An incredibly-human like robot that makes eye contact and is said to be ‘the world’s sexiest’ has been by far the largest crowd-puller at the World Robot Exhibition in Shanghai, China. Called Geminoid F, the lifelike, rubber-skinned, 5ft6in-tall robot has been talking to awestruck fans.
‘She’ can recognize humans’ kinesic communication or body language as they talk. Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, from Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, the roboticist who led the team that created her, believes that it will not be long before we won’t be able to tell humans and robots apart.
When you first look at Android Geminoid F, you will likely think it is a human adult female, but this one is an android made from silicone, urethane and metal.
Geminoid F is a female type of tele-operated android that has a similar appearance of the original person. Geminoid F has twelve degrees of freedom to make it cheaper and more lightweight compared to previous Geminoid versions.(Image Credit: Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University-ATR)
Looks just like a young woman
Geminoid F looks like a woman in her twenties, she has long dark hair, can frown and smile, as well as change her facial expressions – eerily like a human.
Prof. Ishiguro asked:
“Where does the feeling of one’s presence, such as the atmosphere or the authority of a person, come from? How can it be captured, revived, and transmitted? To tackle this mystery, we have developed a new real-person based android, ‘Geminoid’. A geminoid appears and behaves just like its source person. Also, it is tightly connected with its original by information paths.”
Prof. Ishiguro created the robot in collaboration with Kokoro Co., a Japanese company that specializes in animatronics and ultrarealistic androids.
Geminoid F (left) and Geminoid HI-4, an android that looks like Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro. (Image Credit: Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University-ATR)
Geminoid F has a ‘toothy smile’
When they designed Geminoid F, the engineers wanted to create a robot that could exhibit a vast range of natural expressions without the need for the many actuators their previous androids required.
They especially wanted the robot to have a convincing smile – a ‘toothy smile’, Kokore engineers said.
Geminoid F is likely to have great career prospects in the movie industry. Recently, she appeared in the Japanese film Sayonara.
What is a geminoid?
“A Geminoid is an android whose appearance closely resembles a specific human “model”. Geminoids’ bodies are constructed by precisely measuring human models with a 3D scanner; gypsum is used to accurately capture facial contours. Currently at ATR, there are two Geminoids: Geminoid HI-2, a copy of Dr. Ishiguro, and Geminoid-F, a female android. HI-2 and F both use pneumatic actuators instead of electric motors; this is because pneumatic actuators can realize very human-like motions.”
“Geminoid HI-2 has 50 degrees of freedom (DOFs) and can perform not only facial expressions but also gestures using its entire body. Thus, Geminoid HI-2 can act in a natural and human-like manner. However, since it is not possible to fully fit 50 actuators inside the Geminoid’s body, a portion of the mechanism is stored in a control box outside the robot’s body. A large compressor is also necessary, making Geminoid HI-2 difficult to transport. Therefore, Geminoid-HI-2 is intended to be used as a fixed platform for experiments.”
“In contrast, we have restricted the number of DOFs in Geminoid F to 12, making her smaller and less expensive. Thus, we were able to fit everything inside her body except the compressor. However, even the compressor is smaller; therefore, it is easier to transport Geminoid F. As well, most of the 12 DOFs are located in her face, allowing Geminoid F to perform natural facial expressions during conversations with no loss to expressive power.”
Video – Geminoid F steals the show in Shanghai
Geminoid F – ‘World’s sexiest robot’ – steals the spotlight at tech a show. However, her creators say she’s not perfect.