Slideshow: Tokyo Museum Features Eerily Human Robot Guides

The Japanese have long been early adopters of robots and are generally more comfortable with human-robot interaction than people in many other countries, including the US.

2 Min Read
Slideshow: Tokyo Museum Features Eerily Human Robot Guides

Indeed, Japan already has restaurants that feature robotic wait staff and has produced plays with robot actors, evidence of its early adoption of allowing robots to interact closely with humans.

Up until now these robots have seemed fairly machine-like in their appearance; there’s no question that even while they are interacting with humans, they are definitely not people themselves.

But a museum in Tokyo is pushing the boundary between humans and robots even further with the use of humanoid robot guides that look, move, and speak eerily like humans themselves.

The Miraikan museum, or the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, is featuring a new permanent exhibition of humanoid robots that will perform greeting and guiding duties at the museum. The unusually lifelike robots are the work of a Japanese robotics expert, Hiroshi Ishiguro, who has his own lab within Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Institute International.

Ishiguro is an ATR fellow and world-class robotics engineer who’s been designing robots for 20 years. His robots are well known for being close to human in appearance; he’s even created one using himself as a model that he’s sent to give lectures in his absence.

Three of Ishiguro’s robots are featured at the museum to foster human interaction: Kodomoroid, a child android; Otonaroid, an adult female android; and Telenoid, an android without individual physical human features.

Kodomoroid and Otonaroid will act as guides at the museum, greeting and talking with people who visit. Specifically, Kodomoroid, which is controlled remotely, will announce news and information about the museum and its exhibits to visitors, while Otonaroid will strike up conversations with people who approach it. Telenoid will be on display for people to see and experience up close.

Click on the photo below to see the robots on display at Miraikan, as well as some of the other eerily realistic humanoid robots developed by HIL.

Kodomoroid, a very human-like child android robot, is the work of Hiroshi Ishiguro and is currently acting as a guide at the Miraikan museum in Tokyo. The robot speaks to visitors of the museum and provides them with information about exhibits and their visit.
(Source: Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International)

Related posts:

  • {doclink 273759}

  • {doclink 273697}

  • {doclink 273624}

  • {doclink 269646}

  • {doclink 272727}

  • {doclink 272660}

  • {doclink 271913}

  • {doclink 270175}

  • {doclink 272744}

  • {doclink 272470}

  • {doclink 244543}

  • {doclink 251799}

  • {doclink 260481}

  • {doclink 255699}

  • {doclink 256908}

  • {doclink 254277}

  • {doclink 252260}

  • {doclink 260644}

  • {doclink 260603}

  • {doclink 257893}

  • {doclink 259420}

  • {doclink 262965}

  • {doclink 262579}

  • {doclink 262372}

  • {doclink 269512}

  • {doclink 269204}

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Montalbano

Elizabeth Montalbano has been a professional journalist covering the telecommunications, technology and business sectors since 1998. Prior to her work at Design News, she has previously written news, features and opinion articles for Phone+, CRN (now ChannelWeb), the IDG News Service, Informationweek and CNNMoney, among other publications. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she also has lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco and New York City. She currently resides in Lagos, Portugal. Montalbano has a bachelor's degree in English/Communications from De Sales University and a master's degree from Arizona State University in creative writing.

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like