Philip K. Dick Robot Unveiled At NextFest 2005

One of the distinguishing characteristics of a Philip K. Dick novel is his remarkable ability to blur the line between natural human beings and androids - human by artifice. For example, in his book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, he uses devices like the mood organ to make his human characters seem more like biological machines, open to manipulation. At the same time, the artificial human beings are made to seem more life-like.


(Philip K. Dick Robotic Memorial Portrait
At NextFest 2005)

The eerie robotic Philip K. Dick unveiled today at the NextFest 2005 event in Chicago is almost an objectification of Dick's fascination with what really makes people human. The robot was designed to provide a convincing imitation of life, with subtle head movements and facial expressions. The software that gives life to the device is well-stocked with all of Dick's printed works and memoirs. It also has face recognition software and a library of faces; it was capable of recognizing several of Dick's relatives who came to take a look at the project. It includes voice recognition and natural language processing features.

The Philip K. Dick robot is presented in a small 1970's living room; windows shut out excess noise that can ruin the voice recognition software that is used to interpret questions by visitors. I asked several questions, including "Are you paranoid?" and "Can you pass the Voight-Kampff test?"

Unfortunately, the Juke Bot presentation less than fifteen feet away made it difficult to really interact with the robot. So, I asked David Hanson, the CEO and Chief Scientist at Hanson Robotics (co-creators of the Philip K. Dick memorial robotic portrait); he responded with a firm "No" to the second question. Keep an eye on their products, though - this part of the future is coming on fast.

The Philip K. Dick android project is the creation of a team of designers, engineers, programmers and artists. Hanson Robotics, the FedEx Institute of Technology and the Automation and Robotics Research Institute at the University of Texas Arlington collaborated on the project.

If you are interested in life-like robots, take a look at Robot Repliee Q1. Find out more; see the pkd-Android Project and the project description at Hanson Robotics.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/24/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.

What Are Robots Thinking?
'Your clothes... give them to me.'- James Cameron, 1984.

Competing With Blue Collar Robots
'With the chronic worry of the unemployed, he... ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'- Harry Harrison, 1956.

Robot Bartenders At Sea
'We've promised him a generous pension from the royalties on usuform barkeeps...'- Anthony Boucher, 1943.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'

Mind Control Of Gene Expression In Mice
'We used your thought images almost entirely...'

Nixie Wrist-Ready Flying Selfie-Cam Drone
'He set his camera to follow him...'

DARPA Wants Airborne Launch Facility For Drones
This was tried with recon craft in WWII.

Lit Motors Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

Neuromorphic Brain-Chip Takes Flight
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

What Are Robots Thinking?
'Your clothes... give them to me.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.