Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I for one welcome our goatee'd robotic overlords

Geminoid DK is an ultra-realistic android from Japanese robotics company Kokoro, and was built to look exactly like Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark.

Upon first watching this video, I was almost convinced that it was an actual person with perhaps a bit of latex prosthetic work applied to make him look robotic enough and yet human enough to dwell in that creepy area known as The Uncanny Valley (think Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation).

But no, this is an actual robot. He's/It's got his/its own Facebook page if you care to, you know, be friends with the most realistic mechanical lifeform now that the Showbiz Pizza Rock-A-Fire Animatronic Hillbilly Bear Band closed up shop in the early 90s.

The Geminoid is fulfilling a higher purpose than shilling subpar pizza to the unwashed masses, though. It is going to be used for researching "emotional affordances" in human-robot interaction, the novel notion of "blended presence," as well as cultural differences (from different continents) in the perception of robots.

IEEE Spectrum Online has an excellent write-up and many more pics and videos.

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