Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation played host to the debut of a couple of robots notable for their human-like qualities, including shells of silicon skin, insides of artificial muscles and speech abilities capable of perfect readings from prepared text.
Robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University, said the new robots have actually provided helpful insights into human behavior, the Associated Press reported.
“Making androids is about exploring what it means to be human,” he said, AP reported. “[It’s about] examining the question of what is emotion, what is awareness, what is thinking.”
The two robots showcased at the Tokyo venue this week — Kodomoroid, designed with a girlish figure, and Otonaroid — are remote-controlled machines able to move their lips in time to voice-over readings, twitch their eyebrows, blink and even read, AP reported.
The robots did stumble in some respects — Otonaroid failed to respond twice when asked to introduce itself, AP reported.