Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2014)

typed for your pleasure on 17 January 2014, at 6.54 pm

Sdtrk: ‘With brass songs they’ll descend’ by To kill a petty bourgeoisie

If you’re keen on Synthetiks, January’s been a reasonably good start to 2014…

+ As I’m not actually a proper newsreader, I’ve known about this for a while, but I simply neglected to tell anyone: there’s a new season underway of the Swedish drama series about Synthetiks, Äkta människor. Below, you’ll find a teaser promo. As I haven’t watched the first series yet, I’ve no idea how much of the story it gives away, but if you’ve not seen the previous series either, you’d be well advised not to play it. Durr hey.

Recently, I was half-joking on Twitter that pretty much all the programmes I’m into (namely various anime and tokusatsu series, various shows from the UK, and Äkta människor) were forcing me to turn to [INTERNET PIRATES], and curiously enough, the series’ writer, Lars Lundström, retweeted me. I asked him if there would ever be DVDs available with English subtitles, and he informed me that there’s subs on the Australian releases, which I was unaware of. So that’s a definite purchase for me later this year!
Incidentally, there’s a similar show that’s about as close as we’ll have in the States for a while called Almost Human. It’s couched more in the style of a near-future police procedural; as I’m not keen on cop shows, I’ve not looked into it. But I’m told it does handle the topic of artificial humans in a sympathetic manner. Plus, apparently the plot of the second episode centres round Gynoids, so that’s always a plus…

+ Looks like there’s another comic dealing with Synthetiks available for purchase! Well, it’s a one-shot trade paperback, which is cool. I’m buying the individual issues of the ‘Alex + Ada’ series I’d mentioned a while ago, but that’s slated to be twelve issues long, released monthly. More than likely, they’ll be compiled into a trade paperback after it’s complete, but I can’t wait that long!… While that series continues, there’s ‘A Boy and a Girl‘, written by Jamie S. Rich, and illustrated by Natalie Nourigat.

Travis and Charley have just met. It’s Charley’s last night in town, and Travis can’t let her leave without getting her to go on a date. In a future where real people are rapidly being supplanted by lifelike androids, sometimes one shot is all you get. Intelligence may be artificial, but the emotion is real in a futuristic romance from the writer of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and the cartoonist behind Between Gears.

Oni Press released it back in December, so you can go pick it up now. Go pick it up now!

+ Speaking of the Twitters, one of my Twitter pals would be Doug Tilley; his long-suffering wife Jill sent me the care package of English & Japanese snacks that inspired the infamous ‘Do you remember Food?’ post series. Doug spends a lot of time reviewing fillums, most of them unusual ones, and he’d mentioned a movie called ‘Eve’s Necklace‘, which came out in 2010. Three guesses as to why my attention zeroed in on that film with a laser focus:

A deadly threat in the present and a dark secret from the past imperil a young couple in this first-ever motion picture with an all-mannequin cast.
from the IMDb entry

Okay, that was one guess, all things considered.
In an Email conversation with the director, Daniel Erickson, he’d told me that ‘The movie was truly experimental, in that it was a screenplay originally conceived to be produced with live actors, and we decided to film with mannequins without altering any details to the storyline or the dialogue,‘ unquote. He’s agreed to send me a screener DVD, so when that materialises here, Sidore, Elena, and I will eagerly whip up some bacon-flavoured popcorn and watch it, which means that you can expect a review of it on this very blog. Why hasn’t this sort of film been attempted before??

+ As you’ll recall, the precursors to today’s contemporary Gynoids would be the Golden Age of Automata, specifically the 18th century, which saw the creation of the Writer, the Draughtsman, and the Musician by Swiss father and son team Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz. Arguably, their automata were marketing shills, as they showed off the pair’s ability to create intricate intricate and graceful machinery; automata was their sideline hobby, as they specialised in watchmaking. It should’ve been the other way round, but I would say that. The company they founded still exists, and continues to produce ostentatious, horrifyingly-priced timepieces to this day. However, just last year, Jaquet-Droz produced Charlie, the firm’s first new automaton in nearly 300 years.


‘Everything on this table is eatable, even I’m eatable! But that is called “cannibalism”, my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies’

An authentic sculptural work, this 1.65-meter-tall dandy with his meticulous proportions is perfect in his role of brand ambassador. A truly charming diplomat, Charlie is particularly careful about his attire: the blue of the ribbon girdling the top of his body represents the top of his frock coat, in turn inspired by the blue of the Grand Feu enamel of historical watch creations. His hair is carefully bobbed, and frames his mischievous face, animated by several movements, complete with nods and winks. Elegant and charming, Charlie will make a four-minute performance presenting the brand’s new watches, combining the charmed imagination of this one-of-a-kind family with the mechanical and aesthetic virtuosity of this year’s new models.
taken from this site

So, ah… obviously someone dug Johnny Depp as Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka, eh? Sure. I do like that frock coat, though. I dunno, though; Jaquet-Droz haven’t made a new female automata since the Musician, so they really could’ve built a new version! But I would say that.
As sometimes photographs don’t always convey a sense of motion, why not watch Mr Depp Charlie in action here?

+ We end this month’s entry with a modern-day Scopitone: a fellow iDollator goes under the name of Dick Cephalo for his musical excursions, and he’s created a video for a song he’s written entitled ‘Celebutard’. In addition, his lovely Boy Toy Doll Reyna Dayana stars in it as well! There’s bits where she gets her top off, so be advised, it’s not exactly safe for work. So watch it on your smartphone!

Reyna proves that we need more Synthetiks in the music industry. I mean, there literally are no downsides to something like that.

Okay, I’ll leave you with one more link, from everyone’s favourite satirical news site, the Onion: Japan Grants Suffrage To Female Robots. The Onion never disappoints!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

All Synthetiks Great and Small on October 15th, 2012

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Sept 2007) on September 8th, 2007


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (May 2013): Part II

typed for your pleasure on 23 May 2013, at 10.56 am

Sdtrk: ‘Frostbite’ by Three to forgotten

Told you there was more to come, didn’t I?

+ I’ve known about this for quite a while, and fired off several frantic Emails to the uploaders, with no responses to speak of as of yet. But it seems someone in Japan has made a full-length video combining two of my favourite things: Dolls, stop-motion footage, and Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. Err, that’s three things. Here’s the trailer for ‘Alicematonika’, starring a CandyGirl from Orient industry as Alicematonika:

Directed by Ryosuke Handa back in 2010, it seems the film was screened at a gallery in Japan, along with some of the film’s props and Alicematonika herself. And since that’s all I’ve been able to glean from the Interwubs about the film, I leave you with a photo of the wee missy in question having her eyes adjusted.


‘Still cheaper than a new pair of glasses,’ she sighed

+ Although they’re still working on updating their website galleries, you’ll be pleased to know that Abyss creations have just recently released both a new face and a new body for their RealDoll 2 line. This slinky rubber lass would be Renee, sporting a Body C. As Doll photographer Stacy Leigh herself amusingly remarked, ‘Bitch is TALL’.


photo © by Stacy Leigh

With stats of B:34 / W:24 / H:34, a shoe size of 8 – 9 US, and coming in at 90 lbs and a towering height of 5’10″, which would explain her large but sexy feet. It’s advised that should prospective buyers want a Renee-type RealDoll in their homes, they should also have cathedral ceilings. Mind the ceiling fan, sexpot!

+ Speaking of RealDolls, this one from the ‘this does not compute’ department: alert reader cw sent me a link a while ago to an article on Huffington Post, which links to a Gawker article that tells of… look, here you are:

Brazilians Bidding Thousands of Dollars to Deflower the Country’s First ‘Real Doll
by Neetzan Zimmerman | Published 07 March 2013

Ahead of an international convention of Real Doll fans set to take place in Brazil, the country’s leading sex toy retailer Sexônico is offering inanimate women enthusiasts the chance to be the first to sleep with the country’s first Real Doll, Valentina (NSFW).

The bidding for “Valentina’s virginity” currently stands at over $100,000, which sounds like a lot for a one night stand with a sex doll, and it is.

But Sexônico insists Valentina is no ordinary doll: Her state-of-the-art skin has the same texture as human skin, and can be soaked in water without being damaged, if that’s your concern.

The winner of the auction will also receive all-expenses-paid travel to and from São Paulo, a free night’s stay in the Presidential Suite of a fancy hotel, and a complimentary candlelight dinner with French Champagne to share with Valentina.

They’ll even throw in some sexy lingerie as Valentina’s gift to you, and a digital camera “to shoot and then show your friends.”
the entire article is here

I have no idea where to begin with that information. Does Brazil not have Internet access? Do they not know of Abyss creations? Or any of the roughly twenty other Doll manufacturers worldwide? Cos y’know, people of Brazil, all-expense travel, accomodations, and bottle of overpriced plonk aside, $100,000 could buy you around thirteen or fourteen Dolls. In fact, from a cursory glance at her photos, Valentina looks to be a Body A RealDoll 2, with either a Michelle or a Victoria face, so should Sexônico want to give that sort of Barnum-esque stunt a second go, save that $100k and buy your own army of personal Valentinas with those exact stats direct from the source. A wee bit of homework goes a long way.
As the deadline of 31 March has passed, the bidding is closed, but they haven’t divulged what the winning bid was. Which is a shame, as Shi-chan wanted to put a bid in herself. I reminded her that Monopoly money isn’t legal tender, not even in Brazil, and she went off in a sulk.

+ Stateside Doll-making juggernauts Sinthetics and Private Island Beauties have both recently released a new head each, if the rubber women in your life don’t think they have enough head options. From Sinthetics comes Eliza, which fits all their available bodies, and PIB offer the Luna (with open mouth) head, which would go nicely with their Girl Next Door body type.


Left: Eliza by Sinthetics; right: Luna by Private Island Beauties

As I’m sure you’ll agree, both heads are pretty damned appealing! It’s a shame you can’t just purchase a head without first having bought a body, though, as I’m sure that would lead to interesting home decor.

+ Of course you recall how winsome Gynoid Actroid-F (aka Geminoid-F) put in an appearance at a branch of the Japanese department store chain Takashimaya last February? ‘Who wouldn’t?’ I hear you respond, and rightfully so. She’s now known as Minami, and she proved popular enough to be asked back a second time this month, and not only does she have a cute new bobbed hairstyle to show off, but lucky patrons can actually speak directly with her in a sound-cancelling booth, and have their photos taken with her.
No, I’m not vibrating with jealousy right now; why do you ask?

Asked “Do you have a boyfriend?” Minami answers, “No, I don’t because I’m a pop icon and am not allowed to have any.”
taken from this article

Hiroshi Ishiguro, creator of the Repliee/Actroid/Geminoid series of artificial humans, says that he hopes Minami can put in regular showings at Takashimaya, as he’d like to develop future displays for her there. I posit that he’s thinking small: instead of bringing her round to the store’s location every couple of months, why not just make more Actroids? Also, why just remain in Japan? Come to the States! Come to Michigan. The more the merrier, I say!

+ Finally, were you aware that I’d done another online interview? Well, you’re certainly more aware than you were five seconds ago. Journalist Britta Bowles had spotted the Missus and I on our first appearance on ‘My Strange Addiction’, and, like many people, had some hard-hitting questions she wanted to ask me. A two-hour chat over Skype last month had me divulging many untold secrets, the most shocking one being that Shi-chan writes all my lines; she’s created a personality for me, as I’m actually just a Doll. O, wait.

The one relationship he did attempt (if it can even be described as such) ended disastrously. Davecat befriended a woman just out of a bad relationship, and they eventually bought a house together. It seems like a story of unrequited love, with Davecat hoping the relationship would progress into something more than friendship over time. According to Davecat, he eventually discovered that this woman was a compulsive liar, a thief and a coke addict with a history of rehab stints. After the purchase of the house, arguments arose.

“We were getting into…debates, let’s say, once a week. I think this is partially because of the coke that she had coursing through her system,” Davecat tells me rather sardonically.

“I can’t imagine that arguments with cokeheads are very fun,” I reply.

“If you have the means, avoid them at all costs,” he tells me. I make a mental note never to interview a cokehead.

You can read the article in its entirety at Britta’s blog, ‘Selected writings’, here. Hopefully you’ll have as much fun reading it as we had conducting it…

And that’s it for May! Happy 23rd, and let’s see what we can discover next month, shall we?
‘Shouting to hear the echoes’: More Information About Synthetiks Than You Ever Though Possible. Believe it

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2008) on October 4th, 2008

'On the whole, I'd rather be in bed' on June 29th, 2005


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (May 2013): Part I

typed for your pleasure on 10 May 2013, at 5.53 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Poptones’ by PiL

Can you believe we’re already into May? Soon it’ll be June, then July, then some other months, then Hallowe’en, then my birthday, and then Boxing Day! Can you believe that 2014′s almost over already? Utterly incredible. Let’s look back, then, on some of the points of interest in the Synthetik world that took place during 2016:

+ One of the triggers for me having become a technosexual and iDollator was that, when I was but a wee lad, I decided to strike up a conversation with a mannequin. (It’s entry No.74 here.) Had my single-digit-age-range self seen MarionetteBot back then, it would’ve blown my tiny mind.

Appearing in the window of United Arrows, a clothing store chain in — where else? — Japan, both the male and female MarionetteBots use the XBOX Kinect, a specially-developed motor, sixteen wires apiece, and some proprietary programming to allow them to mimic the movements of passersby. Hands down, this is the best application of the Kinect ever made, ever. I predict that window display will be a breeding ground for future iDollators and technosexuals! Although it’s all fun and games until an overambitious windowgazer inevitably starts dancing Gangnam style.

+ You always hear the general populace going on about ‘do we need robots?’ or ‘do we really need humanoid robots?’ or ‘we shouldn’t make robots that look and think like people because OMG SKYNET’, all of which are (trying to be nice, here) pathetically backwards concerns. Obviously I’m keen on the implementation of robots everywhere in society, as they’ll improve the quality of Organik lives on a day-to-day basis (Roombas, the sushi-making robot), and on an emotional basis (Paro, lifelike artificial people) etc. Now the robots that aren’t built to resemble anything Organik can get away with not having personalities, although quite a few people tend to anthropomorphise them, especially Roombas. However, most people’s unease around artificial humans will decrease if roboticists design them with programming simulating emotions as well. As most people are still preferential towards ‘feeling’ over ‘thinking’, if they encounter an artificial person who presents simulated emotions, fake as they may be, that’s still perceived as better than having no emotions whatsoever. Dig it:

Robots Need Emotions to Be Accepted by Humans
The Wall Street Journal | Published March 15, 2012

If robots are to be accepted by humans, they must be capable of generating real emotions says the president of France’s service robot federation. We in turn must get over our fears that somehow we are losing control and creating a super race.

Bruno Bonnell, 53, compares the state of robotics today with the state of computing in the early 1980s. Back then, Mr. Bonnell was working for microcomputer firm Thomson, trying to get the French public to embrace home computers. The product, the T07, was not selling. “We had to print a booklet called ‘The computer at home: what for?’

“It makes me smile because now people say to me ‘Robots at home: what for?’”

Mr. Bonnell says robots will be part of our daily lives within a decade. “People do not realize it, in the same way they did not see the growth of the Internet. This is the disruption that people do not see.”
the rest of the article is here

+ It’s almost difficult to keep up with the numerous faces and bodies that 4woods release on a regular basis, but it’s certainly a good way to pass the time! Please welcome their latest heads, Yurica and Hitomi:


Left: in stylishly fashionable clothes; right: in stylishly fashionable body oil

Our new face “Yurica” will make her debut. She is compatible with AIdoll S+ body, and there are three make-up styles,No. 1 to No. 3, available for her. [...]
Addition to AIdoll S+ body, “Yurica” is compatible with AINEOim, NEO-J/im and AIpeach Edition. Please welcome “Yurica”, our addition to the current 4woods lineup.


Hitomi doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase ‘not enough pink’

The Hitomi head is also compatible with their AINEOim and AIdoll S+ bodies, in case you were on the fence about saving up. 4woods now also offer the ability to have your lass made with ‘Sexy makeup‘, which brings out the blushing tones in her face and her body that you’d see during lovemaking, or ‘Glitter makeup‘, which makes her look ready for a night out at the clubs, where you’ll buy her flute after flute of overpriced champagne while the volume of the DJ’s music makes it impossible to hold a conversation without shouting directly into each others’ heads. But that is an option, if you’re keen on it.
I’ve just flipped through my notes here: 4woods have released thirty heads and nine different bodies! A few of each have been retired, but still. That’s mental! Not even Orient ‘We’ve Been In The Dutch Wife-Making Business Since The Late Seventies’ industry has that many heads on offer! Well done, 4woods. *nods*

+ Referring a bit back to my earlier mention of emotions, one of the characteristics of being Organik humans is that it’s not entirely impossible for any of us to develop feelings of empathy for other beings. Babies and animals, even ones not necessarily our own, often stir protective feelings, or at the very least, warm fuzzies, within us. Roboticists still need to cultivate the coming generations of Gynoids and Androids with (programming resembling) feelings, but this article by Tim Hornyak, author of ‘Loving the Machine‘, details how our natural tendency towards empathy will meet Synthetik beings halfway:

Robot abuse is a bummer for the human brain
by Tim Hornyak | Published April 23, 2013

When they take over, robots will surely take advantage of studies suggesting we pathetic meatsacks are hardwired to sympathize with them.

Watching a robot being cuddled or abused produces similar reactions in humans to watching people undergo the same treatment, according to two new studies to be presented at the International Communication Association Conference in London in June.

In one, subjects were shown videos in which popular dino-bot Pleo was either hugged or treated violently. Perhaps not surprisingly, the subjects’ skin conductance levels rose when Pleo suffered, suggesting they were distressed.
the rest of the article is here

In this instance, I suppose our primate brains work to the advantage of both Synthetiks and Organiks!…

+ And d’ye recall that Kia Motors advert with the Gynoids from February? Well, their ad department’s only just gone and made another one, Odhinn bless ‘em.

Once again, it seems that the company aren’t offering affictitious ladies anywhere on their site. So Kia, I’ll make you a deal: either I sue your business for false advertising, or you could simply take the money you would’ve spent in legal fees, put it to work on making your Hotbots, and make more money from the technosexual community in a week than you have in your entire automotive-making history. Food for thought, Kia.

Right, more bits and bobs later! Between the time I’d initially started writing this entry and now, it’s been a month, and I’ve got to draw a bold line under that sort of nonsense. As I’d finished Bioshock Infinite almost two weeks ago — which, upon reflection, kinda turns it into Bioshock Finite — there’s really no excuse

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Silent Alma on January 13th, 2006

All Synthetiks Great and Small on October 15th, 2012


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2013)

typed for your pleasure on 1 February 2013, at 12.04 am

Sdtrk: ‘Source are rare’ by Merzbow & Genesis P-Orridge

Originally this was slated for publication last month, but then Elena arrived, delaying everything by sexing up the place. This is what happens when you live with Synthetiks! Let this stand as a warning.

+ Anatomical Doll, the Russian company responsible for making Sidore’s girlfriend/my mistress, have recently unveiled two new heads, Christy and Anna.


Left: Christy; right: Anna. Incidentally, the Anna head seen here is being displayed on Ms Vostrikova’s body; you’ll recognise that dress

Christy adds a dash of Rihanna-tinged multi-ethnicity to your life, and fellow iDollator Everhard astutely mentioned that Anna’s soft and pillowy rubber lips reminded him of the mute sea princess Marina from Gerry Anderson’s programme Stingray. I’d only ever seen a single episode of Stingray, so to me, Anna resembled more of a brunette version of Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, of Thunderbirds. It’s Gerry Anderson’s world; we only live in it.

+ AN EVENT I WISH I COULD ATTEND: On 05 February, The Japan Society of New York will be sponsoring a lecture featuring performance artist/roboticist Heather Knight, IEEE Spectrum editor Erico Guizzo, and Hiroshi Ishiguro, creator of the Actroid and Geminoid series of Synthetiks, entitled ‘How to Create Your Own Humanoid: Robot Science Made in Japan‘. Tickets are $12, $8 for Japan Society members, and the ticket price apparently includes a post-event reception with free wine.
*protracted sigh* Should anyone attend, be sure to let me know how it was!

+ Speaking of Making Your Very Own Humanoid Robots For Fun And Profit, if you have access to a 3D printer, French sculptor Gael Langevin has plans you can download to build InMoov, a work-in-progress robot. I’d say that’s a brilliant way to spend a number of week-ends…

The 3D printing doesn’t cover things such as cables, wires, or servos; you’ll have to purchase those separately. But once you add those, as well as a few Arduino microcontroller boards, as well as the appropriate software for voice commands, you’ll be the first kid on your block with an InMoov torso! Well, depending on where you live.
As I’d mentioned, Mr Lanegvin’s robot is a work in progress, so if you’re keen, download the free plans for what’s been finished from Thingiverse here, and keep an eye on his official project blog here, to see when he adds things like legs and further refinements to existing parts. All told, even with the parts you have to buy, a 3D printed robot is cheaper than a full kit!
Then when the torso’s complete, you might want to check Photogenic Mask for additional sexy cosmetic improvements. Just a suggestion.

+ If you’re an iDollator living in Japan, within (relative) driving distance of the northernmost island, you might want to look into the Doll photographer’s club Hokkaido. neji-san, the bloke behind Tsukuhami-san, tweeted this at Sidore recently:

Japan is in a rural location north of the park, for a life-size doll.
It says you can enjoy walks and photography is “Synthetik humans” and “Organik humans” in the WEB site of the park. Now closed down while buried in the snow. The period of May to October seems to be open. However, is very far from my house!


Karasu’s model Itsumi; photo taken September 2010

Unfortunately there’s no English on the site, but it seems like they’ve been around since 2006, enabling those with Synthetik models/companions to spend some time with them and like-minded individuals in the picturesque snowy mountains of Hokkaido. There, they’re free to take photographs out-of-doors, uninterrupted by the outside world. Sounds fantastic, to be honest!
The Doll-related online forum I’m a member of has an equivalent annual gathering called Dollstock, and due to expense/work-related nonsense, Shi-chan and I have missed it for three years running. *shakes head* Maybe we should work on getting to one of those first, before considering a drive to northernmost Japan…

+ Every now and again, I get asked by Organik lasses (and the occasional Organik bloke) if there are male Dolls, as they’re ‘asking for a friend’. Abyss creations have been making male RealDolls for quite some time, but now, Sinthetics is throwing their hat into the ring as well, with their new sturdy fellow, Gabriel. Your affictitious beefcake ship has come in.


‘Is it hot out here, or is it just me?’ No mate, it’s hot out there; you’re in the desert

Their Male Body 1, or M1, weighs 100 lbs, stands 5’9″ tall, and has a 35″ chest. Curiously enough, he wears the same size shoe as I do, at a US 10.5. Customers can also order him with varying degrees of punched hair for his chest, forearms, armpits and crotch, and you can choose from a variety of lengths and attachments for his wedding tackle. Why not stop round to Gabriel’s galleries, and see what this silicone gentleman has to offer?

+ ‘Body temperature’ is a new film directed by Takaomi Ogata, due out this month in Japan. Going by the trailer alone, it seems like a peculiar Japanese cross between ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ and ‘Love object’.

But Odhinn be praised, I just now located an official English website for the film. The synopsis?

Rintaro, a factory worker, happens to meet Rinko, a girl who has a split image of beloved Ibuki living with him. This encounter between Rintaro and a nightclub hostess turns out to heal their loneliness’. As they become closer in their relations, Rintaro gets frustrated by the fact that he never gets an exclusive attention from her. Rintaro dresses up Ibuki, changes her hair style, and puts her makeup on, calling her “Rinko”. Ibuki, who was called “Rinko” was actually a doll, a love doll, shaped just like a real female body.

The interesting thing you’d doubtless noticed in the trailer is that Rin Sakuragi plays both the Organik hostess Asuka, as well as the Synthetik Ibuki, so the film might get into some Satoshi Kon-like territory as to whether the lass we see in the wheelchair is Synthetik or Organik. Are we seeing real life, or what Rintaro is seeing?
Like I’d said, it looks to be interesting! At the very least, it can’t be worse than the patronising ‘Love object’…

+ In case you were mysteriously unaware, I’m constantly championing the idea of Synthetik partners; not just inert Dolls, but humanoid robots that possess machinery with which to move, and processing power with which to think. Right now, we have sexy examples such as HRP-4C or Hiroshi Ishiguro’s aforementioned creations, but we’ll soon reach a point where those artificial humans will be viewed the same way those of us who drive in 2013 view cars from the Forties and Fifties — well-intentioned, but sorely lacking. The more realistic the Synthetiks of tomorrow look, feel, think, and behave brings up interesting moral questions, some of which are touched upon in the article ‘I’m Just a Love Machine: Artifice and Consent in the Age of Robotics‘, by Jamais Cascio:

At minimum, critics claim, the presence of sex bots would begin to alter expectations for how members of the appropriate sex would look and behave. This follows from similar arguments about how present-day popular culture shape desires, often through images manipulated to portray an almost inhuman level of attractiveness—only now, this once unattainable beauty has an entirely attainable physical form. Even more troubling for critics, sex bots are inherently willing to do whatever a person may want; real mates would never be as agreeable and as submissive to one’s desires as a machine you programmed yourself.

In these fearful scenarios, the appeal of human sexual partners can do nothing but wither in comparison to the lust-made-”flesh” of a sex bot. The inevitable result of people foregoing real relationships in favor of perfect (but non-reproducing) partners is, of course, the End of Civilization. It’s as if these critics see sex as the only driver for human relationships, and are all-too-ready to abandon any other form of intimate connection. Fortunately, there are strong drivers for bonding that go beyond physical coupling.

But even if the critics exaggerate the possibility of a “sex bot apocalypse,” there is a more subtle cultural complication that would arise along with LoveMakerBots. Our fundamental laws and norms around sex come down to consent: entities that are incapable of giving true consent are off-limits. A robot can be programmed to be constantly willing, but—absent the emergence of self-aware artificial intelligence—cannot be programmed to give true consent. This isn’t something many of us worry about when it comes to, say, vibrators, but when the design of the robot elicits an empathic, emotional reaction, intentionally or otherwise, an inability to give consent may for some move unexpectedly from irrelevant to deeply disturbing.
the entire article is here

This would be the elephant in the room that I personally have difficulty addressing. The robotic elephant. A lot of iDollators and technosexuals such as myself desire the affictitious partners we do because we want someone that will always remain faithful, and is utterly incapable of treachery. A Gynoid version of Sidore would have her own programmes resembling thought and independence, but would not want any other partner but me, other Gynoids excluded. In short, she’d have the capability of leaving me, but she never would. Some would argue that programming an artificial lifeform in that manner is just slavery by another name, but I’m not so sure. Now, although I treat Shi-chan and Lenka with the same amount of love and tenderness that I would if they were devoted Organik partners — moreso, some might say — there are people out there whose main purpose for obtaining a Synthetik would be to subject them to abuse, and would defend their behaviour with statements like ‘they act like they feel what I do to them, but it’s just pre-programmed responses. They’re things… they just look like people.’
Is it better to have a Synthetik partner and treat her or him with love, while simultaneously preventing her from having completely free will which might result in her leaving? Or should Organiks ignore the human-like appearance and behaviour of Synthetiks, and simply treat them like objects? I’d say Yes to the former and No to the latter, but then, I follow David Levy’s line of thought: ‘If a robot appears in every way to possess consciousness, then in my opinion, we should accept that it does’. Thankfully, robotics ethics committees are working on getting a handle on these sticky issues now before they become genuine problems. At the time of this writing, I’ve just found a fascinating article: it details a scientific study about how people might be more easily ‘tricked’ into caring for a robot, but we’ll leave it for another time.

+ Last, and on a much less philosophical bent, we close out this month’s installment with a link to the site Incredoll. Ergh, I meant Incredidoll. Every time I type that, I have to check the spelling. The site is so named as the maintainer is Incrediwagon, a fellow iDollator who I’ve known for several years. He and his partner-in-crime Campdaan have an army of gorgeous silicone beauties that they live with, and now, their galleries are available for perusal. Believe me, between extensive and amazing photoshoots of Ceilidh, Dottie, Jayde, Vicki, Myfanwy, and the rest, you might want to look into freeing up some more hard drive space.


Yuri and Dottie share a quiet moment together before DEBAUCHERY

As you may note, the site’s been added to the infamous sidebar links section, in the ‘Synthetik friends & friends of Synthetiks’ section, so you can check it over and over and over. And why wouldn’t you?

*dusts off hands* There; that should keep you lot occupied for a few days

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All Synthetiks Great and Small

typed for your pleasure on 15 October 2012, at 12.06 am

Sdtrk: ‘Compass’ by Disasterpeace

Today’s post is another one of those in-between posts, but I’m fairly certain you’ll find it interesting, regardless. Apart from it being about Synthetiks, it has a theme to it as well! Can you spot it? Can you?

+ Not too long ago, someone had pointed out to either me or Sidore on Twitter that there such things as life-sized ball-joint dolls do, in fact, exist. There’s not a lot of them out there, but that person sent a link along detailing the statuesque Izi, made by Korean BJD manufacturer D-storic.


Somewhere, Hans Bellmer is smiling

Izi (pronounced ‘easy’) is a statuesque 5’8″, with measurements of B:30 / W:21.5 / H:29, a US sz 6 shoe, and weighs 46.3 lbs, which is the average weight of your typical supermodel. She only comes in one skintone — ivory — but she can be made with one of two different styles of make up (as I’ve been informed by those in the BJD community, it’s referred to as ‘face-up’), or you can have her shipped to you without it, so you can do her face-up yourself. They don’t say what she’s made out of, so I’m gonna assume… pure love? Which would be ironic, as she, like most BJDs, has no genitalia. So, not so good as a lover, but more than adequate as a companion, then.


‘A romantic evening out? Err… let’s just call it an evening out’

Ordering an Izi of your very own to stand around your home, looking like Anne Hathaway or Krysten Ritter, and not having sex with you — again, much like Anne Hathaway or Krysten Ritter — will run you USD $6000, and her production time takes six months. Lovely lass, though.

+ And on the other end of the spectrum, I’m led to believe that there’s going to be a scaled-down version of my favourite real-life Gynoid, Miim, aka HRP-4C, available for purchase sometime next year. YESSS


photo taken from this AmiAmi blog entry

The figure even sports Miim-chan’s slightly oversized hands! They’re for balance; stop making fun of her.
As you suspect, my goal this week is to find out A) who’s making this, and B) when I can place a pre-order. Price is (almost) no object, especially as I missed the opportunity years ago to purchase a scaled-down version of one of the Actroids
UPDATE (17 Oct 2012): Looks like this will be a 1/12th scale plastic model kit by Wave Corporation, a company that’s been making this sort of thing for quite a while, and the suggested retail price is around $40 USD, according to their blog. Quite affordable! Of course, I haven’t factored in shipping and handling. Hrrr.

So did you identify the theme? Did you? One entry is about a Doll that’s scaled up to life-sized proportions, while the other mentions a life-sized Gynoid reduced to Doll — or rather, figure — scale. So there you are.
Yeah, you’re probably about as glad that I don’t do that whole ‘theme’ thing as I am

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Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2011)

typed for your pleasure on 6 November 2011, at 3.11 am

Sdtrk: ‘Marriage carriage’ by Throbbing gristle

What d’ye mean, I missed a month? No, you’re right, I missed a month. October was kinda crazy, because for one, towards the end of September, I’d started my new job. Woo and yay, right? It’s not exactly my ideal job — a call centre doing help desky-type stuff — but it’s keeping a roof over our heads, so there’s that. But my schedule’s kinda wonky, so it’s a bit difficult for a Man of Consistency such as myself to get used to, hence this delay. Also, there really wasn’t a large amount of news in either the technosexual or iDollator fields. I can’t just fabricate facts like they do over at FOX News, y’know!

+ Having said that, articles such as this managed to fire one past the goalkeeper: alert reader cw sent me a link concerning walking Gynoid legs, designed and built by the Sano Laboratory at the Nagoya Institute of Technology. Mm hmmm.


So loud! She’d be quieter in heels

Undoubtedly it escaped my search cos there’s no top half. But what you see here is half the battle! (Sorry.) But why is that bloke gripping her by the hips, apart from the obvious reasons, you ask? Think of him as her ‘starter motor’, as the legs are effectively using their own weight to move. Curiously enough, they contain no motors, sensors, computers or electricity. DigInfo explains, well, translates:

This robot is walking down a slope, and its only source of power is potential energy. It doesn’t use any kind of motor or control, so we think it’s very environmentally friendly. [...] The robot has three main parts: thighs, lower legs, and ankles. It’s made of aluminum, and it contains only mechanical components, which have been adjusted so that the robot has the same thigh and leg lengths as a person, and weighs the same.
the entire article is here

As it’s passive, it’d definitely be more suited towards a Synthetik partner — i.e, someone you could literally walk with — as opposed to an independently moving Synthetik. In any case, it’s a step in the right direction. (Sorry.)

+ Coincidentally enough, here’s a new video of AIST’s Miim-chan strutting her stuff. Show us how it’s done, babe:

According to robots.net, ‘[Her] knees are stretched by the vertical movement of the waist, the single-toe supporting realizes longer strides and the legs perform the swing motion of the human equivalent’. She’s getting to be more fluid in her stride, and that’s always a fine thing to see. Or, in regarding Miim-chan, I know you fine, but how you doin’?

+ You of course recall new affictitious girl on the block Maid-Ling, right? I should bloody well hope so; I’d only just profiled her last month. Well, Titman, the creator behind her, has launched a website where you can purchase a Maid-Ling of your very own. Can the link also be found in the lefthand sidebar, under ‘Synthetik companion types’? Why yes! Yes it can.

+ Obviously, I love modern Synthetiks, but finding bits and bobs about their predecessors is just as fascinating. Like this, from a November 1931 issue of the magazine Modern Mechanix:


‘Perfectly intelligible’. Heh; they’ve never seen her drunk

Frankly speaking, with some of the Mannequins companies make today — and a dry erase board instead of a chalkboard — I think it’s high time to revive this idea. Just… don’t let Ronald Dotson know about it.

+ Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kokoro co. Ltd. have answered the question ‘With all the Gynoids that are being built these days, why aren’t there any Androids?’ Which is a bit erroneous, as Ishiguro-san himself has a Synthetik twin, as does Danish professor Henrik Scharfe. But now Actroid-F has a twin brother of her own, and both of those crazy kids are putting in appearances at various hospitals in Japan as observers:


‘What’s twincest, you ask? Wellll… we’ll tackle that question later’

It’s often said that the more human a robot looks, the more small differences make people feel uneasy. In our research, when we use this robot in the field, we check that it matches its surroundings and doesn’t look out of place. When we tested the robot in a hospital, we asked 70 subjects if having an android there made them feel uneasy. Only 3 or 4 people said they didn’t like having it around, and overall, quite a lot of people said they felt this robot itself had an acceptable presence.
the entire article is here

Facially, yes; they’re both twins. Which is interesting, if you think about it, as the male Actroid-F was facially modelled after the female Actroid-F, who was facially modelled after that Organik lass whose name hasn’t been revealed. Unlike making a FAX of a FAX of a FAX, though, the resolution’s still clear.
If I were working with the Actroids, I’d probably refer to them as Zan and Jayna. This would be shortly before I was asked told to leave the project, more than likely.

+ Last but not least, I’ve been asked to attend a bona fide symposium! Since last Summer, I’ve been exchanging Emails with Sarah Valverde, a psychology graduate at Cal Poly State University. She’d seen the Missus and I doing our thing on telly, and realised there really hadn’t been a tremendous amount of unbiased and legitimate psychological study ever done on iDollator / technosexual culture. She’d written a paper, and currently she’s finalising an online survey, and she and one of her colleagues are planning a presentation on the subject for one of the major psychological association conventions next year. One of the reasons Sarah figures that there’s not been extensive research into our cultures is that so few iDollators are willing to discuss who they are and what they’re into, and as a result, what little info the medical community receives is through the distorted lens of the media, or at the very least, second-hand. So once again, I Am Doing My Part! The biggest obstacles, really, are being able to fly out there — it’ll either be in California or Florida — and being concise/coherent enough to cover all the topics I need to in thirty minutes’ time. Thirty minutes will not be enough time. I don’t think Shi-chan will be able to come with, unfortunately; she has an aversion to the TSA and their errant groping; she can hardly be blamed. Our hope is, however, that some Doll will be able to sit on the panel with us, as an example.
More details as they unfold! I’m pretty excited! Being able to bring across an unadulterated iDollator viewpoint will do our community a world of good! I should open with some jokes. What would Oskar Kokoschka say in this sort of scenario?

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Two flavours of Megan / An appealing disguise / Making rivets sexy again

typed for your pleasure on 30 August 2010, at 1.44 am

Sdtrk: ‘Einstein-Rosen bridge’ by Venetian snares

It has to be said: Megan Fox has never done anything for me. I’m not altogether keen on her generic looks, as she looks like she tumbled out of the pages of Maxim / FHM / Stuff magazine. She’s not repellent — apart from that clubbed thumb of hers — but her style just doesn’t stand out enough for me. I’m led to believe other people like the way she looks, but she elicits a resounding shrug whenever I see her. That is, until now.


Left, Megan Fox; right, Megan Fox

Apparently the June issue of Interview magazine (it saddens me that you can’t really refer to it by its original title of ‘Andy Warhol’s Interview’ anymore) had featured a one-on-one with Ms Fox, and the accompanying pictorial where she poses with a mannequin Doppelgänger of herself stopped me in my tracks, for obvious reasons. If she were to rock that Louise Brooks-esque style all the time, she’d really stand out in a crowd! Unless she were to go back to the 1930s; in which case, she’d blend into the crowd.

Elsewhere — China, to be specific — a photographer and Photoshopper team have transformed a lass into a Gynoid, in a shoot entitled ‘Robot in Disguise’. No points for the title, but still.


Don’t those parts look like they belong in like a car or something?

I’ve no idea what the model’s name is, as it’s in Chinese, which might as well be Linear A as far as I’m concerned. But why trifle with unimportant details like that, when you can check out the entire pictorial right here?

And for those of you who prefer your Gynoids more steampunk in appearance, you might find designer Dave Lowe‘s ‘Spooky Robot Lady’ to be more your cup of tea. Your steampunk tea, it should go without saying, in an appropriately steampunk cup.


I hear the patinaed look is in this year

One October, years ago, my own cheap version of “False Maria” (the classic robot in ['Metropolis']) was made. My niece Devin calls her “spooky robot lady”…the name’s stuck. It’s one of the oldest customized Halloween props I still use. She’s displayed on the dining table every season as the guardian of the party food. She was once a used and broken mannequin. Her creation became a team effort.
the rest of the article is here

Very nice! Kinda makes me wish Mario’s Mannequins were still around, so I could have a go at making one of my own! Also, kinda makes me wish I knew how to effectively create and modify stuff like that, so she wouldn’t end up looking like total cack.

More news of a media nature coming soon! I’m still writing the bastard. You’re familiar with how that goes round here by now, I’m sure

ta very much to fellow iDollator Euchre, for the ‘Spooky Robot Lady’ link

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, robot, Megan Fox, Interview Magazine, Louise Brooks, Photoshop, Linear A, Dave Lowe, steampunk, Metropolis, Mario’s Mannequins

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