Japan’s latest robot creation is an impressive combination of bipedal humanoid locomotion and simulated human interaction.
The robot, charmingly known as HRP-4C, can walk and talk with reasonable aplomb, being able to manage a self-introduction and a saunter which is optimistically described as being “just like a fashion model.”
The robot may go on sale next year, and is envisaged as being a “walking mannequin”, with sales to department stores hoped for. No likely price is mentioned.
The unit was developed by a governmental robotics lab, under the auspices of the National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (AIST). It is 158cm tall and weighs 43kg, being capable of operating on battery power for 20 minutes.
Typically, Japanese researchers have obsessed over none-too-practical (but very impressive) bipedal robots, with androids as the distant goal, whilst elsewhere (notably the US) we see a more utilitarian approach which is happy to incorporate all manner of animal and mechanical motion to get the job done efficiently. Clearly, Gundam has much to answer for.
Fortunately, there appears to be a huge market for both.
The obvious next step is combining this technology with the sex doll; Japan leads the world in both technologies, so expectations are high…