Geminoid F: The creepily lifelike singing fem-bot
The video: Renowned Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro wants to make androids that are so realistic they fool humans. And his most advanced effort, Geminoid F — the "F" is for female — is in the midst of her coming-out party at a Hong Kong mall, showing off for, and even singing to, passing shoppers and robot enthusiasts gathered for an international Robots in Motion exhibition. (See Geminoid sing below.) The fem-bot can smile, frown, pout, and make about 60 other facial expressions, powered by 12 mechanical actuators situated under her rubber skin. Most of Ishiguro's androids sell for around $1.2 million, but Geminoid F will be more accessible at $110,000.
The reaction: "Girls, beware," says the Daily Bhaskar. This "gorgeous female-looking robot" is so freakishly realistic, you may soon have some stiff competition. Yes, Geminoid F "can talk and sing like a human," says John Walsh in Britain's The Independent. But it's not her "passive-aggressive sulk" or "blinking eyes and shy smile," that I found creepy at a recent press conference — it was her minder, the twentysomething Japanese woman after whom Geminoid F is modeled. Stroking her android doppelganger's cheek and hair with an indulgent smile, it looked like the minder wasn't sure which one of them was the robot. See how real, or robotic, Geminoid F looks singing the Japanese pop song True True: