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

typed for your pleasure on 26 March 2011, at 1.53 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Destination’ by John Foxx and the Maths

For some reason, it feels like I’m a month behind on these. For the sake of argument, I’ll simply blame daylight saving time, as it’s a rubbish practise 50% of the time, anyway. It’s either Happy You’ve Lost An Hour Day!, or it’s ‘Well, ordinarily I’d be getting off work about now, but hey! Looks like I’ll be here for another hour.’ Not that either situation has ever happened to me, o no. *thins lips*

+ According to the website Plastic Pals, a Korean robotics company by the name of SoluBoT debuted their recent winsome Gynoid, Ari-1, at the Industrial Automation Show 2011 Automation World that took place this month. She’s a keeper!


Is it me, or does she resemble a Boy Toy Doll?

SoluBoT worked previously with KiTECH to help them develop Korea’s other famous series of Gynoids, EveR-1 and EveR-2 Muse. Good to see Ari-1 clad in Korea’s national dress, the hanbok, but something more revealing would be obviously better (see ‘Boy Toy Doll’ reference above). Plastic Pals goes on to say that she was developed back in 2006, and was designed primarily to study human-robot interaction. Ari-1 is the right way to study that sort of thing! She’s speaking with you for Science.
AVING has an article which details more about her, but the page is in Korean, so you can look at it here if you like, but if you can make proper sense of it, you need to let me know what was written, as details on Ari-1 in English are few and far between. Okay? Okay!
UPDATE (25 April 2011): Alert reader Paul Cobb has stepped up to the plate, and translated the aforementioned news, which you can read in his comment here. Thanks very much, sir!

+ In last month’s installment, you might well recall the latest head from Vladivostok’s Anatomical Doll, Eco. Like you, I wondered, what could be the story behind that name? Was it a sly reference to overly-intricate postmodern author Umberto Eco? Or was Oleg possibly paying homage to his favourite game for the Sega Genesis, Ecco the Dolphin? No, it’s more interesting than that, as he wrote to me:

This year I start to build the non-polluting house for the family in a reserved wood, is very far from all cities.

My house will be non-polluting, completely independent, receiving energy from the sun.

Keen on this new idea, I have named a new head – “Eco”

More straightforward than you thought, eh? Personally, as I’ve always been a firm believer in names for homes, I think he should call his new home ‘Eco House’.

+ Speaking, as we were, of human-robot interaction, fellow iDollator JM of Synthetically Yours sent me this interesting (‘interesting’ in the Davecat definition of ‘not necessarily completely good or completely bad’) link: How Do People Respond to Being Touched by a Robot?

For people, being touched can initiate many different reactions from comfort to discomfort, from intimacy to aggression. But how might people react if they were touched by a robot? Would they recoil, or would they take it in stride? In an initial study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found people generally had a positive response toward being touched by a robotic nurse, but that their perception of the robot’s intent made a significant difference. The research is being presented today at the Human-Robot Interaction conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“What we found was that how people perceived the intent of the robot was really important to how they responded. So, even though the robot touched people in the same way, if people thought the robot was doing that to clean them, versus doing that to comfort them, it made a significant difference in the way they responded and whether they found that contact favorable or not,” said Charlie Kemp, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

In the study, researchers looked at how people responded when a robotic nurse, known as Cody, touched and wiped a person’s forearm. Although Cody touched the subjects in exactly the same way, they reacted more positively when they believed Cody intended to clean their arm versus when they believed Cody intended to comfort them.
the complete article is here

For one, I used to love ‘Touched By A Robot’. That was a genuinely heartwarming show. Roma Downey as a Gynoid, travelling from city to city, touching people. Sometimes she would hug them, or place a reassuring hand on their shoulder, or simply headbutt them. One pivotal episode had Roma poking someone with a stick. The townspeople were left wondering if being poked with a stick was the same thing as being touched. It was very pivotal. In fact, it pivoted!
Originally, I would’ve simply chalked up a lot of the negative reactions to people not being used to machines behaving like humans, but the article went on to say that similar studies had been conducted with Organik nurses, with much the same result: ‘In general, if people interpreted the touch of the nurse as being instrumental, as being important to the task, then people were OK with it. But if people interpreted the touch as being to provide comfort… people were not so comfortable with that.’ I would say that perhaps one of the focusses should then be employing Synthetiks in more of a non-physical context, like counselors, for example, but artificial intelligence isn’t complex enough yet to handle the labyrinthine pathways of the Organik mind. Hrrm.
Perhaps a study on the reactions of Organiks when Synthetiks physically interact with them in a situation outside of a hospital would be something worth doing. And I don’t mean in the typical context of sex; perhaps massage therapy instead? I’d initially thought of sports, but robotic capability isn’t at that level yet, either. But massage takes advantage of the fact that a masseuse doesn’t move around a tremendous amount, and it’s based on tactile sensation without it being either medically- or sexually-related. Sensual maybe, but not sexual. When a person’s in hospital, they tend to be more tetchy than usual, as they’re dependent on the care of others, and they’re in a very vulnerable state of mind. With a massage session, people look forward to the relaxation that physical contact can bring them; it’s a completely different environment. I think I’m on to something here. I should apply for a grant, as this is a study that seriously should be conducted… This is gold, Jerry! GOLD!

+ As Private island Beauties is a Doll-making company that everyone knows about but works on quieter level, this information nearly evaded my sensors: they’ve created two new heads and a brand-new body recently. For years, their mainstay body was the ‘Bathing Beauty’ — you know her, you love her — but joining that body style is the new ‘Girl Next Door‘, as expertly modeled by Aria, one of the sexy new head sculpts, below.


HOW NOT TO REGARD A PAINTING: from two miles away (left), or less than two inches away (right)

Just what is it that makes the Girl Next Door body so different, so appealing? She’s 20 lbs lighter and five inches shorter than the Bathing Beauty-type, for a start, making her a diminutive 4’9″, 59 lbs. 32.21.33 would be her measurements, and she wears a petite 5.5 shoe. She’s very elfin! In fact, the other new head Patrick Wise created, Bitzy, capitalises on the Girl Next Door-type’s tininess…


The most seductive Keebler elf you’ll encounter

Well done, Patrick! Keep on truckin’! And by ‘truckin”, naturally I mean ‘sculpting relentlessly delicious silicone women’. It’s slang.

+ Finally, I can’t begin to recall where I first saw mention of this, but Ricky Ma Tsz Hang, a bloke in Hong Kong, has assembled an animatronic version of Chinese actress Kelly Chen. O my goodness.


Will she be replacing the Organik Kelly Chen if they make
another sequel to ‘Infernal affairs’?

Of course I had to know more, so I fired off an Email to him. He replied very quickly, which was fab, as information in English on her is decidedly hard to find. Ricky sez, he sez

I’m a graphic designer in Hong Kong. I want to use my totally art & creative skills to make a robot. Last year, I made a decision to create the Kelly Robot because this is my dream. But Hong Kong haven’t any courses about it. Besides, no more spaces, limited money and machine to do ( just use the handy Grinding machine & my hands only) at home. Finally, my dream is come true!

Anyway, please see the details about the Kelly Robot as below :

Measurement:
Tall : 5′ FT 7″ inches
Head : Sculpt by clay (based on the hundreds photo), make the molding and re-molding by silicon. Then use PU to make the Eyes Ball, Skull & teeth, and use the 6 servo for movement of the blink, left and right, up and down of eyes, open mouth, the neck – left and right, up and down. The body, I find the fashion display model and complex mold by soft foam.

Material:
Silicon rubber, PU, servo, mini board, simple computer control system.

He further goes on to say that it took him five months to make her, as due to his day job, he could only spend two hours per day to work on construction, and her material cost ran about $28,000 HKD, or $3592 USD, which isn’t bad. And yes, she does have limited movement! Here’s one of the videos he’d made:

Ricky is currently working on version two of his affictitious Kelly Chen. Maybe when she’s completed, he can ship the old one round to our place! For, errm, science. Yes. A couple of versions later, perhaps we can look forward to her new career as a masseuse!

So that’s March sorted, then! *dusts off hands*

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Buy a tiny Gynoid, watch a Doll on telly on November 13th, 2012

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2012) on November 25th, 2012

7 have spoken to “Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2011)”

  1. Donna writes:

    I could deal with a robot massage. There’d be no pressure to make small talk. Also, I like Ricky’s choice in music for the video – electrosynth meets the theme from Dallas.

  2. zombieokami writes:

    As an empath and someone who can’t always block the emotions of others, especially when being touched, I have to say that the idea of a robotic nurse or masseuse sounds very interesting. That lack of pent up energy and emotion could actually help everyday people better relax in those situations. Also it’s incredible what Ricky was able to accomplish with what he had to work with! Great article :)

  3. barstowmama writes:

    I agree with “zombieokami”. As an empath I would rather have a robot massage without all the pent up energies whether positive or negative, distracting me from the task at hand which is to relax me. It’s hard enough to be around organiks day in and day out with no way to release my own energies properly, let alone deal with the energies of those that I absorb on a day to day basis. I am looking into having a synthetik infant soon. I’ve seen a few that interest me so I am, very excited.

    Great post as usual. I’m catching up on your goings on so I have plenty to read. BTW…I think the elfin earred lovely is a keeper. I could use her as a BFF.

  4. Davecat writes:

    Donna –
    Deetle deetle dootle dootle deetle deetle dootle dootle deetle deetle dootle dootle deetle deetle dootle dootle ad nauseam

    zombieokami –
    Glad you dug this installment! I felt it was a wee bit half-assed, but one really is one’s own worst critic…

    And Ricky is pretty damn inspiring! Now I wanna make a Winona Ryder Gynoid! All I need is some money and spare time and some silicone and some clay and foam and some sculpting tools and artistic talent and a grinding machine and hands and

    barstowmama –
    Hey, long time no see! The Missus said you said to say Hi, so I’m saying Hi back, I said. :-)

    You’re looking into getting a Reborn? That’s eerie, and I only say that because not only did a woman who makes them got in touch with me a few months ago, but this other lass contacted me a few weeks ago, asking me about them. How is this possible??
    That’s pretty fab! You are a Thoroughly Modern Mum! But you knew that. :-)

    Right, so you’re the third person to say an affictitious masseuse is a good idea. This concept is building a fine head of steam. All I need is some money and spare time and some silicone and some clay and foam and some sculpting tools and artistic talent and a grinding machine and hands and

  5. SafeTinspector writes:

    Brookstone sells those shiatsu ‘bots, and they feel a bit like someone reaching through a hole in the chair to knead your neck with terry cloth mittens on.

    I don’t personally care for massage (I’m a huggee not a rubbee), but I enjoy giving massages and I don’t want no robots stealing my jobs! They should stay where they came from, dag nabbit, and apply for green cards like the rest of the good little transients.

    You like houses having names? Yours has that deafening silence moniker, but mine is sadly name-free. Though my car has a name (Tinkerbell) and Heather’s car has a name (Bob) and her motorcycle has a name (TrinityII) so I don’t know why the house doesn’t have a name…

  6. Paul Cobb writes:

    Got a lousy English translation. Not much to it–

    “{SEOUL, Korea (AVING) – solrubot (www.solubot.com) held two 8-11 Industrial Automation Show 2011 Automation World, women participated in the singing robot ‘Ari (ARI)’ to was introduced.

    Ari (ARI) and human-robot interaction (HRI) to robotic platform for the study of technology such as human behavior and emotional expression is possible. For humans, such as size and shape of small motors used for the design and development of compact controllers have their own.

    Face and hands are covered with artificial skin of silicone texture is similar to the human face is a touch sensor that attaches directly. In the face with a camera using a face recognition, tracking and conversations with the DB’s can be simple everyday conversation.

    Meanwhile, the service robot solutions bots, industrial robots, robot used for performances and production of various motor and controller, and battery package, and can be used as educational materials have been selling motor training kit.”

    Like I said, it’s lousy, but that’s all of it. I got the English translation from Google Chrome in Ubuntu Linux– i’m guessing it works in Windows as well.

  7. Davecat writes:

    SafeT
    Yeah, but those Brookstone apparatuses (apparatii?) aren’t the same, as they lack one important feature — fingers. And sex appeal. Right, two important features. Being an amateur masseuse yourself, you know that using your fingers gets the job done better than if you were wearing a catcher’s mitt on each hand, no?

    And personally speaking, I’ve doled out so many massages myself over the years, that it’s time I received some of my own, dag nabbit. The best massage I’d ever gotten was wherein a lass of slightly-less-than 100 lbs walked barefoot on my back, and it was magical. That’s what we need — barefoot back-walking Gynoid masseuses. I shall write my congressman.

    And name your abode! Name it… Kira Estates.

    Paul Cobb –
    Your help has been credited! (Check the post just under the bit about Ari-1.) Thanks! :-)

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