Repliee R-1 Robot Child In Time For Halloween

Repliee R-1 is a robot child created by roboticists at Osaka University. Repliee R-1 is based on a five-year-old girl; her lifelike silicone skin, 50 sensors and lots of motors allow her to come close enough to human that "she" should fall into everyone's uncanny valley.


(Repliee R-1 robot child video)

Repliee R-1 is the little sister of the more famous Repliee Q1 robot.

If you think Repliee R-1 is a bit creepy, you're not alone. Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori remarked in 1970 that, as robots become more humanlike in appearance, people will respond more positively. However, a point will be reached where people will be strongly repulsed; acceptance will fall. This "uncanny valley" is of great importance for those who believe that robots will play an increasingly important role in our lives.

In the following video, Karl F. MacDorman presents a talk on the uncanny valley. This video is part 1; the rest can be accessed through Youtube.


(Uncanny valley presentation video)

Science fiction fans are, of course, greatly encouraged and interested in (and occasionally creeped out by) the progress made in the field of human-like robots.

Take a look at this montage of performances by Haley Joel Osment in Steven Spielberg's AI (from Brian Aldiss' excellent 1969 short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long). He plays a robot boy; his excellent performance demonstrates how creepy it is for a robot to be human.


(AI movie robot boy)

If you think that you might enjoy having a robot child, read this article about roboticist David Hanson - Roboticist Has Real Son Zeno, Robot Son Zeno.

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