Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 09)

typed for your pleasure on 13 March 2009, at 12.08 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Extended souvenir’ by Orchestral manoeuvres in the dark

What sort of news do we have this month in the world of affictitious females? The good people of KnightHorse have mostly completed their relocation, and they’re going to be renovating their website. Yes, that is technically classified as news, so shut it. Would the knowledge that they’ve posted a couple of new pictures of their sultry Monique-type in the Gallery satisfy you, then?

Wouldn’t that CENSORED sign make it difficult for her to get a bra on?

Good, now quit your whinging.

Private Island Beauties, the Dolls mentioned in last month’s article, finally have a site of their own: Private Island Beauties. Easy to remember, hard to forget!
There, you can check out the face and body options, eye colours, hand and foot detail, the inevitable FAQ, etc etc. So far, I’m liking what I’m seeing, as far as what they have to offer, and how the Dolls look. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from them rather soon…

After months of inactivity, Axis Japan has put up an information blog about their Honey Dolls, entitled HONEYDOLLS BLOG — easy to remember… o, wait. There’s not a lot there right now, but hopefully that’ll change.
Something I’ve noticed: ever since Axis Japan released their Dolls out into the world, I haven’t seen any user pics of a single one, which I find highly unusual. Not in the usual Forum galleries, not on the Dollmate sale forum… ta-bo-san doesn’t even have one, and he trumpets any new Dolls he gets to the world. I wonder why that is? Therefore Axis Japan, it’s in the interest of self-promotion for you to send us one (preferably a Saori-type, or a Maria-type will also do), so that we can break that streak.

Remember Kobalab‘s Gynoid, SAYA? She’s trying to shoehorn herself back into the public eye, which is fab. Apparently she’s a teacher now in a Japanese primary school. That is to say, one of her models, as I recall she was sold to a robotics university in Israel back in ’07. She’s everywhere! A dream come true.

Can she fire a piece of chalk at a disruptive student? They’re working on that

Robot teacher that can take the register and get angry
By Alastair Jamieson | Last Updated: 12:26AM GMT 06 Mar 2009 |

The device, created by scientists after 15 years of research, is being trialled at a primary school in Tokyo.

Named Saya, she can speak different languages, carry out roll calls, set tasks and make facial expressions – including anger – thanks to 18 motors hidden behind her latex face.

The humanoid was originally developed to replace a variety of workers, including secretaries, in a bid to allow firms to cut costs while still retaining some kind of human interaction.

Her creator, science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi at the University of Tokyo, had been working on a robot for 15 years. She is the latest example of robots spreading to every aspect of life in Japan. They already guide traffic, attempt to lure university graduates to sign up to courses and one is even being developed to provide company to Alzheimer’s sufferers.
the rest of the article is here

Tch. ‘The device’. The writer should be ashamed of himself. Inconsiderate anti-Synthetik bigotry aside, here’s some brief footage of Saya-san in action, courtesy of LiveLeak.
As a related aside, whenever people ask during interviews when I can recall first being fascinated with Gynoids, I always mention that I remember picturing Ms Mahaffey, my gradeschool French teacher, as a Gynoid, even before I really knew what one was. Now, some lucky pupils in Japan don’t have to imagine that sort of thing! In fact, maybe we should start placing wagers now as to how many of those kids will grow up to be Technosexuals?
ROBOTICS: Properly Shaping our Future. *nods approvingly*

Speaking of mechanised beings, I think I got this link from fellow Technosexual Alice, of the site People Advocating Sexual Technology, but there’s an interesting three-part series on the site DVICE, entitled The Future of Robotics. In Part I, they spoke with James Kuffner, of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, about what’s required to build a humanoid robot like C-3PO, for example.

What benefits are there to giving a robot a humanoid shape?
Well, if the only thing I wanted my robot to do is mow my grass, then I could just stick a radio-controlled receiver on it and drive it around. But the whole idea is that if we design a robot that has a human form, then it can use tools and navigate stairs and buildings and do things that we have designed for the human form.

I remember we were demonstrating our robot to a bunch of Japanese school children and they all came in and bowed to our robot – which isn’t something you’d normally do and we weren’t ready for that. But the important thing is that this humanoid form allowed our robot to interact in a specific emotional way.

Part II features a discussion with Matt Denton, who heads Micromagic Systems, an animatronics company that supplies film studios with robotics:

What would a ‘bot like C-3PO be good for, anyway?
I think there would be countless situations where a C-3PO-like robot would be at least as good if not better than a human. For example, so many people who need care for various reasons such as old age, illness and disabilities could benefit from a robot like C-3PO. However, this then raises an ethical question: Why should or would a robot be any better at this role than a human?

I can’t help but think that the robot has the advantage of never giving up, losing patience or growing tired, but could or would it form an emotional bond with the patient? Then again, could it outperform its human counterpart because of those things?

And Part III interviews Steve Norris, editor of Robot Magazine and a robot builder in his own right:

How close has your work brought you to a ‘bot resembling a protocol droid?
I actually worked in AI back in the late ’80s/early ’90s, and there were a couple of different approaches, like C-3PO being able to understand what you’re saying and then respond. We took a top-down approach to AI. We tried to emulate what the brain was doing, or at least the functions of the brain. That approach just didn’t work.

There were a lot of people doing the opposite. “Let’s simulate the neuron and work our way on up,” [they’d say]. That also, again, worked out for simpler problems but it didn’t scale up. So the idea is that it’s probably something in between the two approaches.

Worth reading? Yes.

And finally, world-renowned Doll photog and all-round sexpot Stacy Leigh hasn’t been feeling quite up to snuff lately due to some health-related issues, and I’m sure she’d really appreciate any well-wishes you have to offer.

Tabitha (foreground) and Taylor, two of Stacy’s roomies / models

Pop round her site, why don’t you?

Hope you lot have a happy Friday the 13th! Try not to stab anyone with a machete or a pitchfork, unless you really want to

Technorati tags: KnightHorse, Lovable Dolls, Private Island Beauties, Axis Japan, Honey Dolls, Kobayashi Labs, Android SAYA, robots, Androids, Gynoids, Technosexuals, James Kuffner, Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, Matt Denton, Micromagic Systems, Steve Norris, Robot Magazine, Stacy Leigh

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5 have spoken to “Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 09)”

  1. Kat writes:

    For whatever reason, the idea of a robotic teacher scares me more than a human teacher. An organik teacher would put me in detention if I did something wrong but a robot…well she could launch me out the window in a hot second. Yipe!!

  2. Perry writes:

    Cogent. Interesting. Fluffiviverous.

    and I like ‘affictitious’….a lot.

    Nice work here, Davecat. I shouldn’t be such a stranger.

    President, Davecat Fanclub

  3. Davecat writes:

    Kat-chan –
    But imagine being one of those lucky students who ends up having an affair with a Synthetik educator. mm hmm. 😉
    Detention would really suck, though. ‘I’ll sit here as long as I have to’, she’d say, and there’d be no doubt she’d mean it.

    How goes, friend? Life with your own affictitious lasses keeping you busy/happy?

    Stop round more often! I need to visit your site more often, myself… But good to hear from you, however brief!

  4. Alice Keenan writes:

    I like the Paradise Island dolls even though I am a die-hard RealDoll fan. They’re pretty nice looking.
    You and your naughty teacher gynoid, lol.

  5. Davecat writes:

    Yeah, I know. I’ve got that problem where I tend to say the soft part loud and the loud part soft. 🙂

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