Don’t go teasin’

typed for your pleasure on 18 December 2006, at 2.10 am

Sdtrk: ‘Do you love?’ by Final fantasy

Ahh, if only…

Beyonce Knowles Is An Actroid | Saturday, December 9th, 2006

I’ve had the hots for Beyonce Knowles for as far as I could remember, and this recent “unmasking” of her real identity, proving that she isn’t human at all but in fact Kokoro’s much-touted advanced version of the Actroid DER2, doesn’t even damp my filthy enthusiasm.

Undoubtedly, she bolted backstage shortly afterwards to reattach her face, before it peeled right off. That’s quite alright! Sometimes that sort of thing occurs with older Gynoids; she can hardly be blamed. Underneath her silicone skin, she’s more than likely built like Kobalab‘s Android SAYA, as seen here.

See how there’s hardly any velcro up by the temples? That might explain why her face got all rumpled. Easily seen to, but understandably embarrassing when you’re out in public.

Don’t be ashamed, Beyonce! We all know that Gynoids are cool

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typed for your pleasure on 26 October 2006, at 3.02 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Spring hall convert’ by Deerhunter

Considering eight out of the past ten posts for October were Synthetiks-related, giving this post that title was completely arbitrary. Sometimes that happens! I cannot explain it.

Anyway, big round of applause for China, as they’ve just joined the Synthetiks Race in earnest. It’s like the Arms Race, only much better for humanity. Sexier, too.

heh heh, ‘Maiden China’.
Sorry, there was no call for that

Chinese Blond Female Humanoid Robot unveiled

China displayed their robots at a robot show in early October. One of the biggest highlights of the show were the highly human-like robots.

However it is yet a little bit too early to dub these human copies as robots since their actions and abilities are way too limited. For instance, the female humanoid above only sings and moves her lips a little (that too in a highly robotic manner).

The Chinese robot, nicknamed ‘Dion’ does score a point above the Japanese Actroid female robot with respect to the body precisions and stats (though I do wish they’d given her better tresses), but I yet do find the latter cuter and more convincing than the Chinese one.
the rest of the article is here. CAUTION: POP-UP FEST ’99

I’d actually spotted this gorgeous creature last night on Robot Watch, but there wasn’t a tremendous amount of info on her. More accurately, there probably was a paragraph describing her somewhere, but since I can read only about five to eight per cent of the Japanese language on a good day, I was kinda at sea… However, I did find a brief video of her; remind me, and I’ll post it next month.

I’m figuring the robotics community of China came to the realisation that Rong Cheng, nice as she is, can’t hold a candle to Japan’s Favourite Daughter in terms of sophistication; hence Dion. She certainly looks tasty — in the video, she’s wearing sandals, which of course brought a huge pervy smile to my face — but her facial and body movement are a little stilted. They’re still working on the R&D, I’m sure.
Whoever this group is, they clearly need more funding! We need China to produce more Synthetiks like Dion, and less like.. *cough* Chuka-cannon.

I’d agree with the article writer though — she could stand to have a better hairstyle. But y’know who she slightly resembles? 4woods’ Chris-type of the A.I.NEO Doll series.

Tell me I’m wrong

Technorati tags: Dion, Gynoid, Android, robot, Actroid, Rong Cheng, China, 4woods, A.I.NEO

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typed for your pleasure on 5 October 2006, at 5.01 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Perdoa’ by Vanusa

So I’m sure by now everyone and their gran knows about Actroid-chan’s appearance at the Wired Nextfest, right? Yes, yes. But then, Pink Tentacle mentions today that a new, improved version has been assembled. Sweet slow-roasted christ, she’s even cuter the previous model, if that’s even physically possible.

‘No, I was never in Morning musume, although they did ask me once’

Actroid DER2 fembot loves Hello Kitty
, a Sanrio Group company specializing in the design and manufacture of robots, unveiled its new Actroid DER2 feminine guide robot at Sanrio headquarters in Tokyo on October 4.

Actroid DER2 is an upgraded version of Kokoro’s previous fembot, Actroid DER, who has made quite a name for herself by providing services at a number of events, including the 2005 World Expo. Compared to the previous model, DER2 has thinner arms and a wider repertoire of expressions. The smoothness of her movement has also been improved, making it now even more likely for the uninitiated to confuse her with an actual human being. (emphasis mine)

Actroid’s limbs, torso and facial expressions are controlled by a system of actuators powered by pneumatic pressure. Once programmed, she is able to choreograph her motions and gestures with her voice.

Kokoro intends to rent Actroid DER2 to companies and events. The basic rental fee is expected to be 400,000 yen (US $3,500) for 5 days, plus extra fees for technical support, delivery and choreography changes. For those who can’t cope with a sayonara after 5 days, there is a late fee of 80,000 yen per day.

[Source: Fuji Sankei]

That statement I’d emphasised is extraordinarily encouraging — her movements are even closer to Organiks. That’s the benefits of an upgrade for you. Will we actually see Androids and Gynoids in society within the next decade or two? I’d say ‘I certainly hope so,’ but you’d expect me to say that. In the interim, MUST. FIND. VIDEOS. NOW.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go register myself as a company, and scrape up $3500. I’ve, err, gotta buy some gum, you see — I like to stock up

ADDENDUM (9.14pm): Pics and video clips found, courtesy of Robot Watch. My goodness, she’s definitely got Cuteness Appeal, no question

Technorati tags: Actroid, Repliee, Gynoid, Android, Wired Nextfest, Sanrio

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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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The fact that I wasn’t told about this is a tragedy

typed for your pleasure on 2 August 2006, at 7.25 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Broke my neck (Long version)’ by Echo and the Bunnymen

Right; someone needs to buy me a plane ticket and fly me out to this event right fucking now.

Obligatory photo of Ando-san, but you expected that

Once, Twice, Three Times an Android
New Gallery Exhibition Showcases Robot Women, Electronic Eves

Queens, N.Y. – Lara Croft, the Japanese robot Repliee Q2, and the Stepford Wives are a few of the artificial women pictured in Alluring Androids, Robot Women, and Electronic Eves, a new gallery exhibition opening June 17 at the New York Hall of Science.

Exploring artists’, filmmakers’, and photographers’ long-time fascination with images of artificial women that seem alive, Alluring Androids, Robot Women, and Electronic Eves contains large images of female robots, androids, automatons, dolls, mannequins, and other artificial women. These include images from films, photography, intermedia art, animation, and video ranging from early automatons to the life-like female androids in today’s video and computer games.

The exhibit is curated by State University of New York, Maritime College Professor Julie Wosk, author of Women and the Machine: Representations From the Spinning Wheel to the Electronic Age and Breaking Frame: Technology and the Visual Arts in the Nineteenth Century.

Alluring Androids, Robot Women, and Electronic Eves will be on view in the Walter O. LeCroy Gallery through September 10.

Why do I never learn about these things in time?? That exhibit had better be touring, and it had better stop in Michigan

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, Actroid, Repliee

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Ishiguro-san is everywhere. EVERYWHERE

typed for your pleasure on 20 July 2006, at 6.17 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Wear your love like heaven’ by Masonna

Remember when I wrote a number of months ago about how Hiroshi Ishiguro, the ‘father’ of Repliee, my favouritest Gynoid in the world, said he was going to make an Android duplicate of himself? You don’t? Tch. Well anyway, he’s gone and done it. Meet Geminoid HI-1:

Left, Geminoid; right, Ishiguro-san

Meet the Remote-Control Self | By Tim Hornyak
12:00 PM Jul, 20, 2006 KYOTO, Japan — Hiroshi Ishiguro is a busy man. Between his two jobs, countless meetings and presentations, his demanding schedule was eating up all his time. So he built an android version of himself to pick up the slack.

Ishiguro, a senior researcher at ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories outside Kyoto, has created a machine in his own image — a robot that looks and moves exactly like him. It sits on a chair and gazes around the room in a very humanlike fashion, just like its creator. In fact, the robot is an exact duplicate.

Ishiguro’s silicone-and-steel doppelgänger was made from casts taken from his own body. Powered by pressurized air and small actuators, it runs on semiautonomous motion programs.

It blinks and fidgets in its seat, moving its foot up and down restlessly, its shoulders rising gently as though it were breathing. These micromovements are so convincing that it’s hard to believe this is a machine — it seems more like a man wearing a rubber mask. But a living, breathing man.

But “Geminoid HI-1,” as the robot is called, has another trick up its sleeve.

“Everyone, thank you so much for coming today,” it says in polite but languid Japanese at an ATR demo Thursday, its lips moving to the sound. The voice is Ishiguro’s, broadcast through a speaker inside his android double.

Geminoid can be operated remotely so the robot reproduces the voice, posture and lip movements of Ishiguro, who wears a motion-capture system. A mouseclick raises a hand or finger.

Ishiguro, whose job is teaching at Osaka University, an hour’s drive away, designed Geminoid so he could “robot in” to his classes and skip the commute. As he steps out from behind a curtain like the Wizard of Oz, standing beside his robot self, the shift is disconcerting.

“The idea is tele-interaction,” says Ishiguro, who is also head of the university’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. “If I access the android through the internet, I do not need to go to ATR anymore.”
the rest of the article is here

So he’s just lazy? Is that what he’s actually saying??
Seriously, that’s pretty fab. When he first mentioned that, I was thinking it’d take years for his Doppelgänger to be built, but I guess not. Then again, it might’ve been a case where he’d made that statement knowing that work on Geminoid was already underway. In any event, rather impressive! Of course, now I’m going to have to hunt down any and all videos with him..

Might I add here that ‘Geminoid’ is a very tokusatsu-y sounding name. I think Geminoid fought against Dimensional warrior Spielban in one episode, although I may be wrong.

Rock the hell on, Ishiguro-san! (Further info available at Tim Hornyak’s Loving the Machine)

Technorati tags: Hiroshi Ishiguro, Android, Repliee, Actroid, Gynoid, Geminoid

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EveR-1’s next goal: hosting a chat show

typed for your pleasure on 23 June 2006, at 3.53 pm

Sdtrk: ‘La fille d’un garçon’ by France Gall

Damn, Korea, you are upping the ante pretty quickly. Well done!

She’s about to do that ‘I’m crushing your
head’ sketch from Kids in the Hall again

Female Android to Chair Info-Tech Fair
By Kim Tae-gyu, Staff Reporter
The Korea Times, 20 July 2006A female android will chair the opening ceremony of the SEK 2006, Korea’s biggest info-tech exhibition that begins a four-day run at COEX in southern Seoul Wednesday.

The life-like android, named EveR-1, was developed by a research team at the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology and went public early last month.

EveR-1 is poised to introduce notable participants at today’s SEK ceremony before delivering an oral presentation on the annual fair,’’ said Baeg Moon-hong, a senior researcher at the state-sponsored institute.

“We are happy to show off our own android the advanced IT fair. We aim to make efforts to develop the robot to be more like humans,’’ Baeg said.
the complete article is here

In effect, she’s only really doing what the Robot Station emcee version of Actroid-chan did at last year’s Aichi Expo, only seated and not in that delicious race queen outfit. Nevertheless, this is still very fab.
Okay Osaka Labs / Kokoro co. Ltd., what will you do to block? I suggest getting Ando-san a dedicated job as a newscaster, for starters..

Speaking of Kokoro, they’ve redesigned their website, and if you’ll note beneath the logo in the top left corner, it says, ‘a company of Sanrio Group’. Robots + Cute = one facet of the Japanese zeitgeist! It all makes sense now! *nods sagely*

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