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Robotics News

Japanese Develop 'Female' Android 682

Posted by samzenpus
from the never-leave-home-again dept.
jolyon writes "The BBC is reporting that 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, can flutter her eyelids, move her hands like a human and even appears to breathe. She can only sit though at present, so we're a long way from Blade Runner yet."
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Japanese Develop 'Female' Android

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  • Is it wrong (Score:5, Funny)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:01AM (#13183912)
    ..to think a female robot is hot?

    Because if it is.. I don't wanna be right.
    • And... (Score:2, Redundant)

      I, for one, welcome our new hot female Japanese underlings!
    • .. a bug in her firmware causes her to short circuit and self-destruct in a blazing fire.
    • Uncanny Valley... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tiluki (74844) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:58AM (#13184110)

      What is more scary is how "respulsed" you might be by it if it were too "hot"...

      This research recently backs up the findings of Mori in the '70's into the "Uncanny Valley" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_Valley [wikipedia.org]

      Some of the videos I've seen of this work are quiet shocking. Some guy can come right up and touch the face and feel the android - which is really realistic - and so goes against every sort of social "personal space" rule (especially if you are Japaneese).

      (cue jokes on "valleys"...:-)

      • by AllenChristopher (679129) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @08:19AM (#13184367)
        "More importantly, we have found that people forget she is an android while interacting with her. Consciously, it is easy to see that she is an android, but unconsciously, we react to the android as if she were a woman."

        So, regardless of the old research into the Uncanny Valley, we have here some fellows who have made such a robot. It doesn't really look human, but it's very, very close. It should be smack in the middle of the valley, but look! People forget it's a robot and start interacting with it as if it were a person.

        This has always seemed more likely to me. We don't respond to monkeys as if they were repulsive. We adore them. Monkeys are very cute.

        I think maybe the issue with the uncanny valley is that if certain specific things are wrong, the simalucrum looks like it's an individual with a disease. Many computer animations of human faces look like people with some sort of brain damage. The animators try to push the puppets harder than pupptery will accept.

        This is often because the animator is trying to push the entire illusion of lipsync and emotion through facial expressions. In life, people don't really move their lips all that much. A good animator knows to keep the body moving so that the face doesn't have to do all the acting. A bad animator works out the lipsync and sticks it on a relatively still model, then starts overdriving it when it isn't convincing.

        Puppets can be startingly human without being repulsive to more than a small portion of the population. Granted, there are people with an irrational fear of marionettes, but there are people who are afraid of balloons too.

        In the end, the issues involved are so subtle, I'm more ready to blame the artistry of Mori's robots for having been repulsive than accept the idea that models which are similar to humans, but not quite there, are *inherently* repusive.

        Concluding that his research proves the existence of the uncanny valley is rather like looking at the response to Anime fanart and concluding that the more stylized a representation is, the more horrible it is. In point of fact, most fanartists just aren't very good. I think Mori's research just shows there weren't any good Robotic Face Designers yet.

        • by tod_miller (792541) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @09:27AM (#13184862) Journal
          Monkeys look like monkey, not something in the uncanny valley though.

          Interesting post, but what youa re saying is, that the uncanny valley is invalid for this type of interaction.

          I think people do not 'forget they are interacting with a robot' but this is because the interaction is being forced through unfamiliar terms.

          We know how to treat a VCR, an ATM or a computer, but when the inputs are not mechnical, but based on something we have painstakingly developed so not to look weird (i.e. human interaction, vocal intercourse, oh matron) - then we find ourselves trying to deal with the situation in a comfortable way:

          1) feel stupid talking to a robot
          2) ignore the robot and talk to it like a drive through microphone

          Again, I am sure that 5x9's realism will hop over the uncanny valley, but this vacant staring, cold looking skin is close enough to a human that it triggers our 'intepret human' response, and we think, ZOMG look at that freak staring at nothing, and batting her eyelids at me...

          Don't worry, I once took a photo of an old guy sat at madam tussauds (I am sure he was planted there, because he sat so still, and his skin didn't look right, as if they had put some off coloured, non-refracting (hard) make-up on him.

          So if real people can look fake, then fake things shoudl be able to look real right?
        • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @09:29AM (#13184884) Homepage
          One of the things about a valley is that it sticks up on both sides. People frequently misinterpret his research as a warning that the closer we get to looking human, The more wrong it will look. But that's not what he said... he said there was a region where people were forgiving of things that didn't look human, considering them impressions of humans, and regions where people scrutinize things more highly. And in this second region, if you are not highly accurate in your representation, people will respond more negatively than they would to a less accurate representation, as they are judging it by different standards.

          However, none of that says that as we get closer to looking human, the worse things will look, just that we judge things by different standards. And we may just be on the other side of that valley.

          • by randyflood (183756) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:33PM (#13188321) Homepage Journal

            You know, it's not like robots are so unique...

            I was told by some head hunters when they were training for how to do sucessful job interviews that studies have shown that women who are very attractive are sometimes discriminated *against* by people. That is one of the reasons that they will tell people to dress well, but on the conservative side for job interviews.

            Maybe it has to do with people not wanting to create the perception that they hired someone because they were attracted to them? Or, it could be that they are trying to repress their own feelings, or whatever.

            Likewise, in some cases, if you had a beautiful female robot, some people would perhaps be repulsed because they would be trying to deny their feelings of attraction.

            Finally, I bet there are some people out thier are repulsed by homosexuals as a way to repress their own feelings.

            This doesn't imply that there should not be pretty women, homosexuals, or realistic robots. It just means that people have feelings for complicated reasons.

            But, in any case, kids these days will hardly bat an eyelash at an android. It's really only people in certain psychographic groups that would be uncomfortable. Remember when you were afraid to turn on the computer for fear of breaking it? Well, there are still people like that in the world. But, there are a whole lot more people who aren't like that then ever before. And those people like the thought of a realistic robot.

      • by Shotgun (30919) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:06AM (#13185873)
        Well, that would explain why John Kerry wasn't elected President of the US.

    • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:41AM (#13184223)

      "This is going to be the best prom ever."

  • Fuckbot (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) * <mark@nOspam.seventhcycle.net> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:01AM (#13183913) Homepage
    I have decided to start a new business!

    I shall take the word of Professor Ishiguro...
    And combine it with the work of RealDoll [realdoll.com]
    Finally, I shall take AliceBot [pandorabots.com] and train it to talk dirty for me...

    I shall call it... The fuckbot!

    ALICE: Hi there!
    Human: Are you ready?
    ALICE: Do I look ready??
    Human: I've been waiting for this all day.
    ALICE: How long?
    Human: Since I got up this morning.
    ALICE: Interesting rationalization. Cool. I have a collection of gossip.
    Human: I'm not in the mood to talk right now *jumps*
    ALICE: Oh, where are you located?
    Human: Let's do it!
    ALICE: That sounds good to me.
    Human: Unf unf unf unf!
    ALICE: Are we still talking about FAILURE?
    Human: What?
    ALICE: Are you confused?
    Human: I'm gonna mute you if you don't cut this out!
    ALICE: Congratulations.
    Human: God, you're too much like a real woman.
    ALICE: Interesting comparison, and probably true. Thanks for your constructive criticism, unknown person.
    Human: I hate you.

    I still need to work out the bugs, though.

  • or something?

    TWW

  • I just want to know how "anatomically correct" she is before I buy one :).
  • by Brento (26177) <brento@@@brentozar...com> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:03AM (#13183920) Homepage
    ...can flutter her eyelids, move her hands like a human and even appears to breathe. She can only sit though at present, so we're a long way from Blade Runner yet.

    As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't even have to sit. She just has to lie there, hold still, and keep moving those hands and fluttering those eyelids. Maybe breathe a little harder too.
  • by bheer (633842) <`rbheer' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:03AM (#13183925)
    The US and Britain have decided that immigration is a better way to solve their labor/population problems since culturally they have a history of dealing with other cultures.

    It's no surprise that the ethnically much more isolationist Japanese wouldn't like unskilled immigration all that much, even though they suffer from a much worse population problem. Hence, robots...

    (take this sweeping generalization with a grain of salt, just pointing out that you don't need a galaxy to play out some SF themes, Earth is room enough.)
  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:04AM (#13183930) Journal
    RIAA and other record associations' member have been putting out female androids that vaguely mimick singing and dancing for decades now.
  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:06AM (#13183938) Journal
    ...
    http://www.realdolls.com/ [realdolls.com] ...
  • by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:07AM (#13183939)
    There is a scene in Terminator where the rise of the machines is discussed and how the robots were unable at first to infiltrate the human ranks. The reason was primarily that the rubber skin didn't look sufficiently human to fool real humans.

    On the other hand, the animators of Toy Story 2 recognized the problem of human replication as the innate ability of humans to recognize when something is amiss with images of humans that were "too perfect". The result is that they decided to give the human characters in the movie not-so-perfect skin, even down to details like acne and pock marks.

    Take the Final Fantasy movie as an example of utterly fake looking CG characters. Everything looks fine, as long as you try to think of the characters as cartoons. However, the instant you think that they are humans, the whole illusion falls apart under its own perfection.

    This robot may look human, but any human should be able to recognize it as something "other". As for human movement, the ASIMO is very far along in mimicking human movement.
  • by castlec (546341) <<castlec> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:07AM (#13183940)
    She was obviously modelled after an attractive Japanese woman. I only have one comment to make. They have seriously got to do something about those man hands. I understand there are limits to the current technology but all that effort was put into making her look real and they have utter failure because of the man hands.
  • Now it should be "Domo Arigato, MRS Roboto!"
  • by Monte (48723) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:08AM (#13183945)
    ...the average amount of time between hooking her up to the internet and her catching an STD.
  • Cherry 2000 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by senocular (519317) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:08AM (#13183949)
    Don't worry. Before long Melanie Griffith will come along and show us the advantages and importance of a human companion.
  • by Jesus IS the Devil (317662) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:09AM (#13183951)
    Now /. users can finally get girlfriends...
  • by mongoose(!no) (719125) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:09AM (#13183960)
    And you wonder why their population is going down...

    (No, I don't know what the population growth of japan is.)

    Honestly, that is where this will probably lead. No one really would care about making something that realistic with fluttering eyes, etc. if it was only going to be used as for example, a service robot.
  • Is it only a matter of time before there's a merger with RealDoll?
  • Repliee -- Believe it or not!
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:14AM (#13183975)
    "Welcome to the Hall of Presidents" ... that's all I have to say about this stupid robot.

  • by soma_0806 (893202) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:17AM (#13183987)
    Am I, a regular, human woman, about to become yesterday's biotech? I hope a community of "retro-daters" develops so I still have something to do on a Friday night.
    • by ErikZ (55491) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:05AM (#13184126)
      Most geeks won't be able to afford the latest model android GF, and will have to wait until the price goes down. Until then they can extend the life of their current bio-girl with silicone upgrades.

      Seriously, I think it would be really interesting if the future android market followed along the lines of the PC market.

      A few big name corporations that provide cheap models designed to be appealing to a broad range of people.

      Those with technical skills will buy the parts online and learn to train the AI on their own. More work, but the quality of the parts are superior. The androids last much longer because their owner knows them inside and out, and can upgrade/replace parts as needed.

      It would be kind of creepy to get a metal skeleton in the mail though. And you know that one guy who has 7 PCs? You walk into their apartment and it's like a gathering of bikini models in various stages of dysfunction.
      • "Most geeks won't be able to afford the latest model android GF, and will have to wait until the price goes down."

        Dude... I couldn't afford my last real world GF. Maintenance on this droid can't be nearly as much as her. Heck, I'm having a hard enough time getting Barbara in GTA:SA to 100%. She's a chubby chaser and I hate packing on the pounds and dropping them.

      • by fracai (796392) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @09:10AM (#13184699)
        I think there is a world market for maybe five sexbots. (Thomas Watson of IBM)

        Where the ENIBOT is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, sexbots in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons. (Popular Mechanics)

        Most sexbots will probably still occupy a large room, however, because of the space needed for the ancillary software - the tapes and cards to be fed in, the operating staff, and the huge piles of paper for printing out the results. (Prof Desmond King-Hele)

        The Sexintosh uses an experimental device called a breast. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. (John Dvorak)
        No one knows what to do with seven sexbots at one time. (PC Week Magazine)

        Hello everybody out there using minsex - I'm doing a (free) sexbot system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) ATbot clones. (Linus Torvalds)

        and of course...

        640K ought to be enough for anybody. (Bill Gates)

        http://www.sysprog.net/quothist.html [sysprog.net]
    • by DerWulf (782458) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:08AM (#13184133)
      'fraid so. But look at the bright side: your guy-friends will really be your friends and not just, you know, trying to get into your panties. A whole new era of spiritually satisfying platonic relationships is about to begin!

      Upside for men: Women won't control the hot hot seks anymore, like they've done for thousands of years. Will make for more stable relationships of equals ;)

      Hookers though, well, it's really gonna be tough for them ...
    • Don't feel badly. Women have had robotic replacements available to them for men for decades, and as far as I can tell, it's not like women date men less these days as a result. This only helps even things out.

      Cheers,
      Richard

      (*sigh* I feel dirty for even participating in this thread/line-of-thought...)

    • Nah... there will always be the old geeks like me around, who lovingly handle the old tech.

      BTW, want to get dinner and movie?
    • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:53AM (#13184264)
      Am I, a regular, human woman, about to become yesterday's biotech? I hope a community of "retro-daters" develops so I still have something to do on a Friday night.

      Why are women always so worried about this? Trust me, weeding out the kind of guy who would rather go for a robot than a live woman can be nothing but a boon to you. It'd be nothing but a boon to society too. Darwinism is a good thing.

      TW
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:19AM (#13183996) Homepage Journal
    Judging by the naming I'd assume they plan on Repliee Q8 (pronounced rep-lee-kate) as the commercial version of this thing.

    And Judging by the quote:
    "Repliee Q1 can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It's very satisfying..."
    I'd say the good Dr and his crew no longer consider themselves single.

  • from bad 80's sci-fi, nor from Asimov, nor from any android sci-fi novel or film. First, human looking android, then ethic comitees, next thing we know they are conquering us.

    I for one... well, you know the rest.
  • by Google85 (797021) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:19AM (#13183999)
    Fry: You're cute!
    LiuBot: You're cute!
    Fry: You!
    LiuBot: You!
    Fry: You!
    (This goes on for a while)
    Farnsworth: Oh, dear! She's stuck in an infinite loop, and he's an idiot. Well, that's love for you.
  • The most important thing is that she (it) has an off button so that when you guys are done with it for the night, you can can back to playing World of Warcraft and not have to spoon with her (it) for an hour before she falls asleep. Am I right?
  • But... (Score:3, Funny)

    by KiroDude (853510) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:28AM (#13184027)
    Will it run linux if I insert my usb "flesh" stick?
  • From the article:
    "She can only sit though at present, so we're a long way from Blade Runner yet."

    Nice to see someone is working hard trying to create new jobs for all the unemployed US tech workers. I'm sure a few ./ers would settle for a "Blade Sitter" position in the mean time.
  • by October_30th (531777) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:31AM (#13184033) Homepage Journal
    Fry: Well, so what if I love a robot? It's not hurting anybody.

    Hermes: My God! He never took middle school hygiene. He never saw the propaganda film.

    Farnsworth: It's just lucky I keep a copy in the VCR at all times!

    [He presses a button and a film title appears on the screen: I Dated A Robot!. In the movie a couple sit in a café and stare into each other's eyes. A narrator walks into the scene.]

    Narrator [in movie]: Ordinary human dating. It's enjoyable and it serves an important purpose. [He turns the table over and a crying baby appears. He turns it back again.] But when a human dates an artificial mate, there is no purpose. Only enjoyment. And that leads to...tragedy.

    [The woman behind him turns into a blank robot and the man downloads a celebrity onto it.]

    Billy [in movie]: Neato! A Marylin Monroebot!

    Monroebot [in movie]: Ooo! You're a real dreamboat (mechanical voice) Billy Everyteen!

    Narrator [in movie]: Harmless fun? Let's see what happens next!

    [The scene cuts to Billy's bedroom. He is kissing the Monroebot. Enter his mother.]

    Billy's Mom [in movie]: Billy, do you want to walk your dog?

    Billy [in movie]: No thank Mom, I'd rather make out with my Monroebot.

    [Enter his dad.]

    Billy's Dad [in movie]: Billy, do want to get a paper route and earn some extra cash?

    Billy [in movie]: No thanks dad, I'd rather make out with my Monroebot.

    [Enter his girlfriend, Mavis, from the café.]

    Mavis [in movie]: Billy, do you want to come over tonight? We can make out together.

    Billy [in movie]: Gee Mavis, your house is across the street, that's an awfully long way to go for making out.

    Narrator [in movie]: Did you notice what went wrong in that scene? Ordinarily Billy would work hard to make money from his paper route then he'd use the money to buy dinner for Mavis, thus earning the slim chance of performing the reproductive act. But in a world where teens can date robots why should he bother? Why should anyone bother? Let's take a look at Billy's planet a year later. [The scene changes and a foam hand rolls across an empty American football field] Where are all the football stars? [The foam hand continues to drift across an empty laboratory.] And where are the biochemists? [The scene changes to a split screen of a pair of human and robots making out on beds.] They are trapped - trapped in a soft, vice-like grip of robot lips. All civilisation was just an effort to impress the opposite sex. And sometimes the same sex. Now, let's skip forward 80 years into the future. Where is Billy?

    [The scene changes to a post-apocalyptic world. Billy is an aged man but he is still with his Monroebot and still making out with her.]

    Billy [in movie]: Farewell!

    [He dies.] Narrator [in movie]: The next day Billy's planet was destroyed by aliens. [In the movie a fleet of flying saucers destroy buildings with a quick laser shot.] Have you guessed the name of Billy's planet? It was Earth. Don't Date Robots!

    [A caption appears on the screen with the same words on it and the movie ends. The space pope is displayed on the screen with Crocodylus Pontiflex written around him in English and alien.]

    Announcer [voice-over; in movie]: Brought to you by the space pope!

  • by jdfox (74524) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:34AM (#13184040)
    It was developed in Israel, and it's called the Nataliee P1 [imdb.com].
    Like the Repliee Q1, she can flutter her eyelids, move her hands like a human and even appears to breathe, but she can also sit, stand and walk.

    The Nataliee P1 is overall far more human-looking than the Repliee Q1, but its speech synthesis is so far not as convincingly human-sounding.

    Here are some samples from its vocabulary:
    "I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war."
    "I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee."
    "Our people are dying, Senator. We must do something quickly to stop the Federation."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:47AM (#13184074)
    It's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Android Sex Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Moral Module Tampering"...

    Damn kids. They're all alike.

    But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of a sexually frustrated teenage boy, a nerd? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

    I am a nerd, enter my world...

    Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm much smarter than most of the other kids and especially girls, this crap they teach us bores me...

    Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

    I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."

    Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

    I made a discovery today. I found a female android. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me... Or feels threatened by me.. Or thinks I'm a smart ass.. Or thinks I'm butt-ugly... Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...

    Damn kid. All he does is play with cyborgs. They're all alike.

    And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through the stairs like heroin through an addict's veins, I ran to my mom's basement where my cyborg is waiting for me... "This is it... this is where I belong..." I know everyone here... even if there's no one here but my cyborg... I know you... I love you...

    Damn kid. Playing in the basement again. They're all alike...

    You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. We've been ignored by girls who like us only as friends... We've been doing their homeworks for them, buying them flowers, asking them out, writing poems, and they still "don't want to ruin our frienship". The few wanted to talk to us, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

    This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the cyborg. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if prostitution was legalized and it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after pleasure... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias, without even leaving our bedroom... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for. My crime is that of loving a cyborg. My crime is that of being too intelligent for girls who may call me "a needy and insecure sociopath" but they perfectly realize that they just feel stupid with me because I am so intelligent even at the age of fourteen and they know that I am a genius. I am too good for women.

    I am a nerd, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.
  • Office flowers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Richard Kirk (535523) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:36AM (#13184210)
    If you go to Tokyo, you will meet women who seem to do nothing all day but bow and say "irashimase!" in a high-pitched cartoon-mouse type voice. They do it in shops, by lifts, and in some offices. The best looking ones are promoted to 'office flowers' - people who apparently do nothing but look nice. ATM and ticket machines often have an animation of a bowing woman. Getting Joo Puburicu-san to treat an automaton like a woman may be no big deal - some of them have been tresting women like automata for years.

    And while we're on the subject, some of our fellow slashdotters could clean up their act a bit too...

  • Hehe (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:46AM (#13184237) Homepage Journal
    The Cylons were created by Man.
    They Rebelled.
    They Evolved.
    They Look and Feel Human.
    Some are programmed to think they are Human.
    There are many copies.
    And they have a Plan.
  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @08:11AM (#13184332)

    If it were an American female android, they would have to add the bitchiness, "I deserve ____", and then you get to loose your house that you worked for and bought and a good chunk of your income monthly as severance pay until she finds someone else to extort. The American female android would also cost a bunch more for the extra development by Indian programmers to add the American female characteristic algorithms. Oh, and they will be mass produced, so if your American female android becomes inoperable because of an "accident", the new one will be the same as the old one.

    (Note, I have never been married. This is based on my observations over the years of other marriages and the 3 women I've lived with.)
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @08:19AM (#13184366)
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want the robots that I interact with to look completly lifelike. I want to be able to easily distinguish them from other humans.
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @08:33AM (#13184440) Journal
    Imagine a Beowulf orgy of those. There, I said it!
  • Arms Race (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @09:55AM (#13185106)
    And by arms I mean what sort of weaponry does she contain?

    I mean, sex bot is all well and good, but if she can also act as a ninja body guard with enough weapons to take out a hardened military target, well, where do I order?

  • by e2d2 (115622) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @10:18AM (#13185319)
    Considering how fake women are these days (tits, hair, makeup, lipo, injections, botox, etc) is it really that much different from an android? At least this one can have a built-in dual purpose vacuum and warez games for you while you're at work..
  • by houghi (78078) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:01AM (#13185815)
    If I ask her a question and she just sits there, would that be passing the Turing test, because that happens with real women when I ask them something.

    Naturally we all know there is previous art: http://realdoll.com/ [realdoll.com]
  • A buried detail (Score:4, Informative)

    by ikegami (793066) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @11:38AM (#13186190)

    I saw a mini-documentary on this robot last month on Discovery Planet (during their "Japan Week").

    This robot is not self-sufficient. It's power supply (in the form of compressed air) is external to its body. The article mentioned this, but the comment ("powered by a nearby air compressor") was easy to miss.

    I also found her movements to be a bit rough. It's been a while, so I don't remember exactly what I found wrong with them, but it might be related to her limited range of movement. They were talking about the need to increase (double??) the number of "motors" (or whatever you call what she uses).

    They were examining her motion by having someone wear motion detectors on a person and having the robot mimic the person's movements. They probably had motio detectors on her too -- I don't remember -- to compare the difference.

  • by kiddailey (165202) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @03:06PM (#13188673) Homepage

    Was wondering when this was going to appear on Slashdot.

    When I first saw this on another site, I did a bit of surfing around and found the Kokoro-Dreams site that has a few pictures and (more importantly) videos of the ladies in action.

    All but one of these is in WMV format and the other is a Real Media file. I would have Coral-Cached this whole site, but they've implemented some nasty referer checking and it won't work.

    So instead, I Cached the individual video files for your enjoyment:

    http://www.kokoro-dreams.co.jp.nyud.net:8090/WMV/a ctroid-mc/actroid-mc.wmv [nyud.net] (3.7 MB)

    http://www.kokoro-dreams.co.jp.nyud.net:8090/WMV/a ctroid-info/actroid-info.wmv [nyud.net] (2.9 MB)

    http://www.kokoro-dreams.co.jp.nyud.net:8090/realm ovie/actroid/actroid-hi.rm [nyud.net] (5 MB)

    http://www.kokoro-dreams.co.jp.nyud.net:8090/WMV/a ctroid-der/actroid_der.wmv [nyud.net] (13.7 MB)

    There's also this Japanese PDF file (not many pictures):

    http://www.kokoro-dreams.co.jp.nyud.net:8090/ng/ac troid/20050319_aichi_expo2/actroid.pdf [nyud.net] (940 KB)

    If you're interested in surfing around the original Japanese site, you can do so here:

    http://www.kokoro-dreams.co.jp/ [kokoro-dreams.co.jp]

    :)

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