August Robot Update

August Robot UpdateHere is a question for the ages: why is it that male (or ostensibly male) robots look like fat white spacemen while female (and we use the term loosely) robots look like Barbie dolls? Is it because the coolest Cylons on Battlestar Galactica are the women?

Yes, dear friends, it’s time for another Planet Tokyo robot update. In this installment, we learn that Japanese scientists have developed a remarkably human-like robot, or rather made marked progress on a previous model. Iterations in robots are hard to follow without a flowchart. Robots have made major leaps in innovation in the past few months, and today’s robot has:

. . .flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Actually, she’s very pretty for a robot, though a bit reminiscent of a television news anchor (lifelike messy hair would help here, also better hands). Repliee Q1Expo (the successor to Repliee Q1, designed to look like a young girl) is able to move while retaining a graceful seated position. Like all good robots, Q1Expo mimics human movements and expressions. Women everywhere will be interested in the robot’s ability to feign interest in the arcana of football. Men? Well,

“More importantly, we have found that people forget she is an android while interacting with her. Consciously, it is easy to see that she is an android, but unconsciously, we react to the android as if she were a woman.”