When it comes to the world of robots, making them look lifelike is one thing, but mimicking the movement as well as nuances of an ordinary human is even more challenging, not to mention when it starts to speak. Well, the Japanese have a long and rich history when it comes to robots, and their latest robot guides in a Tokyo museum is so lifelike, they seem to have been able to fool some folks into thinking that they are actually an actual human – entering the uncanny valley along the way.
According to Japanese robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, who happens to be an Osaka University professor, these robots do come in handy when performing a research on how ordinary folk interact with robots, as well as the what makes a human different from the combination of just nuts and bolts.
A demonstration of these robots saw them move their pink lips in a synchronized manner to that of a voice-over, not to mention twitching their eyebrows in the process, in addition to blinking their eyes while swaying their heads from one side to another. Despite remaining seated, they are still able to move their heads.
One of the robots is known as Kodomoroid, and it managed to read the news without making a single mistake, apart from reciting complex tongue-twisters smoothly. It also boasts of the ability to use a range of voices, ranging from a surprising deep male voice from one minute to that of a squeaky girly voice in the next.