Monday, April 05, 2010
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blacklistednews - The inventors of a robot capable of mimicking human movements and facial expressions believe it is so realistic that it can be used to provide counseling to human patients.
The robot, called "Geminoid F," is modeled after a woman in her late 20s and operated by remote control. It can copy a wide range of expressions, including blinking, frowning and smiling. A speaker in the body can project a human voice.
Hiroshi Ishiguro, the professor at Osaka University who led the development team, told a press conference on Saturday that he saw the robot as more than an expensive toy. "It could be used for remote medical care, such as counseling," he said.
Geminoid F, a joint creation of Osaka University and Kyoto-based Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, will be sold by robot maker Kokoro Co. from May. It hopes to sell about 50 robots at about 10 million yen ($106,000) each.
The android is slightly smaller than the model on whom Ishiguro's team based its design. She is 158 centimeters tall, while the robot is only 140 cm and weighs 30 kilograms.
"I felt as if I had a sister sitting next to me," said the model. "But when I was using the remote control, she seemed to be me."
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