Tuesday, March 17, 2009

HRP-4C: The female model robot

robot model I have seen many, many different kinds of robots designed and built in Japan but this is the first time I am seeing a model designed specifically for the catwalk. The design differs from the earlier models where the focus was clearly on interaction (where there would be a touch screen or the face would be very detailed but the rest of the robot would not be) or on demonstrating technology like walking  (where the face would not be detailed a-la Honda’s Asimo or the body would be covered with cables). Developed by Japan’s AIST, This “lady” puts the focus on looking like a person – albeit a person wearing some sort of protective suit. The face is said to be designed based on anime characters as looking too much like a human would be “uncanny”. The height and the weight though, are based on research into Japanese women and the robot stands at 158 cm and weighs 43 kilograms.

I am definitely intrigued. I don’t yet know where she will do her first runway walk but I will try to find out and go. I know that it is supposed to happen next week (the 23rd of March), somewhere in Tokyo.

You can see the press release (in Japanese) here, and watch her demonstrate some of her capabilities here, here, and here. The  press release went out today and it was covered by media outlets all around the world so a quick search online can give you articles in your own language :)

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