Don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day next year? You can get a head start now, if you have connections to anyone from Osaka University. Their robotics engineers have managed to create Geminoid F, a female robot that looks like a Eurasian girl, can blink, respond to eye contact and recognize body language.
Geminoid F was inspired by a 2009 Nintendo DS game called Love Plus, which simulates a high school love story and players can choose between three female characters. The result of that is a robot that is remarkably life-like, with her soft, feminine features. Plus, she possesses a certain degree of intelligence so she has been nicknamed the “love bot”. Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro headed the project whose aim was to create a “seamless, humanoid robot”. He believes that Japanese men are more prone to “fall in love” with simulated versions of it, as compared to their Western counterparts. He said the Japanese society is more accepting of these human-like robots because they believe that “everything has a soul”.
But more than just creating a date for the lonely, Gemini F’s main purpose is to understand more about human likeness and human like behaviour. She can either hold eye contact, blink or change her gaze, depending on how the person she interacts with behaves. Professor Thomas Bräunl, director of UWA’s Robotics and Automation Lab says that gaze following and gesture recognition are important factors when creating these versatile humanoid robots. But creating a seamless human-like robot may be next to impossible for now because real human movement is smooth, while robotic movement is still more jerky and abrupt.
[ via Brisbane Times ]