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Thread: Japanese scientists unveil female android

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    Default Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Walking, talking living doll: Japanese scientists unveil female android



    By Anny Shaw
    Last updated at 3:54 PM on 04th April 2010

    Japanese professor Hiroshi Ishiguro yesterday unveiled a female android that can laugh and smile as it mimics a person's expressions.Using a motion-capture system, the robot, called Geminoid TMF, can move its rubber face to imitate a smile, a toothy grin, and a grim look with furrowed brows.

    Prof Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University, developed the android with a team of researchers together with Japan's robot maker Kokoro.

    A model pokes the face of Geminoid-F, which was designed and built by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro

    Geminoid TMF was modelled on a young Japanese woman, who was present at the unveiling today.

    'I felt like I had a twin sister,' the woman said afterwards.

    The developers said they expected the robot to be eventually used in real-life situations, such as in hospitals.

    'We've already got some data showing that the robot gave patients psychological security by nodding and smiling at them, when patients were checked on by doctors,' Satoko Inoue, spokeman for Kokoro, told Dawn.com.

    Using a motion-capture system, the robot, called Geminoid TMF, can move its rubber face to imitate a smile, a toothy grin, and a grim look with furrowed brows


    Prof Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University, developed the android with a team of researchers together with Japan's robot maker Kokoro

    'A new technology always creates some fears and negative opinions,' but the researchers wanted to make robots that could express something similar to human emotions, said Prof Ishiguro.

    Geminoid TMF is equipped with 12 actuators, powered by air pressure, and her motion can be synched to imitate that of a real human being.

    Prof Ishiguro has designed several robots made to look like humans in the past - even building one in his own image.

    The professor has said that one day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

    'An android could get away with it for a short time, 5-10 seconds.

    However, if we carefully select the situation, we could extend that, to perhaps 10 minutes,' he said.



    Professor Ishiguro with the android he built in his own image

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    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    We're getting closer to Cherry 2000.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    I would love to see how advanced all this technology will be in a thousand years, just amazing. Blade Runner someday I guess.

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Actroid F Female Telepresence Robot Looks Super Real, Creepy

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    October 31st, 2010 by Aaron Saenz
    Filed under 5, robots.

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    Actroid F can speak in your place, using webcams to watch and mimic your facial expressions and movements.

    When you speak with your family over a webcam they may be able to see your face, but they don’t have a real body in the room with which they can interact. Why not give them a creepy robot to to talk to instead? Kokoro recently unveiled its Actroid F telepresence robot, a full sized female humanoid with complex facial movements and realistic appearance. Though it can’t move from its chair, it can blink, shift its eyes and neck, bow, and even breathe. A webcam on your end watches your face and head movements and has the robot mimic them for your family. It’s one of the most complex and human-like telerobots ever seen…and it really freaks me out. This thing is sort of the epitome of the Uncanny Valley, it’s just real looking enough to trigger your “something’s wrong with this person” alarm. Watch the Actroid F speak, nod, and smile in the videos below. Maybe I watched one too many Child’s Play movies, but I would not leave this thing alone with my family.

    Actroid F is a modified version of the Geminoid F female robot that we discussed earlier. A lot of effort has gone into making these robots simpler, cheaper, and easier to power. The air compressor and valves that control Actroid F’s motion can run off of household electricity. Actroid F is also 30 kg lighter than other full scale robots in the Actroid/Geminoid series. The webcam setup for telepresence is meant to be as simple as possible while still providing the right experience for the user. To talk through Actroid F you need three cameras: one aimed at the speaker to pick up facial expressions and movements, another camera showing the Actroid’s face so the user can see how the robot is conveying her emotions, and a final camera that shows a panoramic view of the robot interacting with people in the room. A little more complex than your standard Skype portal, but that’s to be expected when you are speaking through a robotic avatar. Pay attention in the videos below to see how Actroid F can clearly pick out face and head movements, and adjusts its eyes to follow sound. This is a very life-like robot…which, again, is probably why it can be so eerie to watch.
    This video was taken during the recent open lab at AIST on October 14th and 15th.



    This preview for Actroid F came out a few months ago, and you can tell they’ve made some fine adjustments since then. The video does, however, give you a better feel for the camera setup and use of the robot as a telepresence vehicle.



    Japan has a sort of developmental alliance/network that has repeatedly pushed the envelope when it comes to life-like humanoid robots. You’ll almost always see Kokoro attached to these projects, along with AIST, ATR, and Osaka University.

    These four names keep cropping up in various pairings and collaborations as we’ve seen with the Geminoid F, the dancing HRP-4C, and the Telenoid. Japan looks to be trying to dominate the field of replicant robotics, and I think a lot of that can be traced back to Hiroshi Ishiguro.

    Ishiguro is one of the foremost names in realistic robotics in Japan (and the world) and is the mind behind the Geminoid and Telenoid (and probably a dozen other projects of which I’m not aware). What I find so interesting is that the research/industrial system in Japan is clearly willing to funnel a lot of money, time, and effort into projects whose products are…well…creepy.


    Actroid F is based on the frame and skin of Geminoid F seen here. The small improvements are clear, especially around the mouth.


    Of course, they’re creepy in a progressively realistic way, and that may be the key. It’s going to take years, and many iterations of new robots, before we can develop a bot that actually looks really human. But Ishiguro (and Kokoro, AIST, ATR, Osaka University, and many other groups in Japan) aren’t going to give up until they do. These guys are dedicated, have no doubt.


    From a certain angle, Actroid F really does look human. A bit too formal, maybe, a bit too stiff...but much closer to the real thing than you would see even a few years ago.


    In light of that dedication, I’m willing to sit down and watch videos of bots that raise my hackles and have my hands itching for the pitchforks and torches. Yes, Actroid F is situated firmly in the Uncanny Valley, but the telepresence innovations it is exploring (face mimicry, emotive simulations, etc) are going to be very useful in the future. Give it some time and replicant robots will be able to act and talk with our voices in a way that we find endearing instead of alarming. Give them a few more years beyond that, and we will be able to make replicants that can be customized to look like each of us, so they can help us tele-communicate with people we love as if we were in the room with them. We’re in the muddy part of the journey right now, but the path ahead is going to be worth the effort.

    [Special alternative ending for robots only: ...Give it even a few more years beyond that and the replicants will be so human-like that they can murder the originals, take their place, and their families would never know. Doesn't that sound perfect?]

    [image credits: Robo Times, Osaka University via Kokoro]
    [video credits: Robo Times, Kokoro via PlasticPals]
    [sources: Robo Times, Kokoro]

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Telepresence... Yeah, that's what they're shooting for...

    You know, I'm not sure if we nuked the Japanese too much or not enough.

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Amazing stuff.

    And kinda creepy.

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    She is much hotter than the blow-up doll someone I know got as a birthday gift one year. Sometimes I miss ole Bubbles.
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    She is much hotter than the blow-up doll someone I know got as a birthday gift one year. Sometimes I miss ole Bubbles.
    I was actually going to ask if they made her anatomically correct or not....


    /chuckles
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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    I was actually going to ask if they made her anatomically correct or not....


    /chuckles
    As long as she has an off switch, things will go just fine.

    Runs for cover...

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Quote Originally Posted by Backstop View Post
    As long as she has an off switch, things will go just fine.

    Runs for cover...
    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Oh, they put in a "Shut up" switch. I mean "Shut off".
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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Haha!

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    Is it me, or are these robots looking more and more like something from a Terminator movie?

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    Default Re: Japanese scientists unveil female android

    SEE IT: ‘World’s first’ android newscasters deliver the news in Japan

    / Daniel Crane

    Japanese scientists on Tuesday unveiled what they said was the world’s first news-reading android, eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humor to match her perfect language skills.
    The adolescent-looking “Kodomoroid” — an amalgamation of the Japanese word “kodomo” (child) and “android” — delivered news of an earthquake and an FBI raid to amazed reporters in Tokyo.
    She even poked fun at her creator, telling leading robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro: “You’re starting to look like a robot!”
    The pitch-perfect Kodomoroid was flanked by a grown-up fellow robot, who caught stage fright and fluffed her lines when asked to introduce herself.
    “Otonaroid” — “otona” meaning adult — excused herself after a quick reboot, saying: “I’m a little bit nervous.”

    Both androids will work at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, interacticing with visitors to collect data for Ishiguro’s studies into human reactions to the machines.
    Read more at NY Daily News
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