The first news-reading android has been revealed in Japan. It comes with a sense of humour and perfect language skills. The youthful looking ‘Kodomoroid’, (which means child android) has delivered the news about an earthquake and a FBI raid. Reporters in Tokyo are amazed.
The pitch-perfect Kodomoroid was paired with an ‘adult’robot called Otonaroid (meaning adult android) who had stage fright and messed up her lines when asked to introduce herself. She excused herself and stated, “I’m a little bit nervous”.
Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation will feature both robots, and will interact with visitors to collect information for Mr Ishiguro’s studies into human reactions with the machines.
Ishiguro stated, ”We will have more and more robots in our lives in the future. You can take my androids on planes – the torso in the suitcase and the head in carry-on.” In fact, Mr Ishiguro has an android replica of himself that he uses overseas to give lectures. “It cuts down on my business trips.” Ishiguro also said, ”Technical advances mean robots look and act more human, and that makes us think about our worth.”
Although amazing, Otonaroid needs rewiring before starting her new job as the museum’s science communicator. Her lips are out of sync and her neck moves like she’s had a restless sleep. Despite this however, Mr Ishiguro insisted they would be invaluable to his continued research. Visitors are able to converse with the robots and operate them as extensions of their own body.
“This will give us important feedback as we explore the question of what is human. We want robots to become increasingly clever,”says Ishiguro. Pepper, a talkative android designed by SoftBank, will go on sale next year for $2,000. “That’s the same price as a laptop computer,” says Mr Ishiguro. Pepper has been designed to be a companion for households. Simply amazing!
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[Image via veooz]