Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, InTech’s long term author and the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Japan, has been an undeniable pioneer in conceptualising, engineering, and bringing to “life” actroids, humanoid robots hardly machines in their resemblance to fellow human being like yourselves.
For decades science fiction has portrayed and presented human-like robots usually named androids, awakening the imagination of many dreaming about a look alike robotic replicant to do house chores, or the fears of others terrorised by the idea of robots taking over the human race as the digital and computing revolution advances to new heights day by day.
Nevertheless, what Dr. Ishiguro accomplished is just the beginning of a revolutionary, probably robot-like explosion bound to change future paths of science in all its aspects, as well as society as a whole. And he did it the cooler way by cloning his own self. But make no mistakes as no genetic engineering has been exploited, instead robotic engineering has. Dr. Ishiguro’s actroid resembles the original in all its aspects, it breathes, moves its face, talks, and moves. The only perceptible difference? It looks meaner perhaps. You may just decide that for yourself by taking a look at the picture below.
In Dr. Ishiguro’s own words, the Geminoid HI-1’s (the actroid’s tech name) purpose is to “robot in” to his classes since “If I access the android through internet, I do not need to go to ATR (ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories) anymore”.
At this point it is only fair to hear what the Geminoid has to say on his part.
As the popular culture has already picked up on Dr. Ishiguro’s wonder robot, featured in blockbusters such as “Surrogates” (2009), or the documentaries “Plug and Pray” (2010) and “Mechanical Love” (2007), as well as in editorial articles by BBC News and Wired magazines, what are you still waiting for? Maybe it’s just about time to start clearing your busy schedules as your replicant might fill in on you.
To read further about Dr. Ishiguro’s work and research papers, please follow the links below. Note that all inTech’s publications are free to read, share and download.
Geminoid: Teleoperated Android of an Existing Person (June, 2007)
Communication Robots in Real Environments (June, 2007)
Conversation System of an Everyday Robot Robovie-IV (June, 2007)
Development of an Android System Integrated with Sensor Networks (February, 2010)
Towards Augmentative Speech Communication (June, 2011)