Maybe it's just us, but some Japanese robots are a special brand of creepy. The moaning mouth was bad enough, but now there's this tadpole-shaped telepresence robot, hereby christened Larvabot.
The Telenoid R1 is meant to be a minimalist human, so details are restricted to its eyes and face, which are strangely realistic. Its body is limited to flipper-like arms and a stylized torso that ends in a mermaid-ish taper.
It is the newest creation of Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University known for creating telepresence androids, designed to "transmit the presence" of people to another place.
Telenoid users interact with people at a distance through a laptop, as shown in the video below. The control system tracks the user's face and head motion and captures his or her voice, then relays them to Telenoid, which expresses them. It's about 31 inches tall and weighs 11 pounds.
IEEE Spectrum says Ishiguro's goal was to create a tele-operated robot that could appear male or female, old or young, and that could be easily transported.
His team admits it's creepy at first, but they swear you get used to it: "If a friend speaks from the telenoid, we can imagine the friend's face on the telenoid's face. If we embrace it, we have the feeling, that we embrace the friend."
It will go on sale in October, with the high-end model priced at $35,000 and a lower-end model setting you back about $8,000, IEEE Spectrum reports.
PopSci contributor Clay notes that it resembles a creepy version of Casper the Friendly Ghost. I thought of Gloworm, a relic from my '80s childhood. What do you think?
i just cant believe there's a market for something like this
Mutant sperm monster.
This is what happens when your used condom is exposed to toxic waste in the landfill.
i think skype is better in audio visual timing and price
Why don't they project the video feed onto the face? There are halloween props that do this from the inside, to create talking bust sculptures. Then the mouth would not have to move.
DARPA did this trick years ago, so that commanders could be teleported. The projectors were on the outside and just feed video onto a white dummy.
(Hey kids! try this at home!)
This is like paying good money to live with a quadruple amputee. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Why talk to your friends over the phone when you can have a crucified bald albino amputee impersonate them for you?
No freaking way Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro is serious about his creations. Sure they might have some vague "proof of concept"-value but surely 99 % is pure "OMG thats so creepy"-publicity-value...
he's as crreeepy as that robot... took me a minute to realize one was 'human'.
Gross, it looks like the thing from Altered States! Might be useful to scare the hll out of a girlfriend tho.
I think the japanese are trying to make a Doom 3 theme park with telepresence controled props...just imagine the HORROR :D
Check the the "cherub" in the following video at about 2:25
Dr. Ishiguro, ONLY creates creepy-looking 'bots. 10 minutes worth of internet searching will show anyone interested just how 'out-there' this guy is.
Dr. Ishiguro is not so much a traditional roboticist as he is a robotics make-up artist. He isn't known for his ground-breaking AI nearly as much as he is for his attempts at creating realistic facial animations and looks...
It's creepy because it's an amputee. Why did they cut off its arms or legs? Or is it a Thalidomide baby?
It needs to be in a wheelchair for it to look close to "right."
Wierd, it just looks too wierd. The technology is cool but Mr. Ishiguro's robots are starting to look freaky, somebody help him. LOL.
But the real question is... Will it blend!?
There is no one here that can honestly say that he does not look like a James Bond villain. Cue Sean Connery.
In 1987 there was a speakerphone shaped like a Teddy Bear sort of a knock off of Teddy Ruxpin that moved it's eyes and mouth when a voice from the distant end came through. I would much rather see a come back of that again than this creepy thing. KC Beariphone: www.ioffer.com/i/teleconcepts-1986-kc-beariphone-teddy-bear-speakerphone-101379693?source=eisi
Pod -- Agreed! I seriously thought the photo had two robots in it!
It looks like Casper the Friendly Ghost
^ Okay, I obviously missed the last paragraph of this article.
What do I think? I think C.S. Lewis was a friggin' GENIUS. In 1945 -- NINETEEN FORTY-FIVE! -- he wrote a science-fiction novel called That Hideous Strength. In it, a character mentions the inhabitants of the moon, who when they get married "do not lie with one another, but with cunning machines that duplicate each others' looks." (The quote isn't exact as I don't have a copy of the book in front of me, but it's pretty close).
This robot isn't anywhere close to what Lewis was writing about, but we're getting closer and closer to that all the time. And Lewis was writing SIXTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. Still blows my mind how brilliant the guy was.
I can't believe nobody else has correctly identified it. It's the Eraserhead baby all growd up.
That video was monumentally unimpressive. To me it just seemed the thing twitched its flippers, waved its head and occasionally opened its mouth in a totally random fashion, completely without reference or corellation to what the guy at the computer was saying. A more useful video would be a split screen, the pod-baby on one side and the webcam feed on the other.
WE already have a teli-presence device that capture facial features, its called a webcam....
The thing is being controlled by the dude with a laptop. This thing will have as many errors as the last iphone.
im sorry this is ritarded
One step closer to Surrogates becoming real...
Looks like something outta Hell Raiser. Yeah, that can easily be jacked up for some hardcore halloween telepresence.
Surrogates in pre perverted estate of development. May everybody understand the play of patents in the background of such sick japanese freak because if not, nobody would finance him in the first place.Think conceptual in ¨Me, robot¨ and in the number of thousands of patents japanese developers AGAIN blocking to euro and american science and industries like they do since they fotographing everything and anything in the name of their own corporated identity (pretty much a robotic organism itself)not interested at all to be part of the overall human world nor to bring to it a good piece of own true development.
Many people dont catch up on asian folks because they dont catch the background of cultural and spiritual believe in the first place.
This is not ment to turn down on Japan but to help to understand their doing and goals to be achieved. Fairly well organised for robotic industries, systems, hard and software included, poisend by the same greedy financial system like elsewhere and not really inventors of anything but social suicide expect always the worst waiting in deep shadows. Funny enough there is more glory to be learned by the peoples republic of China.
Guess you will see now permanently and every year a new and better version of surrogate nonsens we dont need at all, but as I marked it out, its not about this but the strategic chess play in robotic end development, scratching at the surface of cyborgs and other thrill in fusion of science.