Wednesday, July 27, 2005

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Japanese develop 'female' android

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Japanese develop 'female' android: "Japanese develop 'female' android
By David Whitehouse
Science editor, BBC News website

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a 'female' android called Repliee Q1.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University says one day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

Repliee Q1 is not like any robot you will have seen before, at least outside of science-fiction movies.

She is designed to look human and although she can only sit at present, she has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor, programmed to allow her to move like a human.

We have found that people forget she is an android while interacting with her
Prof Hiroshi Ishiguru
'I have developed many robots before,' Repliee Q1's designer, Professor Ishiguru, told the BBC News website, 'but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence.'"

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