In this economy, a job is a job. And while we await the day that we can hire our robot companions to handle our household duties, humanoid semi-celeb Geminoid-F is exploring other possibilities at a Takashimaya department store in Tokyo. Here, Geminoid is blazing a trail for androids everywhere by taking a job in a storefront window to see how the humans passing by respond.
The idea, according to Geminoid-F’s creator, is to see how people respond to an android in the window rather than the usual mannequin. Mannequins, after all, are static and don’t show off clothing in a real-world, kinetic way. Ideally a store would have live models in their displays, but that’s simply impractical. But he thinks androids can fill that role admirably, interacting with passersby while showing off clothing worn by a real human analog.
So Geminoid-F sits there coyly, acting as though she’s waiting for a friend. She’s programmed with emotions and 65 different actions triggered by her sensor data. She doesn’t speak to anyone, but occasionally she will look up at viewers, and perhaps return a friendly smile. But mostly she just ignores you and stares at her mobile device. These robots are getting more and more realistic all the time.
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.