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

typed for your pleasure on 18 September 2011, at 1.57 am

Sdtrk: ‘The restitution of decayed intelligence II’ by Coil

Remember, it’s not just News… it’s Newses.
Sorry, I’ll get my coat.

+ Personally, I’ve always believed that the best part of Summertime is when it ends, as we return to safe and sane Autumn, gear up for the Pagan New Year, and stop sweating like someone in middle management due for their quarterly review. 4woods remind us, however, that there are positive aspects to that hideous 3+ month period of solar heatdeath, and that’s a gallery of Elina, Hatsuki, and Lilica in bikinis!

Lilica-chan, enjoying the studio breeze

‘Luckily for me, I don’t have sweat glands!’ Hatsuki giggled. Show-off

‘This is our summer gift for you, their sexy bathing suit photos. Please enjoy their photos by imagining “they are right next to you.”‘ Okay! Ahhhh.
Well, that was lovely!

+ I’d snuck the link in for this group into the ‘Synthetik companion types’ sidebar category a few weeks ago, so it’s only right that I give them a proper mention. The FACE Team Project consists of a handful of Europeans attempting to create and perfect a humanoid robot who can replicate Organik facial expressions and emotional states. Sure, Kobayashi Labs has been doing the same with their Android SAYA, but the more groups that focus on this topic, the sooner someone’s going to hit upon a solution.

‘Why am I nervous? Why do you think?? My goddamned quarterly review’s coming up in a week!’

FACE stands for Facial Automation for Conveying Emotions. She’s capable of executing the six basic facial emotions — anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise — and she and her programmers are doing their bit to shrink down the so-called Uncanny valley. Well done!

+ For every largish company making affictitious partners, there are also modest studios composed of one or two people, working out of their basement/garage/Schloss/space station/etc, and looking to make Dolls of their own. One such individual by the name of Titman — don’t laugh, it’s the name he was born with — is just now finalising his product after eight months of work; a poseable Synthetik lass by the name of Maid-Ling.

Maid-Ling is 5’9″, has 36D.25.40 as her measurements, a 5.5 shoe size, and weighs a near-impossible 26 lbs. The standard model has a latex skin over a foam core interior, over an articulated skeleton. She can bend her arms and legs much how you would expect them to bend, although she can’t hold them in place. She also sports silicone breasts, a removable silicone vagina, and an interchangeable head. But then, who doesn’t?
$1500 USD will allow you to bring a Maid-Ling home, to fill a Doll-shaped void you may have in your lives. The titular Titman is in the process of working on a sales site/blog/thang/etc, so once that’s online, I’m sure you’ll hear about it. Probably here!

+ And now, here’s a brief video of my (current) favourite Gynoid, Miim (aka HRP-4C), showing off her ability to turn ninety degrees in one second. Dig it:

Those of you can turn ninety-one degrees in a single second may not be impressed, but it’s a pretty revolutionary capability for an artificial human. As I always say, onwards and upwards!

+ In attending DolLApalooza 2011 this past July (post pending), our crowd saw a great many impressive things! Such as the Yoshinoya at the corner of Colorado and South Brand Blvd, in beautiful downtown Glendale, California, for example. Also, we stopped round to the three SoCal Doll manufacturers — Abyss creations, Ruby 13, and Sinthetics — and emerged from each one, slack-jawed and completely tumescent. Round at the Sinthetics studios, we were witness to the birth of their brand new Body 2D, for example, and if you’ve been following my blatherings on Twitter, you’ve already seen parts of her. Sinthetics, however, have recently released official photos of her with the Alicia, Monique, Celeste, and Tawny heads. Witness the Magic:

Above: leggy Monique and Alicia; below, Celeste getting the kinks out

According to the site, the Body 2D stats are

Weight = approx. 85lb or 38.6kg
Height = approx. 5’5″ or 165cm
Over bust = 36.5” or 92.7cm
Over nipples = 37.5” or 95.3cm
Under bust = 28.5” or 72.4cm
US Bra size = 34D
Waist = 24.5” or 62.2cm
Hips = 36.5” or 92.7cm
Buttocks = 38” or 96.5cm
Inseam = 28” or 71.7cm
Shoe size = US 6.5; UK 4.5; Euro 37 (one size larger for closed toes)

which should satisfy very nearly everyone. Like I’d said, we’d seen some amazing things from all three companies that day. DolLApalooza post pending. Tumescent. Err, what was I saying?

+ Lastly, get ready for a weapons-grade cute illo of Sidore and myself, in chibi form, courtesy of the wonderful Nana Smite:

Holy crap, is that not endearing?? I can just picture our two-dimensional counterparts hanging out with Hello Kitty, propagating obscure memes and whinging about the climate

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Stars in their Eyes, Part II on August 5th, 2005

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (June 2011) on June 19th, 2011

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

typed for your pleasure on 23 July 2011, at 12.29 am

Sdtrk: ‘First prize (Live in Glasgow, 1982)’ by Strawberry switchblade

What d’ye know, this post is actually on time this month! Or… is it?? (HINT: it is)

+ Phoenix studios, the offshoot company to Abyss creations (think of them as The Grey Area to Abyss’ Mute records) have made a new Boy Toy C-series Doll available, not only for purchase, but also for love. Meet Cadence!

photo by Stacy Leigh

The C-series answers the question I’d once had about what course of action Phoenix would take once they ran out of months and seasons in their original ‘Calendar girls’ and ‘Seasons’ lines: the C stands for Customisable. Meaning their appearance isn’t as prescribed like the other lines, and with a multitude of options, the sky’s the limit.
The name Cadence didn’t make any sense to me at first, but once I realised that the other models in the C-series had the music-based names of Harmony and Melody, then it all fell into place. What Phoenix studios need to do is create three new models and name them Rhapsody, Symphony, and Destiny, thereby allowing any enterprising iDollators who just so happen to be Gerry Anderson fans to buy one of each, and re-enact all their Spectrum Angel fantasies from ‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons‘. Extra Cool Points if you ship ’em in their uniforms.

+ I’m fairly certain you’ve seen this by now, as she’s been the subject of various news and/or entertainment websites, but Japanese robotics company tmsuk wanted to improve on their dental training Gynoid Hanako Showa, so they requested the help of longstanding dutch wife manufacturer Orient industry, and the result is the adorable Hanako Showa 2.

Now remember not to confuse Hanako Showa 1 or 2 with Kokoro Co. Ltd.’s Simroid; they’re similar, but not the same. The more Gynoids the better, obviously, but what makes Hana-chan the Second different from her older sister? Orient industry made her face and hands from silicone, as opposed to the stiffer PVC that her predecessor had; plus, thanks to software from Raytron, she now has conversational ability. Hana-chan 2 also has a mouth lining that’s moulded as a single piece, a motor-driven head instead of one that was pneumatically powered, and a gag reflex. Ahem.

But did Orient industry redo her feet? This is an Important Question

Her overall aesthetic effect is only slightly marred whenever she closes her mouth, as it’s family-sized for obvious reasons, but apart from that, well done tmsuk, and well done Orient industry! Hopefully they’ll follow up with Hanako Showa 3, wherein she gets more irritated, bored, or nervous the longer you make her wait in the lobby.

+ Speaking, as we were, of Orient industry, it’s Summertime, which can only mean one thing — limited edition yukata matsuri (kimono festival) postcards! Well, .pdfs, actually. Quit your whinging, they’re free.

Left, Tomoko; right, Koyuki

Like I’d said, they’re limited edition, which means they’ll no longer be available after 31 August, so get a wriggle on!

+ Do you recall how Actroid DER2 was a spokesbot for Kincho’s Preshower spray back in 2008? This year, it looks like her sister Actroid Sara, former Aichi World Expo 2005 guide and last seen at iREX back in 2009, has taken up the mantle for a new advert. Nice!

Wolfgang and his wife, Masako, took some valuable minutes out of their day to translate the dialogue, cos they’re pretty fantastic like that:

Actroid Sara: The bug repellent that doesn’t hurt your skin, Preshower! The bug repellent that doesn’t hurt your skin, Preshower! (pause) That’s all I know how to say…
Yuuko: That’s…
Actroid Sara: The bug repellent that doesn’t hurt your skin, Preshower!

Gotta love the little nod and wink to the fact that she has a limited pre-programmed vocabulary, there.
Like I always say, it’s a great start. First, adverts on telly, then a music video, then the move up to a 22min programme, then onto a feature film. Someone has to lead the charge, and Sara-chan’s doing a fine job!…

+ Euchre, my iDollator pal who lives with the distracting Samantha and Monica, sent me a link to this story from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation news site: an article concerning ‘Stephen’ and ‘Andrew’, two iDollators from down under, and their respective silicone paramours.

‘Natasha’ (not her real name), wishing she were in a left-side drive car

Cathleen Maslen from the University of Western Australia has spent time studying the RealDoll subculture and says that despite the sexual marketing behind them, owners do not necessarily perceive their dolls as sexual objects.

“They don’t seem to just function as sex toys – people seem to incorporate [their dolls] into their whole lives sometimes, which is quite amazing,” Dr Maslen says.

“For men who have [dolls] and take them seriously they can develop a whole lifestyle that revolves around them.”

There is no doubt that the owners who take their dolls seriously really love them, she says, and that they have both a huge emotional investment and attachment to them.

“There’s at least one RealDoll owner who has actually married his doll in a public ceremony,” she says.

“[The owners] try to view them as this vibrant alternative to actually having a relationship with a woman.”
the entire article is here

It’s always refreshing to read an article on iDollators and our lifestyle that doesn’t have a condescending or judgemental tone to it. Also, too, to see a medical expert acknowledging that not every iDollator buys a Doll strictly for sexual purposes. ‘Stephen’ and ‘Andrew’, you’re doing right by the rest of us!

+ And finally, we have indisputable proof that Japan is reading my mind: ball-joint stockings. O goodness.

The stockings are missing ankle joints, but they’ll do for starters

The seller,, has sold so many pairs of Spherical Joint Stockings priced at 2,000 yen ($25) per pair, that the nifty nylons currently sold out and customers are being advised they’re on back order., by the way, is a site that sells clothing and accessories to Japanese schoolgirls… Nope, I’m not surprised either.
taken from this site

Now that’s how you improve on Nature! At least until the prosthetic body industry starts up in earnest, that is

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

the Return of the man-made Muse on December 28th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (July 2014): Part I on July 23rd, 2014

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

typed for your pleasure on 19 June 2011, at 10.42 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Dance avoid’ by ADULT.

Well, there are now! Honestly, one month ago there really wasn’t a lot of bits and bobs concerning the world of Synthetiks, so apart from writing a post consisting solely of the sentence ‘DOLLS: go buy one today!!’, the article would’ve looked a bit spare. But now it’s June! Check this lot out:

+ First off, we have everyone favourite walking talking Gynoid, Miim-chan (aka HRP-4C), having a stroll outside of the laboratory she was built in, in Tsukuba, Japan. Cute? She’s automatically cute!

What makes this video significant is that it shows she’s able to walk on rough and uneven surfaces, not just smooth interior floors; she does this through the use of an inverted pendulum control model to maintain her equilibrium. It’s not the sexiest of sashays, but AIST has to start with the basics first. Nevertheless! rrrRowr.

+ Quite interesting: CARIS, the Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory in British Columbia, is conducting a survey regarding human-robot interaction. Their aim is to get a sense of how Organik people perceive and interpret actions performed by both Organiks and Synthetiks. It’s about 15-20 minutes in length, and the results are going towards robotic development, so I’d say it’s definitely worth your time. After all, you can’t whinge about how ‘the uncanny valley’ makes Androids and Gynoids move in an unnatural manner, if you didn’t help to correct it, right?

+ I can’t definitively recall where I found this, but it seems I have a New Favourite Artist, by the name of Yves José Malgorn. Can you guess why?

Left, Android Anatomy 01; right, portrait of Nathos

When he’s not whipping up graphic design for clients, he spends time creating affictitious pin-up models from the not-so-distant future. The thing I like most about his illustrations is their crisp and well-defined lines; if Eighties-art icon Patrick Nagel had turned to mechanical women instead of making covers for Duran Duran, his work would be not dissmiliar to that of Yves. Why not have a look at YM Graphix?

+ Thanks to our friend Mariko Lynn, a winsome RealDoll that Sidore and I often chat with on the Twitter, there’s this tale of a Seattle man who, back in May, received a ticket from a police officer for misusing the HOV lane, as his passenger happened to be an Air Doll. *cue comic trombone*
Humourous as that instance was, fast-forward to this month in Oakville, Ontario: another bloke, another Air Doll, another ticket. Lesson learned: if you’re going to try to get away with that sort of chicanery, you really should use a silicone Doll as your partner-in-crime.

+ Speaking of silicone Dolls, Were You Aware that not only are there a cluster of heart-stoppingly gorgeous new photos of the Yu-ki, Haruhi, Natsuki and Kunika types, modelling the recent A.I.NEO im body, on 4woods‘ website? Well, you are now.

Left, Natsuki, remembering that she’s near-sighted; right, Yu-ki, wishing you would shut the hell up

Not only that, but if you were to place an order for one of their A.I.Dolls, you can have her made with a soft stomach for an additional 30,000 JPY. ‘As of April 2011, using our advance technology, we added a new option of “Soft Stomach Feature” for all our four body types. Not only “breasts”, the area customers touch most, you can now select a soft stomach and enjoy the realistic feel of doll body’, sez the company, it sez. Is that sort of feature worth an additional $372 USD, you ask? Perhaps sir or madame would like to view this video (NSFW)?
When I was in Vegas for AVN last year, I had the opportunity to fondle the boobs of the A.I.Doll that was showcased there, and they were the softest Doll breasts I’d ever felt, ever. I cannot lie; they were like marshmallows, and as I squeezed them over and over, I wept salt tears at their cushiony wondrousness. Keeping that in mind, I’m convinced the new soft stomach will make a wonderful pillow for many a head.

+ American robotics genius David Hanson weighs in on science and technology blog IEEE Spectrum, on the question of ‘Why We Should Build Humanlike Robots‘:

On the tree of robotic life, humanlike robots play a particularly valuable role. It makes sense. Humans are brilliant, beautiful, compassionate, loveable, and capable of love, so why shouldn’t we aspire to make robots humanlike in these ways? Don’t we want robots to have such marvelous capabilities as love, compassion, and genius?

Certainly robots don’t have these capacities yet, but only by striving towards such goals do we stand a chance of achieving them. In designing human-inspired robotics, we hold our machines to the highest standards we know—humanlike robots being the apex of bio-inspired engineering. […]

It is true that humanlike robots are not nearly human-level in their abilities today. Yes, humanlike robots fail. They fall, they lose the topic in conversation, misunderstand us, and they disappoint as much as they exhilarate us. At times these failures frustrate the public and robotics researchers alike. But we can’t give up. Humanoid robots are still in their infancy. Though they falter, the abilities of humanoid robots continue to grow and improve. Just as babies can’t walk, talk, or really do anything as well as adults do, or do anything particularly useful, this doesn’t mean that babies deserve our contempt. Let’s not give up on our robotic children. They need nurturing. And as a researcher in humanoid robotics, I can attest that it’s a pleasure to raise these robots. They are a lot of fun to develop.
the entire article is here

The common man, especially in Western society, seems to believe that once robots acquire some level of cognition and reasoning that comes close to equalling that of humanity, then humanity is Clearly Doomed to be Fleshy Victims of the Robot Apocalypse. Generally, these are people that believe the ‘Terminator’ and ‘Matrix’ franchises are documentaries. The only conceivable reason for this fictional robolution (I apologise) would be that once humanoid robots are more prevalent in society, a lot of them are pretty much going to be slaves, performing tasks or duties that Organiks would avoid doing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but human society has dabbled in slavery before, yes? Any opportunity an Organik is presented with to subjugate a being that he sees as being similar yet unequal to himself is one he’ll take advantage of. Heh, going by that line of thinking, wouldn’t a robot revolution be almost justified? So as we approach a state where Synthetik beings are edging closer to Organik ones in appearance, thought, and action, wouldn’t it be better to start off on the right foot?

+ Newer visitors to ‘Shouting etc etc’ — you know who you are — know about the pro-Doll lifestyle that I’m eternally promoting and would expect the same on my blog, but are probably unaware that it doesn’t stop there, which is why I use the term ‘Synthetik’ so often. You’ll want to take a couple of seconds and hover that so-called mouse pointer of yours over that green underscored word, there. Going from my interactions with people — again, you know who you are — I get a sense that a lot of you aren’t privy to how advanced Android and Gynoid technology is coming along. You spotted Miim-chan above, and do you know of Kokoro co. Ltd‘s Geminoids?

With friends like these, who needs mirrors?

Contemporary genius Hiroshi Ishiguro and his Synthetik twin met with that unnamed model lass and Actroid F (formerly Geminoid F), as well as Prof. Henrik Scharfe of Denmark’s Aalborg University and his recently-built Geminoid DK Doppelgänger, at a summit back in April in Kyoto.

When Scharfe ordered his Geminoid DK bot from Kokoro, the price tag was around $200,000, he told The Vancouver Sun. It took about six months to build.

Scharfe can remotely operate Geminoid DK so that it imitates some of his upper-body movements such as head position and facial expression. Meanwhile, it automatically “breathes” and blinks for a more lifelike effect. “It begins to feel very natural to operate it,” Scharfe tweeted. “Really like a natural extension of my first body.”

Scharfe said he used his clone in a translation experiment when he got together with the other Geminoids.
the entire article is here

Sounds like the world of ‘Surrogates‘ isn’t that far off, then! *rubs hands together gleefully*

+ And finally, Sinthetics have posted new photos of their luscious Tawny, Celeste, Alicia, and Monique Manikins, that I’m sure you’ll find entirely distracting in the best possible way.

Left, Alicia’s striking peaks and valleys; right, Monique, seconds before reminding you her eyes are up there

If pics like that aren’t enough to nudge you towards the pro-Synthetik side of the fence, then frankly, I don’t know what to do with you

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Aug 2008) on August 4th, 2008

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part II on November 21st, 2014

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 :

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.

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:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2011) on November 6th, 2011

Automatically cute on May 28th, 2005

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

typed for your pleasure on 23 February 2011, at 12.29 am

Sdtrk: ‘Hard lovin’ man’ by Merzbow

A new year, bringing with it a handful of links concerning Synthetiks, for those of you with bated breath! Which is all of you, right?

+ It always blows peoples’ minds when they learn about contemporary Gynoids, Androids, and the like, but when I read about their predecessors, it explodes my own brain in slow-motion. Not necessarily ones as far back the 18th and 19th centuries, where automata such as the wonderful creations of Pierre and Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz held sway — although those are very cool — but all the ones in between then and now. Like Courtenay Pollock’s little-known and ominously-named ‘She’, for instance, detailed here in a June 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix!

Definitely better-looking with skin. But you can say that about most people, really

Animated Statue Smiles and Displays Her Dimples

ALMOST human is “SHE,” work of Courtenay Pollock, well known sculptor of London. With the aid of a small electric motor, “SHE” is smiling, coy, demure, or scornful as her master wills. Rolling her eyes about in an enchanting manner, she even displays a lovely set of dimples.

This “living” model is on display in one of the leading department stores of London. A cordon of police are required to keep the crowd moving and traffic clear in the streets.

The skull is made up of hinged sections, each of which are controlled separately through levers and switches. Gears and levers connect each part to the driving motor.

When a tinted rubber covering is slipped over the “skull,” eyebrows and hair attached, and a bit of cosmetics applied, “SHE” is transformed into a beautiful, vivacious young lady.

This first animated statue may herald a new era in sculpturing. It is not too much to expect that in a few years the works of our sculptors will all take on life—will frolic about and speak, imitating in every way the persons who posed as models.

Despite the “fact” the “writer” went “crazy” with the “inverted commas”, that’s still a “hell” of a “thing” to have witnessed, either then or now. Shame that the prediction of animated statues being everywhere didn’t come true, though. Or is that sort of thing simply just now starting?
The whereabouts of ‘She’ are presently unknown, and I’m fairly certain her rubber flesh corroded long ago. Still! Now that you lot know what her uncovered bust looks like, keep an eye out for her, eh?

+ So in doing a wee bit more Synthetiks research — also known as ‘screwing round on the Innernets’ — I think I found the predecessor to ‘She’, in the form of a very curious machine known as the Euphonia, which would fall into the category of one of those wonderful creations from the 18th and 19th centuries…

An old photo, taken with a 1 megapixel camera

Joseph Faber’s “Euphonia” was both a response to the telegraph and a remediation of it. He imagined a telegraph that could speak, leading him to construct a model of the human speech organs. Faber studied language and human vocal anatomy in order to break them down into parts and then reorganize them mechanically. The Euphonia operated by “By pumping air with the bellows and using different combinations of 16 keys to manipulate a series of plates, chambers, and other apparatus including an artificial tongue (Levy 29).” The false head black boxes and masks the mechanics of the vocal process. Faber created an artificial organ through which artificial speech could be achieved. The artificial organ of speech is doubled by the machine as musical organ and an extension of the silent organ that is Faber’s own vocal tract.
taken from this site

Apparently it (she?) spoke in a slightly German accent, even when speaking in English — undoubtedly due to the fact that Faber was a German immigrant — with a voice that was described as ‘a weird, ghostly monotone’. That may have been true, but keep in mind, people were more easily-spooked back in the 19th century.
The Euphonia is quite fascinating, cos it’s not really a Gynoid, despite its feminine appearance, and it’s not so much a robot or an automata; it’s more like a webcam decades before webs or cams existed. One one hand, Faber succeeded in his attempt to put a human face to a voice; however, Euphonia would’ve had everyone that contacted you through it both look and sound like bodiless German Gynoids. *thinks* Maybe that wasn’t such a failed effort after all, then.
Something I’d found amusing on that linguistics site linked above was a bit that mentioned

The mastery of the machine is limited by the selections already built into the design as it was not for example, designed to scream. It’s possible that a screaming effect could have been achieved by hacking the machine and manipulating the pedals, which control pitch, but no such instance was ever recorded.

Which, as far as I’m concerned, was an opportunity wasted.

+ Speaking of affictitious heads, the fine people of Vladivostok’s Anatomical Doll have recently released another head sculpt, available for all three of their Doll bodies. This lovely young rubber lass is named Eco, which leads me to ask: is ‘Eco’ the Russian word for ‘fox’? Cos, I mean, hmmm.


Reproduce scenes from ‘Jennifer’s body’ in your very own home! Or, if you’re a true masochist, scenes from Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’! Err, I take that last suggestion back; no-one, Organik or Synthetik, should have to put up with Bayformers. Please, don’t taint your Eco.

+ Let another diminutive silicone woman into your heart, life, and pants with the Wicked RealDoll version of Lupe Fuentes!

Photo by Stacy Leigh

Much like her Organik twin, she features a 30B cup, a 20in waist, and 31.5 hips, with an appealing size 5 shoe. Unlike her Organik twin, however, she clocks in at a dainty +/- 60lbs, which is remarkable. A Doll that light could ride you like a stallion! Ahem!

+ And finally, remember how I’d mentioned last November how Californian company Sinthetics was gearing up to release New Silicone Sexiness upon the world? Well, perhaps you should give their site a look now, if you haven’t already. Or would seeing more of this sort of thing convince you?

Tawny, looking like a much more attractive Tori Spelling

Celeste, about to say ‘No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!’ again

If you answered More Of This Sort Of Thing, you answered correctly! I’d show you photos of their other two models, Alicia and Monique, but you’ve been spoilt enough as it is. Plus, they’re usually topless. JESUS COME BACK AND AT LEAST READ THE REST OF THE POST, YOU ANIMALS.
Interestingly enough, Sinthetics (man, gotta get used to typing it using that spelling) don’t call their affictitious ladies Dolls, but instead refer to them as manikins. As they explain on their site,

Often people like to pigeon-hole things like products or groups of people. We feel that our products reach much farther than the mainstream understanding of a “love doll” and therefore we recognize the art in our products and call them manikins.

Gotta say that I like the way they’re approaching things… Their incredibly delectable Female Body 1H weighs around 73lb, wears a sz 7 or 8 shoe, and boasts measurements of 32G (‘closest commercially available bra size, actual bra size 28H’, they say), a waist of 23in, and 31in hips. If you’re like me, your mind has come to a complete halt due to this knowledge. Not only that, but for an additional $300, they also offer a low-voltage built-in heating system situated in her abdomen, much like the ones found in some Anatomical Dolls. And did I mention their manikins feature a flexible spine for forward, backward, and side-to-side hip motion? Yes.
So if, later on in the year, you find yourself with a Sinthetic in your home and you can’t get anything done, don’t blame her; that’s the coward’s response.

You may now feel free, at this point, to unbate your breath. Until next month, of course!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

A clang, followed by another clang on August 31st, 2007

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Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2010)

typed for your pleasure on 23 November 2010, at 5.10 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sun demon’ by Stereolab

+ First, some music. I’ll let my mate Wolfgang, of ‘Far Away and Close to Home‘, explain this:

In 1986, Neil Young (yes, THAT Neil Young) got himself a load of synths, sequencers, effects racks and a vocoder and started going nuts. (If I was a lame Rolling Stone writer I’d say something like “Neil Young traded in his heart of gold for a heart of silicon”, but of course I don’t suck like them). The album Trans was the result, and includes this song about loving a gynoid.

I’m not gonna lie and say that I’m a fan of Neil Young, but I do respect him. The man likes feedback, and any guitarist that can appreciate a good squealing amp is all right in my book. And now that I’ve learned that he’d made an electronic-based album with a song about a Synthetik, he’s gone up a couple of notches, there!

+ Thanks to [INTERNET PIRATES], my friends and I regularly enjoy many films and television programmes from far-off, distant lands; usually the United Kingdom and Japan, mostly. Maybe Korea sometimes, it depends on what they’ve got to offer. At any rate, fellow iDollator bloke Euchre brought a new telly show, currently airing on NTV, to my attention, by the name of ‘Q10‘.

She’s apparently using some pretty hardcore hairgel

One day, while under the influence of alcohol, Kishimoto Jiro, the principal of Shikahamabashi High School picks up a “girl” from the garbage. The next morning, that girl is sleeping in the school premises when she is found by Fukai Heita. The robot girl suddenly comes alive and Heita names her ‘Q10′. ‘Q10′ starts to adore Heita, its godparent, and Heita, who has not been popular with girls all the while, is bewildered. The robot ‘Q10′ is taught by Heita about humans and begins to learn …
taken from this site

‘While under the influence of alcohol’, geez. Is the writer an Amish?
The show sounds like an amusing lark, but it’s so niche that it’s guaranteed not to have an official release outside of Japan. Hell, even trying to find fansubbing groups that carry it is rather like searching for a needle on Planet Haystack. It’s properly classified as dorama (that’s drama to all y’all gaijins), and as such, it’s essentially a soap aimed at teens. Obviously the only factor capturing my interest is the Synthetik angle, and even then, it’s kinda tenuous, thanks to the series’ PG nature…
Interestingly enough, referring to the shows my mates and I watch, we’re quite keen on the Kamen rider series/franchise; we’ve been watching them consistently since Kamen rider Kiva debuted back in 2008. The series prior to that was the insanely popular Kamen rider Den-O, starring Takeru Satō as the protagonist Ryotaro. He also happens to be the bloke in the photo above, portraying Heita. The plot thickens! Actually, no it doesn’t; that’s a lie.

Would you like a compilation of scenes of Q10, acting like a stereotypical Gynoid? Sure, why not?

+ Interesting reading here, by philosophy student Ryan Rafferty, entitled ‘Monozukuri, Kaizen, Karakuri Ningyo. Why Roboethics is Really Psychoanalysis…

Feeling sentiment for objects is hardly a Japanese phenomenon, it’s a common trait of human culture to anthropomorphize things. Our natural tendency to anthropomorphize allows us to intuitively and naturally connect with objects on an emotional (and comprehensible) level through the projection of one’s personality into the thing. This tendency seems to be closely connected to, or perhaps a byproduct of our abilities to empathize. Human beings are capable of empathizing with one another, and even with nonhuman animals— in evolutionary theory, the ability to empathize has served an advantage that has been reinforced through group selection over time, through perhaps an increase in hunting ability, or increased chances in group survival.

Our feelings towards robots and other anthropomorphized machines, such as the mechanical doll [i.e. karakuri ningyo], are more a question of psychoanalysis– the question should not be centred around how we should treat robots, but rather why we create emotional attachments to them– making this an ethically prudential question, rather than something requiring a morally-universal insight.
the entire article is here

As I’d said, it’s interesting reading. There’s a bit of an anti-roboethics skewer at the end of it, but it’s food for thought nonetheless…

+ Further proof that 4woods are toiling 28 hours a day to produce endless variations of rubbery ladies: they’ve not only released yet another stunning new head in the form of Hatsuki, but they’ve also upgraded their already-popular A.I.NEO line to what’s now known as A.I.NEO im. That’s pronounced ‘im‘, as in ‘I’m going to need a second job just so I can purchase more of these Dolls, cos frankly, this is getting out of hand’.

‘And when I woke up, my pillow really was gone’

What makes this sexy silicone sexpot sexier than their last sexy silicone sexpot? Err, in a nutshell: more detailed body design, better hip joints, expanded range of motion, finger articulation, seven different nipple colours, and three different areola sizes. Not only that, the new body can use pretty much all the heads they sell, and the Hatsuki head can use all four bodies. Now, more than ever, you are spoilt for choice.
O, and what’s that whole ‘im’ bit about, you axe? According to their site, “im” means “impact”, “imagination” “impression” and “impulse”. Sure, why not?

+ And finally, remember how last month it was my sad duty to report that Lovable Dolls are no more? Well, it appears that they’re back — in pog form!! No wait, that’s not right. A fledgling company is now utilising Matt Krivicke’s sculpting talents, bearing a name that Sidore and I definitely approve of — Sinthetics.

Nice day for being affictitious

As this news is roughly a day old, it technically qualifies as a ‘scoop’, but they knew I’d get the word out. ‘Extry extry’, etc. As a consquence, that’s really all the details on the company I can provide, but as I’m prone to say, when I know more, you lot will as well, so try to restrain yourselves until further notice. I mean, I’m doing what I can. *grinds teeth* I should mention that one of their Dolls made her debut on the ‘Josie is a Doll‘ episode of the latest cable reality (in quotes) show, ‘Married to Rock‘ this past Sunday, and she looked very appealing…
In the meantime, why not keep an eye on their site, which is now linked in the usual place in ‘Shouting etc etc’s sidebar?

Now you are informed! And I managed to post this before the end of November! And on the 23rd, yet! Everyone’s a winner

Technorati tags: Synthetiks, iDollators, Neil Young, Trans, Q10, Kamen Rider, Roboethics, Android, Gynoid, robot, 4woods, A.I.NEO im, Lovable Dolls, Sinthetics, Married to Rock

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typed for your pleasure on 17 October 2010, at 2.29 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Live at Gilman st’ by Masonna

And now, the twin sister to the previous half!…

+ This would be breaking news that I just learned of, otherwise it would’ve been in the previous post — you’ll forgive me, of course — but remember that adorable walkin’ talkin’ Gynoid Miim-chan, formerly known as HRP-4C? It appears that she was centre stage in a dance routine at the Digital Content Expo this month. Thumbs up for Miim-chan!

Sure, their dresses look as if they raided The Four King Cousins wardrobe, but still, an impressive display. And at the very least, it’s better than that ridiculous Tron hat they made her wear last year. Now all AIST needs to work on is 1) making Miim-chan’s movements a bit faster, and 2) rebuilding her body so that she has legs to show off as well, wink wink. She still meets and exceeds the Synthetik sexiness quotient, however.

+ Orient industry, the pioneers that revolutionised the dutch wife in Japan, have released four comely new heads for their fantastic Real Love Doll Ange line: Anna, Erika, Saori, and Shizuka. Lovely as the photos are, I can only show their faces here, cos their shoots feature them in the altogether, and some people actually view ‘Shouting etc etc’ from public venues, such as the library. Admit it, you’ll be heading round to the Orient industry site after you read this, liberry or not.

Left, Saori, looking like Lindsay Lohan; right, Erika, looking like Saori looking like Lindsay Lohan

From my limited fumblings in translation, it appears as if the Ange line at least is now starting to be made with better skeletons, as the site mentions titanium frames. They’ve also have increased posability, eye movement (meaning you’ll be the one that moves them, not the Doll herself), and something impressive/scary listed as… ‘power grip’. Ahem. Well done, Orient industry!

+ 4woods have hit another one out of the park with the debut of two new heads! So technically, they’ve hit another two out of the park, if that’s the case. Anyway! Now available for purchase would be the alluring Alicia, and the charming Coron, both of which are guaranteed to improve anyone’s day. Fact.

Alicia likes slingshot bikinis and pouting, yet dislikes shoes and oligarchy

Coron-chan, doing her best to make sure the bed doesn’t float away

The Alicia head fits the A.I.Doll Evolution body, whereas the Coron head was designed to fit the A.I.Peach body, so take that into consideration when you’re deciding which lovely 4woods rubber lass you want to order.
Funnily enough, I used to watch a tokusatsu series called ‘Chōjū sentai Liveman (Super beast Battle team Liveman)’, and one of the characters was a cheery and guileless Gynoid named Koron. Perhaps 4woods are hinting at something? Or maybe Hiroo Okawa is just a sentai fan at heart…

+ Speaking of A.I.Dolls, photographer Hiroshi Watanabe has enlisted a group of them, as well as a few Organik ladies, as models for his new project, ‘Love Point’.

Left, ‘Mitsumi’; right, ‘Yu-ki’s Hand’

Watanabe’s previously photographed those things which represented the fictional performances or representations of mankind. In this new body of work, the boundaries of fiction and reality become increasingly blurred and tangled. He has photographed both life-like Japanese sex-dolls and live Japanese models, intermingling of the real and fictional images within this photobook. To further blur reality and fiction, the dolls are made-up, dressed and posed to appear like live women, while the live models are made-up, similarly dressed with wigs and posed to be appearing doll-like.

In this body of work, his usual black and white photographs further abstract the portraits and eliminate additional clues as to which is the live model versus which is the life-like Japanese sex-dolls. It appears that he has taken license and careful consideration to make them indistinguishable. This continues his discourse on fact, fiction and fantasy.
taken from this site

Very interesting! Well, it’s a monograph with the subject being Dolls; of course it’s interesting.
‘Love Point’ doesn’t seem to be widely available in the States, but you’ll be pleased to know you can order a copy from photo-eye Bookstore.

+ So people were impressed with TrueCompanion’s Roxxxy, ‘the world’s first sex robot’. Sure. However, I’d personally met Roxxxy and her creators at her debut at AVN 2010 this past January, and to me, the definition of a robot is a machine that is capable of movement, which is an area that Roxxxxxxxy was a wee bit deficient in. Macmil Cybernetics, on the other hand, have shown that they can create artificial partners that are quite capable of motion, and they’ve been around since 2008. Q.E.D.

Not bad, but make one that looks like Anne Hathaway, and I WILL BUY THREE

Sex Bots are a result of several years of research and development on specially engineered movements and countless hours testing materials. Our sexbot features life-like movements and has a specially formulated synthetic skin for a natural flesh-like feel. Sex Bots have various options such as radio remote control and/or interactive touch sensory so if you touch it correctly it will “turn on.” Both options are completely wireless except for a port to charge as easily as charging your cell phone.
taken from the site

As the videos could be seen as *cough* suggestive by some audiences — man, these ‘morals’ are slowing me down like no-one’s business — you should click this link here, to see them on Macmil Cybernetics’ official YouTube channel. And ladies/gay blokes, you’ll be pleased to know they don’t just make Gynoids, they make Androids as well! There is something for everyone. Well, within reason.

+ Much as how I’d mentioned in a previous post, there’s a bit of lag time between the Mecadoll models being available for purchase in Europe, and their availability for purchase in the States. So unless you buy direct from French distributor Dream Doll Creation, you might have to wait a number of months for Synth Creations, or as they’re now called, Mechadoll, to sell the brand new Chlea model. Although she might well be worth the wait.

ENDEARING POUT: included. EURO SHADES: not included

Much as how the CandyGirls I’d profiled above are… less encumbered by clothing… in their actual site galleries, so it goes with young Chlea. It’s sultry Continental lasses like her that make me wish I’d paid more attention in my gradeschool French classes. *sigh*

+ Have you been keeping up with the new faces that Abyss has for the RealDoll 2 line? Ever since their starting lineup of Michelle, Carmen, and Aimee, they’ve added a billion of them! And when I say ‘a billion’, obviously I mean ‘just three’.

Left, Laila; right, Victoria. Photos by Stacy Leigh

You’ve got Laila, Victoria, and Elena to choose from now, making your RealDoll selection that much more difficult. Think of it this way: were it not for me rethinking my decision at the last minute, Sidore might’ve ended up being a Body 5, Face 8 Stephanie-type! In an alternate universe, however, she is.
Think on that.

+ Another intersection of RealDolls and The Art World has taken place: a website by the name of California is a place was host to two projects related to the affictitious ladies from Abyss creations: one is a video essay by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari entitled ‘Honey pie‘, with the other being a photo series by the Zackary half of the duo.

People may thoughtlessly disparage artificial companions as surreal or creepy, but there’s simply no denying that all Dolls have, at the very least, an undeniable artistic worth — art should provoke, after all.

+ Recently, the iDollator world has suffered the loss of two Synthetik companion brands — My Party Doll, by the company of the same name, and Lovable Dolls by KnightHorse. KnightHorse are still continuing to manufacture and sell their alluring Lovable Feet, but the loss of both brands is still highly regrettable. As someone who promotes the idea of Synthetik companions as a whole due to their beneficial effects, no matter what company they come from, events like this unfortunately reduce the different types of Dolls available to those in the iDollator community, as well as those looking to enter it, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Hell, I’m still sad that Chestnut co. Ltd’s Rare-Borg line no longer exists, and they stopped production years ago.
There’s an applicable saying the Buddhists have concerning the impermanence of all things, but I can’t seem to recall it at the moment.

+ Finally, as David Bowie once sang, it’s been fiiive years since Sidore’s site ‘Kitten with a Whip!’ has given her a significant online presence. We’re still working on resurrecting it — our biggest obstacle is a lack of funds with which to pay a coding bloke to get it started and finished — but in the interim, she now has one of them thar newfangled tumblr sites what the kids’re into these days, appropriately named ‘Synthetik week-end’. The name comes from when she’s on Twitter, usually at the week-ends; one of the things she does is load down the Twitter servers by posting pictures of Dolls and Gynoids, and she identifies those tweets with the hashtag #synthetikweekend. Try looking it up, and see what happens!
So justify my Missus’ efforts, and give ‘Synthetik week-end‘ a look-in! I’ve also linked it in the uppermost bar, right under the site banner, so you’ve no way of forgetting it exists. And why would you?

And now your brains are brimful of useful and relevant Doll information. Until the next installment, that is!
Happy 23rd! (ta very much to Luna Chase and Rayschro for some of the links)

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