Monday, March 30, 2009

More Human Than Human - 2009

Does the year 2019 sound familiar? How about 2029? or 2009? Well, 2019 is from the fabulous movie "Blade Runner" and 2029 is from another great movie "The Terminator". What do they have in common? Well both have Robots that look like us! OK, but 2009? Is there anything that exists like that? Heck yes!

We are definitely getting very close to it. A couple of weeks ago the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), from Japan, introduced the HRP-4C. This 5 foot 2 inches tall robot is a very convincing humanoid looking robot. It is completely self contained with basic speech synthesis and voice recognition. Why is the HRP-4C unique? We all know Japanese fascination with female looking robots and all of them have been a static animated robot unlike the HRP-4C which is able to move around without tethers. Take a look at the video shot and judge for yourself.

Now what will make this technology move forward is what artificial intelligence is used to run these robots effectively, without it they just become a show and tell device without any realistic implementation in our day to day lives.

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