According to IEEE Spectrum’s automation blog, three geminoids met in Japan at the ATR laboratory on March 30th. What are geminoids? They are telepresence robots that take the form of an android (human looking robot).
You can probably tell that the people standing are the real humans, and the rest are the geminoids. The geminoids are Geminoid F, Geminoid HI-1, and Geminoid DK, whose originals are the lady on the left (whose identity we don’t know too much about), Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, and Prof. Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University, in Denmark respectively.
Prof. Ishiguro has made a generation of geminoids on his quest to answer the question “what is a human?”
The following IEEE Spectrum podcast features his work and explains the idea of geminoid in 4.5 minutes:
The blog post on the Geminoid Summit reports:
Anyone can teleoperate the androids, but the experience is certainly unique for those individuals who served as templates.
“We wanted to get together and share our experience of having robot copies,” Scharfe told me.
According to Prof. Scharfe, whose Geminoid cost some US $200,000 and will be shipped to Denmark soon, some situations felt more natural than others, but generally he could accept the different conditions as “real conversations.”
He will now take time to interpret the material from these experiments and hopes to publish his findings at some point.
It would be fascinating to read Prof. Scharfe’s papers when it comes out. Meanwhile, here’s an entertaining video of the event: