Tag: ‘Kokoro’

Geminoid F: Remote-control female android

05 Apr 2010

+ Video

Researchers from the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University have teamed up with robot maker Kokoro Co., Ltd. to create a realistic-looking remote-control female android that mimics the facial expressions and speech of a human operator.

Modeled after a woman in her twenties, the android -- called Geminoid F (the "F" stands for female) -- has long black hair, soft silicone skin, and a set of lifelike teeth that allow her to produce a natural smile.

Geminoid F, tele-operated fembot --

According to the developers, the robot's friendly and approachable appearance makes her suitable for receptionist work at sites such as museums. The researchers also plan to test her ability to put hospital patients at ease.

The research is being led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, who is known for creating teleoperated robot twins such as the celebrated Geminoid HI-1, which was modeled after himself.

Geminoid F --

The new Geminoid F can produce facial expressions more naturally than its predecessors -- and it does so with a much more efficient design. While the previous Geminoid HI-1 model was equipped with 46 pneumatic actuators, the Geminoid F uses only 12.

In addition, the entire air servo control system is housed within the robot's body and is powered by a small external compressor that runs on standard household electricity.

Geminoid F --
Geminoid F and her human counterpart, wearing outfits by fashion designer Junko Koshino

The Geminoid F's easy-to-use teleoperation system, which was developed by ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, consists of a smart camera that tracks the operator's facial movements. The corresponding data is relayed to the robot's control system, which coordinates the movement of the pneumatic actuators to reproduce the expressions on the android's face.

The efficient design makes the robot much cheaper to produce than previous models. Kokoro plans to begin selling copies of the Geminoid F next month for about 10 million yen ($110,000) each.

[Via: Kokoro, AFP]

Diego-san humanoid robot baby

18 Jan 2010

Researchers from the Machine Perception Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego have teamed up with Japanese robotics firm Kokoro Co., Ltd. to create a sophisticated humanoid robot modeled after a 1-year-old child.

Diego-san baby robot --

The baby robot -- named "Diego-san" -- is designed to help researchers study how infants develop motor skills during the first year of life, according to a recent Kokoro newsletter (PDF). In addition to providing clues about how infants interact with the physical world, researchers will also use the robot to explore how babies acquire and refine the ability to use nonverbal communication such as gestures and facial expressions.

Diego-san baby robot -- Diego-san baby robot --

Diego-san's body has over 60 moving parts, making it Kokoro's most sophisticated robot to date. The robot weighs 30 kilograms (66 lbs) and is 1.3 meters (4 ft 3 in) tall, which is quite a bit larger than the average 1-year-old.

The baby humanoid also has a rather sizable head, thanks to 20 moving parts that allow it to make facial expressions, along with high-resolution cameras for eyes, an audio speaker in the mouth, and 6-axis accelerometers in the ears that allow it to detect orientation and movement.

Diego-san baby robot -- Diego-san baby robot --

Other features include 5-fingered hands capable of holding objects such as plastic bottles, sensors that detect the amount of pressure placed on different joints in its body, and the ability to stand up from a sitting position in a chair.

Apparently, Diego-san's face is still under development (the rubber face shown in the photos is just the first prototype). The researchers are still debating about whether the robot should have a realistic human-like face or one that looks more mechanical.

[Source: Kokoro News (PDF) via BotJunkie via somebadideas]

Robot doppelgangers for sale

14 Dec 2009

Department store operator Sogo & Seibu has announced plans to sell two humanoid robots custom-built to look like the people who purchase them.

Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro with his robot double --
Roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro already got his

The mechanical doppelgangers are available for a limited time as part of a special New Year's promotional sale at Sogo, Seibu, and Robinson’s department stores. They will be built by Japanese robotics firm Kokoro, which is perhaps best known for its line of Actroid receptionist humanoids.

In addition to providing the robot with the owner's face, body, hair, eyes and eyelashes, Kokoro will model the robot's facial expressions and upper body movements after the buyer. The robot's speech will be based on recordings of the owner's voice.

Orders will be accepted from January 1 to 3 at any of Japan's 28 Sogo, Seibu, or Robinson's department stores. Only two robot twins are available, but given the hefty price tag of 20.1 million yen ($223,000) each, the stores will likely be hard-pressed to find any takers. If more than two orders are received, the purchasers will be selected in a random drawing.

[Source: IT Media]

Video: Actroid stars in TV commercial

25 Jul 2008

Actroid female robot actress --

Actroid DER-2, Kokoro's uncannily lifelike fembot, has made her acting debut in a TV commercial for Kincho's Preshower UV insect repellent/sunscreen spray. Titled "The Woman Who Doesn't Rust," the 15-second commercial spot shows Actroid outdoors at a campground, where she recommends using Preshower because, as a female, her skin is important. After a few squirts of the spray, she cheerily adds, "Surprisingly, I don't rust." (Watch it.)

*** Updated with higher quality video ***

Simroid (a.k.a. ‘Pain Girl’) on TV

27 Mar 2008

Simroid, a.k.a. Ita-girl --

Simroid, the silicone-skinned, pneumatically-powered female patient robot designed to help train dental students, recently appeared on the Fuji TV show Idainaru Miraizukan. (Watch video.)

In addition to highlighting Simroid's ability to interact with dentists and react to mouth pain, the show features an interview with Dr. Naotake Shibui of the Nippon Dental University in Tokyo, who helped develop the robot with engineers from Kokoro Co., Ltd. According to the interview, Simroid is modeled after a 28-year-old woman, and her fear of dentists and sensitivity to pain have earned her the nickname "Pain Girl" (Ita-gaaru). Asked why Simroid is female, Shibui explains that female patients must be treated with more sensitivity than male patients. With sensors embedded in her chest, Simroid can teach dentists-in-training to pay close attention to where they place their elbows.

Simroid's primary purpose is to help dental students improve their patient communication skills.

Simroid: Dentistry in the uncanny valley (video)

29 Nov 2007

Simroid --

Simroid, a robotic dental patient with an eerily realistic appearance, has been spotted at the 2007 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo. Designed primarily as a training tool for dentists, the fembot patient can follow spoken instructions, closely monitor a dentist's performance during mock treatments, and react in a human-like way to mouth pain. Because Simroid's realistic appearance and behavior motivate people to treat her like a human being, as opposed to an object, she helps dental trainees learn how to better communicate with patients.

Simroid's body and control system was developed by Kokoro Company Ltd., creators of the Actroid receptionist robot. Like her Actroid sister, Simroid is equipped with a system of air-powered muscles and soft silicone skin. However, she has something the Actroid does not -- sensitive teeth. Thanks to a mouth loaded with sensors, she knows when her dentist-in-training makes a mistake. And to express her pain, she grimaces, moves her hands and eyes, and says, "That hurts."

Kokoro says that for an extra touch of realism, Simroid exhibits a gag reflex when instruments are inserted too far into her mouth.

Watch a video demonstration...

[Via: IT Media]

Actroid DER2 fembot loves Hello Kitty

05 Oct 2006

Actroid DER 2 -- Kokoro, a Sanrio Group company specializing in the design and manufacture of robots, unveiled its new Actroid DER2 feminine guide robot at Sanrio headquarters in Tokyo on October 4.

Actroid DER2 is an upgraded version of Kokoro's previous fembot, Actroid DER, who has made quite a name for herself by providing services at a number of events, including the 2005 World Expo. Compared to the previous model, DER2 has thinner arms and a wider repertoire of expressions. The smoothness of her movement has also been improved, making it now even more likely for the uninitiated to confuse her with an actual human being.

Actroid's limbs, torso and facial expressions are controlled by a system of actuators powered by pneumatic pressure. Once programmed, she is able to choreograph her motions and gestures with her voice.

Kokoro intends to rent Actroid DER2 to companies and events. The basic rental fee is expected to be 400,000 yen (US$3,500) for 5 days, plus extra fees for technical support, delivery and choreography changes. For those who can't cope with a sayonara after 5 days, there is a late fee of 80,000 yen per day.

[Source: Fuji Sankei]


UPDATE - Oct 7, 2006: Video via Robot Watch.

Geminoid videos

22 Jul 2006

Geminoid with creator IshiguroGeminoid is a remote-control doppelganger droid designed by and modeled after Hiroshi Ishiguro, professor at Osaka University and researcher at ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories. Robot Watch has released some short videos, which you can see at the links below. Video format is WMV.

Video 1: Ishiguro introduces himself through Geminoid.

Video 2: This segment shows Geminoid's facial movements. The telepresent Ishiguro explains, "When someone touches Geminoid, it seems as if I am the one being touched."

Video 3: Geminoid (Ishiguro) doesn't like it when you touch his face.

Video 4: Geminoid is programmed so that his head continues to move, even when not being specifically controlled.

Video 5: Sitting next to Geminoid, Ishiguro discusses his research concerning "presence."

In Latin, gemin means "twin" or "double," while -oid is a suffix indicating a "likeness to something else." Hiroshi Ishiguro would say that his Geminoid is like a twin. The body is a copy of Ishiguro's, and the shape of Geminoid's skull was created based on MRI scans of Ishiguro's head. And Geminoid shares some of his mannerisms.

Geminoid's body, which was produced by Kokoro, makers of the Actroid line of fembots, has 46 degrees of freedom and is driven by a system of air compressors. The skin consists of soft, silicone rubber. Confined to a chair at the moment, the android is unable to stand up and move about on his own. Communication and power cables exit his rear end and snake through the shaft of the chair out of sight. It took 6 months of work to develop the body and about 2 to 3 months to develop the software.

One of the purposes for creating Geminoid is to explore the concept of tele-existence -- to figure out what is needed in order to copy an actual human's "presence" so that he or she may exist in two places at once. "I wonder how possible it is to separate one's inner self and outer self, to create distance between one's body and soul," Ishiguro says.

See more photos of Geminoid at the link below.

[Source: Robot Watch]