If art mimics life, Geminoid F might be considered a masterpiece, albeit a very unsettling one. The remotely operated female robo-clone was developed by the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory and Japanese robot maker Kokoro to carefully and realistically duplicate the facial expressions and speech of her human operator.
Modeled after a real woman — who can be seen above on the right — the humanoid ‘bot has life-like silicone skin, realistic black hair, and even a set of pearly whites that break into a rather convincing smile.
However, Geminoid F is far from the complete robotic package; she was designed with efficiency in mind, employing just 12 pneumatic actuators rather than her predecessor’s 46, meaning her range of motion is actually far more limited. But when it comes to reproducing facial tics and other unspoken gestures, she’s really quite skilled. A tele-operation system uses a smart camera to track a real person’s facial expressions and reproduce them in the android’s face.
So why shed all those extra pneumatics? If you recall, Kokoro also the manufactures personalized robo-clones that can be tailored to look exactly like you — for about $225,000 a pop. Geminoid F will go on sale next month for half that price; by focusing on facial features and shedding superfluous motions elsewhere, the company hopes the robot will become an approachable and practical solution for automated receptionist work.
We’re not so sure about all that, but you can take a look at the video below and decide for yourself. You may not be able to understand the spoken language, but Geminoid F’s face says it all.