Geminoid DK: An ultra-realistic android announced (w/ Video)

Mar 07, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog
Geminoid DK: An ultra-realistic android announced (w/Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- The uncanny valley is getting smaller every day. For those of you not familiar with that concept, the uncanny valley is a term, first coined by researchers in Japan, that explains the innate human ability to know when a humanoid robot is just not human, a creepy feeling. A new generation of ultra-realistic robots may make these distinctions harder to make.

The latest robot in the family of ultra-realistic androids, called the Geminoid series, is so realistic that it can actually be mistaken for the person it was designed to look like. The new bot, dubbed the Geminoid DK, was was created by robotics firm Kokoro in Tokyo and is now being housed at Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Nara. The robot was designed to look like Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark. Why he wanted an exact robot duplicate of himself no one exactly knows, but the resemblance is uncanny.

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First test of the Geminoid DK.

The bot will stay in Japan for a while, to finish testing with its human look-a-like, and then it will be shipped to Denmark to live in a special lab designed just for it. Hopefully, the right one gets the seat on the plane. The Geminoid DK will then be used to research "emotional affordances" in human-robot interaction, with a specific focus on looking at the cultural differences in human perception of robots.

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Mechnical test of Geminoid DK

Geminoid DK is not the first attempt to make human-like robots, known as androids, that have created successful results. Another in the Geminoid family, the Geminoid-F is capable of mimicking human and even laughing. Other bots, such as the HRP-4 have learned to mimic human expressions and sound while singing.

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This is from the first test of the Geminoid. The first hint of a smile triggers immediate response.


Explore further: Robots recognize humans in disaster environments

More information: geminoid.dk/

via IEEE (thanks Erico Guizzo for the tip)

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User comments : 13

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lexington
4.7 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2011
The first video makes me notice how much the motion of the shoulders and chest matters in seeming human.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (6) Mar 07, 2011
I think very soon, a robot will be visually indistinguishable from a real person. As impressed as I am with these shells of humanity, I think they need to get moving on the "brain". Right now they have a Disney animatronic. In all reality, I'd rather have a robot that was mentally functional and just looked like a robot. Like the movie "I Robot", I have no problem with a robot looking like a robot as long as it's functional.
Sleepy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2011
The brain? I think when Watson becomes open source and people have it on thier smart phones, we'll have a great brain to stick into that robot.
VitalStatistic63
4.8 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2011
It's all in the eyes. They need to focus on the subject. As soon as you can see the eyes blankly staring off into space, you can tell it's not human.
Ron_Alford
Mar 07, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
soulman
4 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2011
It's all in the eyes. They need to focus on the subject. As soon as you can see the eyes blankly staring off into space, you can tell it's not human.

Absolutely true. But it's not just the blank stare, it's the blinking as well. He couldn't just blink his eyelids without moving a whole bunch of muscles around the eyes and face.

The uncanny valley is still very much apparent. Anyone can make a static dummy look realistic, but it's the kinematics (like blinking, gaze following, walking gait, etc) which are just as important, if not more so.
ODesign
5 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2011
Um, the use of the phrase "uncanny valley" is incorrect in this article description. see. . . http://en.wikiped...y_valley

Actually, the uncanny valley is an aspect of human perception and has not changed in size as the description suggests. It would be fair to say the android in question has gone much of the way across the uncanny valley. It would make sense to say the android is just a little short of crossing the uncanny valley. BUT in all cases it is not the uncanny valley that has changed, it is the androids position in relation to it that has changed.

P.s. you could change the uncanny valley by changing the way people perceive things. Drugs would work, so might brain trauma.
robbor
not rated yet Mar 07, 2011
watch out newscasters and standup comedians
xznofile
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
the eyes need to refocus as the head turns to look at different objects
Bob_Kob
1 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2011
I know aye, stick a camera on it and get it to locate peoples eyes - heck even some desktop webcams have these features.
Bog_Mire
1 / 5 (4) Mar 08, 2011
..."Drugs would work, so might brain trauma." To be honest, I was on drugs when I watched that first video, and it gave me some (extra) brain trauma....*shiver*. I loved Phillip K Dicks "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"...." "There's the First Law of Kipple'Kipple drives out nonkipple'."
Kingsix
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
I for one welcome our new robotic overlords and would like to point out that I could be used to round up other humans to serve in their underground mines.
TheWalrus
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
I don't often complain about grammar or spelling online, but I have to make an exception for "look-a-like."

It's "look-alike." Professor Scharfe and the robot look alike.

Don't even get me started on "sing-a-long."
Spanky
not rated yet Mar 14, 2011
Seems a construct is going to a long time coming, given all the muscle movements involved in being "human". But a software construct, an "Avatar" could be a lot easier. Nothing like your Avatar answering your phone call, or being at your "facebook" site to answer messages. Of course this would require a lot of programing for the avatar to understand human speech, and responses too! With a learning program built in, well it could always get better and better. Until, if your a man, women want to date your avatar or vice versa. Based on my sources there are those working on this, look towards 2012 for introductions.