Rong Cheng? More like RIGHT Cheng!*

typed for your pleasure on 9 August 2006, at 7.19 pm

Sdtrk: ‘What goes on’ by the Velvet underground

I didn’t expect China to throw their hat into the Gynoid production ring, but as the Little Caesar’s telly advert once used to say, ‘Anything’s possible. I taught my dog to say “I love you”‘.’

She’s addressed by ‘Miss’. That means she’s single. Hmm

Scientists unveil female robot
Reuters | August 09, 2006, 17:30

A group of Chinese scientists completed their work last week on a new robot named Miss Rong Cheng. The robot’s designers say she is equipped with cutting-edge technology in human-to-robot interaction and responds to human voices.

The robot is designed to look like a woman and it is programmed to speak Mandarin as well as a Sichuan dialect because she will be sent to the Sichuan Science Museum in Chengdu to act as a receptionist and tour guide.

“Our institute has been making great efforts in developing voice recognition system for many years … Meanwhile, the voice recognition function can make the communication between humans and robots more natural and personal, which highlights the progress we have achieved in making our robots more human-like”, Yue Hongqiang, the robot’s designer, said.

Robot to be sold to hotels, entertainment outlets
The cost of this project is $37 500 and besides dancing and greeting, the 168cm, 60kg “beauty” responds to 500 to 1 000 commands in Mandarin. It took around a year for the scientists to finish this first human simulation robot in China.

The designers hope to sell the robots next year to customers such as hotels and entertainment outlets. The most advanced robot in the world is sleek-looking Asimo, produced by Japanese auto-maker Honda. Asimo, who can walk at a speed of one mile per hour and climb up and down stairs, costs roughly $1 million.

As she lacks the smooth artificial skin of my lovely little Actroid-chan, or even EveR-1, she’s not as, well, sexy, but nevertheless, she’s an autonomous Synthetik, and that’s Good. In fact, her more robot-like appearance might provide a good bridge from automata that are non-humanoid, to Synthetiks that are more like Actroid et al.
Keep up the good work, Miss Rong Cheng! But please go find some better clothes. What, are you headed for a can-can circa 1986 or something?

The call goes out for videos of her in action! YouTube and Flash-based videos like this one don’t really count, as I want something I can save to my hard drive, so if any of you fine people run across any, do let me know

*I must, at this point, apologise for the hideous Subj.title, but it could’ve been worse, and been based around Wang Chung. Nevertheless, I’m so very very sorry

Technorati tags: Rong Cheng, Actroid, EveR-1, Android, Gynoid, robot

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4 have spoken to “Rong Cheng? More like RIGHT Cheng!*”

  1. Loving the Machine writes:

    Neat stuff, though with that low cost, you get what you pay for. The system appears to be far less sophisticated than Repliee series. As Ishiguro says, appearance and behavior are critical for very lifelike robots. Still, this shows android interest is spreading in NE Asia. I wonder if future Japanese, Korean and Chinese androids will get along better than their human counterparts.

  2. Davecat writes:

    LtM –
    Yeah, granted, Miss Cheng is definitely no Actroid — she’s barely Android SAYA. I can’t see her being anything more complicated than a door greeter, or perhaps a fast food restaurant manager. 😉 But I think she kinda fills a gap of sorts — at the more realistic end of Synthetiks, you have Actroid, and at the more machine-like end, you have Wakamaru, and Rong Cheng slots nicely in between the two. And as a sign of China’s robotics development, you have to admit, she’s better than Chuka-cannon. Just not as funny. 🙂

    Between seeing a film with Miss Cheng and going with Repliee-chan, the choice is obvious, though. But best of luck to China!
    But shared cultures through Synthetiks? I’m all for it..

  3. SafeTinspector writes:

    We’re only a generation of equipment away before we can have some hot multicultural robotic lesbianism.

  4. Davecat writes:

    That, then, will be the Greatest of Days. 🙂

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