Kodomoroid is an android that was created in Japan and is able to read the news, speak multiple languages, recite tongue twisters, and interact with people. A team of Japanese scientists unveiled two female robots on Tuesday, and the robots looked so lifelike, it was creepy.
One robot was designed to be a “child” robot. The scientists thought that anyone would feel comfortable talking and interacting with a child. However, this robot can switch its voice from childlike and girlish at one moment, into a deep male voice the next. The speech is imputed by text, giving the robot perfect articulation.
There was also another female robot, designed to be a “woman” and a cuddly companion for the child robot. The woman robot is called Otonaroid and Teleniod, and is basically just a mannequin head with arms.
Both robots are very realistic looking, with silicone skin and even artificial muscles.The robots are programmed to make jokes and even have ambitions. One robot claimed that it dreamed of having a television show. During the demonstration, the robots fidgeted, moved their heads from side to side, twitched their eyebrows, and blinked. Both robots have to stay seated, but are able to move their hands and gesture.
The demonstration of the female robots was not without glitches. Sometimes the robots spoke, but their lips did not move. Once, a robot remained silent and ignored a question it was asked. However, because the robots have delicate gadgetry, they are sensitive to their environment, and glitches are common.
So what was the purpose of the Japanese scientist when creating creepy lifelike female robots? Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University and a Japanese robotics expert, was at the demonstration and spoke with reporters. Ishiguro has over 20 years of experience in creating robots that have an eerie human appearance. Ishiguro has also made robots that resemble him.
Ishiguro says that he wishes to study how humans interact with robots and what makes a machine different from a human. Ishiguro claims that making robots really explores what it means to be human, to have awareness, emotions, and cognitive functions.
Some scientists think the appearance of the robots is pointless. However, Ishiguro disagrees, and believes that making robots that resemble humans is important for how humans interact with them. Ishiguro says that robots are going to become as common as owning a laptop, because they are becoming so affordable.
Japanese scientists have created the robot to be a social partner to humans. Ishiguro claims that by combining humanity with technology, the robots are projecting the human soul. Ishiguro says that it is only a matter of belief, and everything is subjective to the human brain. Ishiguro goes on to explain that in Japanese culture they believe that everything has a soul, not only humans.
Japanese scientists will put the two creepy female robots they created on display at Miraikan museum or the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation starting Wednesday. The public will be able to interact with them extensively and decide for themselves if the robots indeed have souls.
By Sara Petersen