|Erica, Japan made human Android|
Robots have been among men for decades now. They were first seen capturing US Presidents, disposing of them and taking on their identities to rid earth of humans and rebuild cyber-tron here. Ok, maybe that was a little off but robots have been in use on Earth for a pretty long time. They are commonly used in production environment such as a factory which makes chalk. Robots may be used to either cut and pack the shorts to a particular dimension. Ketchup makers use robots to seal and label ketchup bottles. When robots were first introduced into factories, it created a great human depression as millions of workers were sent home who had lost their jobs because the robots had replaced them and was capable of doing the work of 100 men with much less overhead. If we take a good look at the evolution of robots we can see a vast difference in where robots were only used in factories to robots finding their way into peoples homes and used as helpers and companions.
The Transition of Robots
We have always seen movies such as star wars which gave us a sneak peak of what the world of robots had to offer. Star wars highlighted two robots in particular. C-3PO and R2-D2. These robots are droids. A droid is a fictional robot possessing some degree of artificial intelligence in the Star Wars science fiction franchise. Coined by special effects artist John Stears, the term is a clipped form of "android", a word originally reserved for robots designed to look and act like a human.
But fast forward into the future you see where droids and android robots may take over from us humans one day. Scientist and engineers as we speak are working on robots with extreme lifelike capabilities. Japan leads the Android robot revolution with a very human like android called Erica. Erica the android is as close to humans as it gets right now. She exhibits many human traits such as enjoyment. She (the robot) says that she enjoys the theater and animated films, would like to visit south-east Asia, and believes her ideal partner is a man with whom she can chat easily. (WHAT THE HELL!)
According to TheGuardian, She is less forthcoming, however, when asked her age. “That’s a slightly rude question … I’d rather not say,” comes the answer. As her embarrassed questioner shifts sideways and struggles to put the conversation on a friendlier footing, Erica turns her head, her eyes following his every move.
It is all rather disconcerting, but if Japan’s new generation of intelligent robots are ever going to rival humans as conversation partners, perhaps that is as it should be.
Erica, who, it turns out, is 23, is the most advanced humanoid to have come out of a collaborative effort between Osaka and Kyoto universities, and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR).
At its heart is the group’s leader, Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, perhaps best known for creating Geminoid HI-1, an android in his likeness, right down to his trademark black leather jacket and a Beatles mop-top made with his own hair.
Erica, however, looks and sounds far more realistic than Ishiguro’s silicone doppelganger, or his previous human-like robot, Geminoid F. Though she is unable to walk independently, she possesses improved speech and an ability to understand and respond to questions, her every utterance accompanied by uncannily humanlike changes in her facial expression.
Erica, Ishiguro insists, is the “most beautiful and intelligent” android in the world. “The principle of beauty is captured in the average face, so I used images of 30 beautiful women, mixed up their features and used the average for each to design the nose, eyes, and so on,” he says, pacing up and down his office at ATR’s robotics laboratory. “That means she should appeal to everyone.”
I am in for technology, but I for one do not trust robots. Robots can be hacked and controlled. Can you imagine a million of these robots being hacked and control by some ruthless terrorist who decides to hold the world hostage because he did not get a lollipop when he was a kid? Erica may be the future of robots, but I still rather my robots looking like R2. So what is your take on having a robot like Erica at home, would you get yourself one?