Meet Your Miniature Android Duplicate

Get an android doll forty centimeters tall custom-made from your photograph by Little Island - just $2,215. It's equipped with a computer, 80 gig solid state disk and Ethernet; the software is stable Win XP.

And now the android duplicate video.


('Mini-Me' android robot video)

As you can see, this is not a walking, gesturing version of yourself, so fewer worries there. However, it can mimic your voice and even speak your words for you. The Little Island website is not clear, but it appears that you can sit your look-alike doll at a meeting and then speak through it remotely.

I'm now picturing a meeting of people who were all too important to attend in person; it looks like one of my daughter's tea parties.

Just remember the word "Shutdown" - that forces the off switch.

At some point, of course, they will add robotic movement and allow you to download yourself into one; then you'll have a ditto blank like the ones in David Brin's 2002 novel Kiln People.

Most of the ditto blanks that people buy are made elsewhere, but I did glimpse some specialty items as we swept by - rigid figures dimly visible inside translucent packing crates, some of them uncannily tall, or gangly, or shaped like animals out of some legend. Not everyone can handle being imprinted into a non-standard human shape, but I hear it's a growing fashion among trendsetters...
(Read more about Brin's ditto blanks)

Now that I'm thinking about it, I think that there is an earlier short story with a similar kind of theme. In his 1938 short story The Robot and the Young Lady, Manly Wade Wellman writes about a rather unprepossessing man who tries to impress his blind date by sending a tall, handsome teleoperated robot. The robot goes to the restaurant, and meets the beautiful Miss Winthrop, who is a perfect match for the handsome robot. As it turns out, though, Miss Winthrop has also sent a robot! (Bet you never saw that one coming.)

This story is actually a very early version of the idea of a teleoperated robot; read more about Wellman's excellent description of a teleoperated robot surrogate.

I can't remember other sf films or stories with similar themes offhand, but I'm sure there must be lots of them. Readers?

From Little Island [English].

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/5/2009)

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