If you have been watching ‘Humans‘, the TV drama about human and robot coexistence on Channel 4, you could be forgiven for thinking that the robotic stars of the show look a bit too much like real people and make for rather unconvincing robots, even for a sci-fi television series.
Well think again my fleshy friend, because the truth is indeed stranger than the fiction. Robotic engineers around the globe have been hard at work trying to recreate human anatomy in robot form for many years now and they are getting staggeringly close to achieving their goal.
In Japan, roboticists have been concentrating on making robots that look and act human, unlike in the West where robot design appears to be limited to creating legions of killer robots for the police and military to unleash upon an unsuspecting public. Make love not war seems to be the message here and you could be bonding with a robot in ways you never thought possible in the very near future.
TOSHIBA’s Communication Robot ChihiraAico
The latest realistic robot to roll off Toshiba’s production line is ChihiraAico, a marvel of artificial intelligence who has already mastered sign language and secured herself a job at the main store of Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi in Tokyo, working as a receptionist and store guide.
Toshiba appear to be preparing human-like robots for real world applications and plan on releasing robots for the welfare, healthcare, manufacturing and entertainment industries by 2020.
Han, lifelike humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics
Han is a humanoid robot that can smile, frown, wink and even act drunk, thanks to his myriad of facial expressions powered by 40 tiny electronic motors, covered by a unique human-like skin known as ‘frubber’ a fleshy looking synthetic.
This ultra realistic android can also recognise and interpret the expressions of real humans that it comes into contact with and can hold simple conversations with them thanks to his advanced voice recognition software.
Geminoid DK Mechanical Test
Japanese robot designer Hiroshi Ishiguro, excelled himself when he created this robotic clone, known as Geminoid DK, modelled on Danish professor Henrik Scharfe, who believes realistic artificial humans will be coexisting with real humans within the next ten years.
Humans – Season 1 – Channel 4 – AMC
The line between robot fact and robot fiction appears to be blurring on a daily basis and the new robot TV drama ‘Humans’, could be a prophetic glimpse of how the world will be in the not too distant future.