The Valley of the Lamb

Posted in art, personal, technology by johnsnavely on October 31, 2010

As most of you know, I am obsessed with the Uncanny Valley. I want to live there.

Actroid F is a modified version of the Geminoid F female robot that we discussed earlier. A lot of effort has gone into making these robots simpler, cheaper, and easier to power. The air compressor and valves that control Actroid F’s motion can run off of household electricity. Actroid F is also 30 kg lighter than other full scale robots in the Actroid/Geminoid series. The webcam setup for telepresence is meant to be as simple as possible while still providing the right experience for the user. To talk through Actroid F you need three cameras: one aimed at the speaker to pick up facial expressions and movements, another camera showing the Actroid’s face so the user can see how the robot is conveying her emotions, and a final camera that shows a panoramic view of the robot interacting with people in the room. A little more complex than your standard Skype portal, but that’s to be expected when you are speaking through a robotic avatar. Pay attention in the videos below to see how Actroid F can clearly pick out face and head movements, and adjusts its eyes to follow sound. This is a very life-like robot…which, again, is probably why it can be so eerie to watch.



One Response

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  1. John Fearnside said, on November 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I saw this too, very “uncanny”. Of course it’s so uncanny because it’s not really a robot. It’s not autonomous but rather uses live motion capture. They do this for the same reason they do it in movies: to achieve greater realism. To date, algorithmic motion is still rarely convincing enough to cross the “valley.” Do you know if the low weight figure includes the air compressor? Still kudos to these folks, this is the most realistic fake human I’ve seen. Step aside Hall of Presidents!

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