[EAS] Female Android

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Wed Aug 3 23:00:59 EDT 2005

(INNOVATION, 3 August 2005)

       Researchers at Osaka University have unveiled that most
human-looking  robot yet -- a female android called Repliee Q1.
Repliee is designed to  look human, with flexible silicone "skin"
that covers a number of sensors  and motors used to make her move
and react in a human-like fashion. She can  even flutter her
eyelashes and appears to breathe. "I have developed many  robots
before," says Repliee's designer Hiroshi Ishiguru, "but I soon
realized the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance
gives a  robot a strong feeling of presence." Repliee Q1 can
interact with people. It  can respond to people touching it. It's
very satisfying, although we  obviously have a long way to go yet."
Ishiguru muses that someday androids  may be able to pass for
humans, if only briefly. "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. 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." (BBC News  27 Jul 2005)


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