The latest Geminoid robot is one of the most realistic, and thus creepiest, android we've ever seen. The skin, hair, goatee (!), and facial expressions are real enough to fool you for a few seconds while it sinks in that something very, very weird is going on.
This specific model is called the Geminoid DK, and it comes from the same studio that gave us the robotic actress, Geminoid F. The DK is the first Geminoid model that's based on a non-Japanese person (in this case, Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Denmark's Aalborg University) and also the first bearded model (if you consider a goatee a beard, which in my full-bearded opinion is debatable).
Like its Geminoid siblings, the DK is controlled remotely with a motion-capture system in which the Geminoid mimics the movements of the person being captured. Future uses are kind of secondary to the basic goal of making the most human-like robot possible, but it could be a step forward for human-robot interaction--paired with, say, Watson's brain, the Geminoid series could be used in some pretty interesting ways. That being said, here's a terrifying picture of the Geminoid's hair- and pupil-less visage.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.