The Robot People are Here!

Here Come the Robot People : ANDROIDS!

Robot People? Derived from the Greek word ‘ανδρ’ for man and the suffix ‘-oid,’ which means ‘having the form or likeness of,’ androids are robots designed to look and act like humans.

Although the idea of a truly human-looking and acting machine sounds absolutely futuristic, some of the earliest science fiction writers had exactly this concept in mind when they first started writing stories about these moving machines, including Karel Čapek, who first coined the word robot in his 1921 play. Indeed, one of man’s greatest and oldest dreams is to build the perfect android, perfect robot people.

There are obviously two directions a robot maker can take in his career: trying to create very realistic robot people / humanoid robots that move and possess all the physical attributes of a person, or robots that are made to perform specific functions, usually for medical, household or military tasks. 

Read more about Robot People: Robot Betty9!

Robot People are the Future!

The latter goal is quite sensible, as who would not want a neat little machine zipping around the house, beaming wi-fi signals and cleaning up after you? But exchange the innocuous looking Roomba, for example, with a life-sized, perfectly proportioned android who can communicate and move exactly like a human but is in fact, not human, and things may begin to seem a little too unsettling. Robot people can be a little unsettling.

Android - Humanoid Robot Arms

The overall emotional distaste felt by humans looking at humanoid robots is famously described as the ‘uncanny valley.’ Coined by roboticist Masahiro Mori, the uncanny valley is the chasm representing the exact point at which a person observing an object or creature sees something nearly human that it almost arouses empathy, but also something not quite enough human, so that the resulting effect is eerie and disquieting. This subtle imperfection supposedly causes people's feelings toward humanoid robots to change rapidly from affection to revulsion, canceling out any possibility of real human-robot interaction.

Click HERE to read about the UNCANNY VALLEY

Assuming that this is true, or at least partly true, why then are robotics companies still compelled to churn out robots that are more and more life-like, more and more human? What are these robot people doing?

Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in Japan is clear with their mission. They state that “the purpose of a robot is to exist as a partner and to have valuable interactions with people.”

They say that their objective is to “develop technologies for the new generation information infrastructures based on Computer Vision, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.” Notably, they also say that one of their roles is to “verify the existence of the uncanny valley and to explore how to overcome the uncanny valley problem with androids.”

As of now, their laboratory has created extremely realistic and advanced humanoid child and adult androids, as well as geminoids, which are real-person based androids that appear and behave just like their source persons. To make their androids as human-like as possible, the laboratory uses electrical motors for their actuators, containing nine Degrees of Freedom (DoF) in the head and one at the left elbow.

The place four high-sensitivity tactile sensors made from piezo film under the skin of their androids’ arms to detect touch strength and cover the entire body with silicon skin. Their androids are shaped from the molds of real people, and the skin is painted to approximate human flesh.

Georgia Tech’s Socially Intelligent Machines Laboratory, on the other hand, built Simon to study Human-Robot Interaction, such as imitation learning and human-robot cooperation, since they believe that robots cannot be programmed to do everything before entering the real world.

Their laboratory states that robots must be able to learn new tasks as they encounter them to be able to function in inherently social and dynamic human environments. They say that their research is about “breaking down barriers like these that keep robots from functioning in everyday human environments.”

Hanson Robotics, makers of Albert Einstein Hubo and other highly realistic humanoid robots, states that their robots “fulfill the psychological need for face-to-face communication, with applications for the family, therapy, research, education, and medicine.”

Specifically, their robots have been used for an extensive range of science and engineering research, including autism therapy, artificial intelligence, machine perception, neuroscience and cognitive science and mechanical engineering. Their laboratory has even patented a kind of “spongy, structured elastic polymer called Frubber, which expertly mimics the movement of real human musculature and skin using 1/20th the power of other materials used for other robots.

Some companies, like Yobotics, a brainchild of four graduates of the M.I.T. Leg Laboratory, a subsidiary of the M.I.T.’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, concentrate only on building specific parts that mimic the human body. Yobotics, for instance, specialize in legged robots and powered leg orthotics that fill the needs of various legged robot markets. There are independent robot builders, too, like Dan Mathias, who claims to have built the first full-sized and self-contained humanoid robot in the United States, ATOM.

Click HERE to read about singing Robot Betty9.

 

One company, Robots Androids and More! on eBay has created a singing android (sometimes called an "actroid") named "Robot Betty9". Robot Betty9 in addition to singing has AI and not just tell jokes, but can do stand up comedy. When she is not entertaining, she rolls around on her very own power roller skates.

In all, there seems to be a prevailing belief among robotics companies that humanoids or androids are the ideal robot design to interact with people, and that these androids are unique research tools, helping researchers understand the complexity of the human brain and body, especially in fields such as cognitive science. Or maybe they, too, like many science fiction writers and artists, simply dream of one day seeing the perfect android - the perfect robot people moving among imperfect humans.

Want your OWN robot look-alike? The Robots Androids and More! on eBay are promising to create androids and gynoids in YOUR image. These doppelgangers are advertised to look exactly like you, talk like you, and even sing like you. They don't walk, but they might just be a great stand in for you at your next boring dinner event.

 

Robots and Androids and More Ebay Store

 



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. Robot Comics 005

    Oct 06, 14 03:05 AM

    Robot Comics 005

    Read More

  2. Robot Comics 006

    Oct 06, 14 03:03 AM

    Robot Comics 005

    Read More

  3. Robot Expo 2014

    Sep 23, 14 04:14 PM

    Robot Expo 2014 is held in Riverside California and is the biggest...

    Read More

Robot-Android-Blog  Read our blog about robots, building robots, and easy robot building.

How to Build a Robot How to Build a Robot takes you through each step required to build a robot.

Build an Arduino Robot Yes you CAN! We get you started.

Solidoodle Review Solidoodle Review is a review of the Solidoodle 3D printer used for rapid prototyping. We review the installation, features, and use of the product.

Robot Comics Robot Comics are HERE! We start off our comics with...

Virtual Steve Jobs Virtual Steve Jobs? Steve Jobs is gone and we missed him so much we re-created his essence in software...

The EZ Robot Review The EZ Robot Review. This article reviews the EZ Robot building system, the robot board and system for beginner's robot building.

Medical Robots Medical robots are now showing their silver faces in hospitals and doctors' offices across the world.

Roomba Repair Quick and Simple Fixes for Your iRobot Roomba vacuum

Roomba Batteries How to extend the life of your Roomba's battery. Buy replacement batteries here.

Robot Cars - Yesterday’s Vision, Today’s Reality Are robot cars 'on track' to becoming the way of the future? What issues are at stake at their current level of development?

Robot Car Safety - The Future of Today’s Vehicles

Robot Car Safety can be identified by two main technological components - lacking in human drivers -a (1) instant reaction time and (2) 360-degree awareness of the road.

Educational Robots Learn robotics with these educational robots..

Robot People Robotic replicas of people - robot people - are starting to pop up here and there. We even visit a company who is today making them to order.

Hacking Elvis - The Alive Elvis Animatronic Robot In these articles we show you how to run your Alive Elvis from a microcontroller such as the Arduino and the Basic Stamp. Hacking Elvis...

Wall-e toy robots from Disney Wall-e toy robots are still popular this year

R2D2 Toy Robot : Interactive-Astromech Droid Here's a review of the high-end R2D2 toy robot, the interactive astromech droid.

Toy Robot Dogs Toy Robot dogs: In the robot pet store, you will find toy robot dogs - robomuts if you will - of all sizes, shapes and prices.

Wowwee Robotics Wowwee Robotics has been building toy robots for years.

Lost in Space Toys : The Robot Lost in Space Toys : There have been scores of toys built resembling the Lost in Space Robot, sometimes call by his model number "B9"...

Tribot Robot The tribot robot is one of the most entertaining toy robots that has come from Wowwee...

Terminator Robots Terminator Robots : The Terminator movies and television show brought robots to...

Artificial Intelligence: Our Brain In That Small Chip Artificial Intelligence was once thought of as an impossible feat. Now, with modern advancements in robotic technology, machines can be made to think like humans.

R2D2 - An Adventurous, Resourceful, and Loyal Robot R2D2 demonstrates several notable characteristics every human can learn from, in spite of the fact that he is, a robot. Read his biography here.

Anybots Vistual Assistant Robots - The Coming of Age in Telepresence Robotics Anybots Virtual Assistant Robots are expected to grow in a few years, or perhaps sooner.

BlueBiped: Propelled by it's Own Weight BlueBiped uses no power source to walk. This robot has set a Guinness World Record, walking nonstop for a distance of 15 km (9.32 miles), the longest distance ever walked by a bipedal robot

EZ-Robot May Be the Easiest Way to Build a Robot EZ-Robot May Be the Easiest Way to Build a Robot. The EZ-Robot is a $235 kit that includes everything you need to transform one of your old toys into a functional robot.

Introducing MorpHex, a Spherical Hexapod Robot Introducing MorpHex, a Spherical Hexapod Robot. Imagine a robot shaped like a ball which transforms into a walking six-legged contraption. That’s a description of MorpHex, created by Kare Halvorsen.

Recovering Kids Monitored by Robots After Surgery Recovering Kids Monitored by Robots After Surgery. A Boston, Mass. hospital introduces a sci-fi worthy caregiver system, where patients can go home and stay monitored by robots after surgery.

iCub the "Baby Robot" - Learns to Crawl Like a Baby Have you heard of the iCub? It is a one-meter high android originally developed by the Europe-based RobotCub Consortium. The iCub strongly resembles

Dongbu Robot HOVIS Kits Allow Users to Build An Android Phone Powered Robot Dongbu Robot HOVIS Kits Allow Users to Build An Android Phone Powered Robot

Build an Arduino Robot!

Get the ebook.

Only $.99!