounded plastic shell containing a bunch of circuits sexually appealing...well. Personally, I think the doctoral student in the video is way cuter than the android. Then again, they look so similar, Noma might actually be Repliee Q3 in testing phase, who knows.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
6:51 PM


FREAKY!!! They look so real....

I want one too, without the clothes.

But yeah, I think Chii totally pawns her ass.

By Blogger Soqcrates, at 10:08 PM  

very creepy....
By Blogger Bakazheng, at 4:48 PM  

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