Monday, March 16, 2009

Beware of robots on the catwalk

So if you have the technology to build a robot, what purpose would you build it for? Maybe pulling people of of burning buildings, or dismanteling bombs, or maybe even as in-home care for the disabled? No that would be a waste, 2 million dollars of development would be much better spent on the catwalk selling the lastest in human fashion.
"Japanese researchers on Monday showed off a robot that will soon strut her stuff down a Tokyo catwalk.
The girlie-faced humanoid with slightly oversized eyes, a tiny nose and a shoulder length hair-do boasts 42 motion motors programmed to mimic the movements of flesh-and-blood fashion models.
"Hello everybody, I am cybernetic human HRP-4C," said the futuristic fashionista, opening her media premiere at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology outside Tokyo.
The fashion-bot is 158 centimetres (five foot two inches) tall, the average height of Japanese women aged 19 to 29, but weighs in at a waif-like 43 kilograms (95 pounds) -- including batteries.
She has a manga-inspired human face but a silver metallic body.
"If we had made the robot too similar to a real human, it would have been uncanny," said one of the inventors, humanoid research leader Shuji Kajita.
"We have deliberately leaned toward an anime style."
The institute said the robot "has been developed mainly for use in the entertainment industry" but is not for sale at the moment. "