The Copy & Paste guy
Hiroshi Ishiguro is a Japanese scientist at the University of Osaka’s, Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. His field of research, oddly enough, is anthropology. And his discipline, human robot interaction. “My research question is to know what is a human.” – Ishiguro tells to a journalist – “I use very human like robots as test beds for my hypotheses.” Naturally, this means he builds androids and plays around with them, to really understate his job. His latest, award winning creation, is the Geminoid. In his quest to understand human nature, behavior and intelligence, he started out on the most logical step: to replicate the most understandable subject – himself.
Geminoid has silicone rubber skin, pneumatic actuators, powerful electronics and hair from Ishiguros own scalp. Man controls the robot remotely, using his computer. A camera captures his motions and the robot replicates them. Through a microphone, Geminoid replicates his creator’s voice.
Ishiguro’s ultimate goal is to achieve through robotics, what the Japanese call ‘Sonzaikan’ – the feeling of being in the presence of another human. It’ll be one small step for a human, but a giant leap for a robot.