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Body-Double: Lifelike Android Demoed at Futuristic Conference

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Hiroshi Ishiguro and his robot double.

Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro (right) is developing lifelike androids that can be controlled remotely, like the one shown here that resembles him.

Credit: Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory

Osaka University Intelligent Robotics Laboratory director Hiroshi Ishiguro displayed a highly realistic robot in his own image at the recent Global Futures 2045 International Congress, as part of his ongoing efforts to erase the dividing line between humans and robots.

Ishiguro's double is known as a Geminoid, which is an android that resembles a real person and is controlled remotely. He says the Geminoid could easily be accepted as Ishiguro's actual body.

Ishiguro also developed a female android that displayed clothing in a retail store, and participates in a traveling android theater starring robots with lifelike expressions.

As he gained experience with creating robots, Ishiguro realized that slight imperfections are necessary for realism. For example, his own Geminoid likeness has a perpetual small frown.

Ishiguro's Telenoid is a gender- and age-neutral robot that enables users to imagine a face on its pillow-like appearance. The Telenoid was popular among the elderly in Denmark in Ishiguro's testing. A smaller version of the Telenoid, called the Elfoid, serves as an anthropomorphic mobile phone.

From LiveScience (NY)
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