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Robot Actress Makes Stage Debut In Japan

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-a-wee-bit-freaky dept.

Robotics 140

Robotron23 writes "The BBC reports that a robot named Geminoid-F has made its acting debut (video) in Japan. The short play in which it appeared was a sellout with the Japanese public, who were curious to see the robot's performance. However an actress who co-starred pointed out that the lack of human presence made the droid difficult to act alongside."

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Slashdot Users Like Sucking Horse Cock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228472)

Fuck Slashdot, and fuck Linux.

Acting skills (4, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228480)

The video picks on the android's acting skills, but I tell ya, give her bigger boobs and she'd be a natural for porn!

Oh Yeah! Japanese robot porn!

RULE 34!

Re:Acting skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228580)

The video picks on the android's acting skills,

I think this could easily be remedied by making the robot act scenes that needs robots.

We got rid of blackface, now let's get rid of metalface!

Re:Acting skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229920)

large boobs is an American thing, which is really silly for the rest of the world.
But the very contagious element in Japanese porn is if someone is "rape-pable". As you can see in many comics imported to America today.

Pixellated pussy? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230106)

large boobs is an American thing, which is really silly for the rest of the world.

Japanese porn, OTOH, is characterized by bound girls and pixellated genitalia [platinumfetish.com] .

Shouldn't be too difficult, the robot is operated by wires, anyhow.

And so it began... All My Circuits (4, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228490)

I would go on to have a thousand and four season run.

Re:And so it began... All My Circuits (-1, Troll)

zheng55 (1939692) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228612)

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Re:And so it began... All My Circuits (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228778)

Surely you mean a thousand and twenty four season run?

Future is here (1)

badran (973386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228494)

So when will we be able to have Calculon?

Re:Future is here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229092)

Who knows?

Yet somehow I suspect that some people are also looking forward to "Chobits - The Broadway Musical!" appearing on a theater marquee soon.

Re:Future is here (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230730)

Didn't you catch him in that hit series he did a few years back -- The X-Files [wikiquote.org] ?

Scary (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228498)

The Uncanny Valley Effect [wikipedia.org] is strong with this one.

Re:Scary (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228520)

I, for one, welcome our creepy robotic overlords.

Re:Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228602)

You mean that British human girl?
I agree, the Asian one is much more cute!

Re:Scary (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228656)

Reminds me of the scene in Terminator where they had an animatronic head of Arnold Schwarzenegger plucking out its eye.

Re:Scary (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228814)

Seriously! Just look at that thing's primary manipulation appendage at about 0:22 to 0:25 - the wrist is completely wrong, the hand is not the hand of a thing that has ever lived. It's just plain horrifying.

Faces are one thing, and a lot of researchers have focused on getting those really good, so as long as the thing isn't moving it's actually passable. Hands, however, seem to currently be completely unreproducible. (even in games! Most NPCs have what seem to be sticky blobs with tendrils on the ends of their arms, even in the most ultra-realistic recent games)

Re:Scary (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228976)

Buddy why do you fixate on the hands so much? For me though, I find their blinking crappy. It's not so hard to make a 1/500s blink with a servo is it?? Camera shutters do it all the time why can't they make the blinks more natural?

Re:Scary (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229452)

I thought it looked like it was blinking intentionally slow. I would not be surprised if it had bedroom eyes on purpose.

Re:Scary (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229606)

Well, I guess it will attract lots of cats then.

But anyhow, I'm perplexed to read through 70+ comments here, and not find a single reference to Idoru.

Re:Scary (1)

Grr (15821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229514)

In games it's a matter of level of detail though (either for the CPU/memory or simply workload for the animators). A body skeleton typically consists of around 30 bones. If two hands with 5 fingers get 3 bones extra that doubles the load for relatively little effect. For a single player character it's still worth it. For NPCs it typically does not make the cut.
In animation each bone typically has 6 degrees of freedom so it is no problem to copy any hand movement. Doing the same with servos in robots at a natural speed and in a coordinated manner is a lot harder.

Re:Scary (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230686)

Faces are one thing, and a lot of researchers have focused on getting those really good, so as long as the thing isn't moving it's actually passable. Hands, however, seem to currently be completely unreproducible.

Which is is puzzling to me. I would think a lot more research would be done on useable, lifelike robotic hands for amputees.

Not The First (5, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228518)

Actually, the first robot actor ever was Keanu Reeves.

Re:Not The First (0, Offtopic)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228588)

No way Bells is bigger than Waimea brah.

Re:Not The First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228644)

"Actually, the first robot actor ever was Keanu Reeves."

I think you mean Steven Seagal.

Actually, (2, Informative)

u38cg (607297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228802)

...you're looking for Rossum's Universal Robots, [wikipedia.org] which I am disappointed to note no-one has yet brought up.

Re:Actually, (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228872)

mate...Rossum's were humans acting like robots acting like humans,,,,,Keanu is a human trying to act like a human!

Re:Not The First (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229024)

No actually it was the Governor of California.

Re:Not The First (1)

Chatsubo (807023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229332)

Surely you mean Steven Seagal?

Re:Not The First (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230334)

No, it was Chuck Nor@^$
@
no carrier

Re:Not The First (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230470)

Actually, the first robot actor ever was Keanu Reeves.

David Duchovney. [comedycentral.com]

Re:Not The First (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230680)

What about Robert Picardo [wikipedia.org] and Brent Spiner [wikipedia.org] ?

Oh wait, they just play robots. The FA video won't play on this computer, but I bet it looks more human than Picardo did as Johnnycab.

What the director said (1)

DavMz (1652411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228526)

The director said that this was the future of theater. You could have robots acting the way you envision it, without having to care with all the problems human actors tend to bring with him.
I saw it on the Japanese TV last night. My opinion is that if he doesn't like directing actors, he should look for another job.

Re:What the director said (4, Interesting)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228550)

if the bot's performance is the sum total of the director's intent, they will suck.

directors prefer certain actors over others because of what they bring and how they interpret the material.

a director that is under the illusion of having complete control is a nightmare to work with, and they produce crap. ...that said, this robot's giving better performances than some i've seen.

Re:What the director said (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228842)

it's a good idea, but until you see a really good director screw it up it's a bit of a shot in the dark, i'm sure that at least one director as ruled with an iron fist and pushed out a good movie or two

Re:What the director said (1)

LambdaWolf (1561517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230620)

if the bot's performance is the sum total of the director's intent, they will suck.

directors prefer certain actors over others because of what they bring and how they interpret the material.

a director that is under the illusion of having complete control is a nightmare to work with, and they produce crap. ...that said, this robot's giving better performances than some i've seen.

Playing devil's advocate for a minute... what if the crap from control-freak directors happens only because they are attempting the impossible task of executing their vision through a human actor? What if you had a director with a complete and vivid image for how he wanted a role played, down to the last detail, and the technological wherewithal to implement that vision without needing to harangue a human actor into doing it for him? If you beat the uncanny valley, maybe it wouldn't suck. In fact, the creative process I just described is essentially animation, but with tangible robotic models (a necessity for stage productions) instead of pictures.

Also, consider that in some of the best movies out there—Citizen Kane, for example, and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet is a personal favorite of mine—the director and the lead actor are the same person. This, in a manner of speaking, allows the director to direct the actor without a barrier of interpersonal communication. I find it interesting that it has that in common with a director programming a robotic actor. This technology will have to do a hell of a lot of maturing before any of this is useful in practice and the first several dozen productions to seriously attempt it will probably be nothing but crackpots, but it's food for thought.

Re:What the director said (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228570)

I bet he would love to work with CNC mills.

Re:What the director said (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228600)

Has no one read The Darfstellar? This can only end in a human actor getting shot.

Re:What the director said (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230200)

I have. In fact there was a line in that story that carries with me till today. The technician talking with teh actor in the projection room. The actor asks, "what happens when they make a black box to replace you". The tech replied, "I'd learn to make the black box."

Robots replacing actors, programs replacing programmers...the key is trying to look down the road and see what is coming so you can learn to "make the black box", the next change. Like any good/great Scifi, that book changed my view for a life time.

Re:What the director said (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230818)

The director is right. This will be so popular that the robots could form a band and do a variety show. And just to get more people in the door, they could also serve pizza and have some kids games like Skee Ball and arcade machines and rides. And they could call it... Showbiz Pizza. The future is here indeed.

robot or puppet or android or automaton? (4, Interesting)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228548)

The thing is tethered with all manner of control cables, so it's just a high-tech puppet. Was howdy-doody a "robot"? ...and did buffalo-bob suffer a lack of 'human presence' with the marionette he had to act with?, hell-no. thems was proper saucy-puppet-shows back in the stone age... yep.

Curious future effect, with cultural differences? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228552)

In Japan there is apparently no Ship of Theseus-like paradox (at least if Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams is to be believed; not sure what appearance of said paradox in Ghost in the Shell might mean) - the essence of given object is quite firmly not related to materials from which it is (currently...) composed.

I wonder if such "robots" can/will be viewed by as the birth of "androids" - if some were to be constantly worked on, that is.

Re:Curious future effect, with cultural difference (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228986)

GITS is carped bombed with references to western philosophy. I suspect it is much in the same way as how often a katana shows up in a hollywood action (in the hands of a aryan war god(dess) no less).

It would probably do a great job (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228562)

acting in the role of Caprica Six

Elephant in the room (4, Interesting)

0olong (876791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228578)

I don't understand why Japan is so obsessed with creating androids, while (arguably) the most essential technology behind enabling interaction with humans; the AI field of Natural Language Processing is being glossed over (or at least not getting the amount of attention it deserves). Not just computers, but humans too (and Japanese people in particular) tend to have great difficulty handling the barriers that foreign languages pose to vast amounts of useful foreign data. A successful grammar independent NLP framework for data representation, now that should be a goal to focus on. Everywhere, but in particular in insular countries like Japan. Sorry for wandering off topic...

Re:Elephant in the room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228670)

Give them a break! They have to build their own Gundams before they turn 16 for crying out loud.

Re:Elephant in the room (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228952)

Japan's population is aging and getting smaller. From Japan's point of view, it makes sense to augment society's ability to cope with the increased workload by developing robots capable of doing a lot of the work.

Re:Elephant in the room (4, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228998)

The natural response to that would be to allow more foreign workers in, but Japan have a very long history of xenophobia. I recall reading about someone that would avoid mentioning what part of the city he lived in, as it used to be the a Korean district in feudal times and still carried a social stigma.

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229400)

Additionally, in case of Japan, the fear of immigration also probably involves a dose of claustrophobia.

Re:Elephant in the room (0, Troll)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229746)

It seems like for whatever reason, Japan doesn't trust foreigners to respect its traditions. In doing so, they completely disrespect the foreigners without giving them a chance. It's nearly a no-win situation with the only viable solution being to maintain a work visa for long enough to marry someone Japanese (and then wait some more) or just wait it out long enough to be granted citizenship (often 10 years or more).

Even this won't often stop the prejudice like "No Foreigner" shops and restaurants, or extensive police profiling based on race. God forbid you're white and you walk through Akihabara at 4AM...

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

0olong (876791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229114)

From Japan's point of view, it makes sense to augment society's ability to cope with the increased workload by developing robots capable of doing a lot of the work.

Capable androids require NLP. Maybe a car analogy might help you: they're trying to invent an automobile by designing windshields and dashboards, instead of developing a working engine.

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

urusan (1755332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229392)

A better analogy would be that they are trying to build cars using steam engines. The core technology isn't quite there yet, but there's not much that chassis developers can do to speed that up. In the meanwhile, they'll try things out and maybe they'll find some use for what they do come up with (if we put these steam cars on rails...) and maybe they'll come up with some useful stuff that speeds up development when the core technology matures (we need better lubrication than tallow for all these mechanical parts).

Anyway, the main thing they're interested in here is perfecting robot bodies, not the AI that controls them. People will never take cute robots as seriously as other people and anything less than nigh-perfect human simulations will fall straight into the uncanny valley. Fixing these problems requires a very different skill-set than fixing the problems of NLP.

Perhaps it will turn out that this work is ahead of its time, but even so the lessons learned today can be applied in the future.

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229706)

the AI field of Natural Language Processing is being glossed over

If you created the perfect female sex robot and taught it to argue with you, what's the point?

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229734)

If you watch further (and maybe understand some of what the director is saying) the android *IS* voice controlled.

There is plenty of work in Japan going toward speech processing both inbound and outbound. Vocaloid was an accidental discovery while trying to synthesize realistic human voice for an android.

Japan has a problem getting its next generations to take care of the previous aging generations that need assistance, so they are turning to robots to take over this niche. There are actually many domestic helper-bots already in service, and a majority of them respond to voice commands.

Is it Monique? (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228590)

Maybe she should star in yet another remake of the Stepford wives, only this time it is valuable robots being replaced by humans.

"Android", not "Robot" (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228606)

The Geminoid-F is an android, i.e. made to strongly resemble humans. When I first read the summary I thought it meant something like Asimo acting.

Re:"Android", not "Robot" (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228622)

Looks like we just found "that guy".

"Gynoid", not "Android", not "Robot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228694)

The Geminoid-F is a gynoid, i.e. made to strongly resemble a hot piece of ass. When I first read your comment I thought it meant something like Keanu Reeves acting.

Re:"Android", not "Robot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229322)

If you want to be pedantic, it is a gynoid.

Missed It By That Much (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228616)

I was going to comment that she surely was the first robot stage actor, but wiki tells me Keanu played Mercutio in high school.

A robot that can act? that is old news. (1)

apn_k (938000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228624)

The question you should be asking now is, can she sing and dance? Cause from the look of things, the HRP-4C has it beat on both counts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZJqiUrbnI [youtube.com]

Re:A robot that can act? that is old news. (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229494)

Yes... they've invented a robot who can do the White Girl Shuffle. Call me when they have a robot who can do everything the background dancers were.

Why bother with a robot... (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228628)

... when you can already attend concerts with a singing and dancing virtual pop star [slashdot.org] that is only about half as creepy?

Hatsune Miku (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228640)

you should watch some of it: youtube.com/results?search_query=hatsune+miku [youtube.com] .

She's programmed to be... (1)

razberry636 (601469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228714)

She's programmed to be very busy right now.

Flash sucks... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228980)

Combine a flash video with a busy site and that's what you get. Why can't they just put a link to a mpeg file and let the browser use the normal video player?

Anyhow, the BBC being slashdotted seems a bit too much for me. If they want real time video they should first make sure that their servers can send out the bits at whatever rate is required.

Animatroinc (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228738)

It's an animatronic, not a robot. The kind that theme parks have.

Re:Animatroinc (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228744)

OK, so it's Westworld rather Terminator. I'm still scared.

Re:Animatroinc (2, Interesting)

NoBullet (1940666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228918)

Yeah i was about to say this. And Disney's is a helluva lot more impressive. Funny how the japanese version shakes around when it moves its head. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LepI9g62N7o [youtube.com]

Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (1)

lanner (107308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228750)

Can someone explain the obsession that the Japanese have with white people? It's like some form of self-inflicted racism or something. I don't get it.

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228808)

First and foremost... by "cacasion" assume you meant "Caucasian", because using the root of "caca" that would be implying you think that robot looked like shit. (I mean this in the most humorous/friendly of ways haha)

Secondly, if you want to know, certain studies [arstechnica.com] have shown that it is easier to recognize people that share (your) same race. It is not racism, it is art...if you were surrounded by people that were purple for most of your life, you'd likely model a purple robot with purple skin and purplish features - it is what you are most familiar with...

Jumping to conclusions and saying that the Japanese creating a Japanese look-alike robot is "self-inflicting" racism seems like a bit of a stretch to me...hell I'd say rather their artists are likely the majority Japanese that's all. America on the other hand generally has a more diverse workplace and may have a more diverse line of robots...if Androids were popular here.

Just my take, that's all.

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (1)

aiht (1017790) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228890)

It seems the GP's tragically variable spelling skills have distracted you from his main thesis.
He's actually asking why the 'robot' (or android, or animatronic monster, or what-have-you) was made to look Caucasian, and not Japanese.

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (2, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229524)

There's a weird idolization of white people in the Japanese culture that I've noticed among friends from that country. As a culture, they try to emulate whatever's better than them, and for some reason, dropping an atomic bomb on them convinced them that western culture was better.

That said, I do know Japanese people who do have that skin complexion, and the eyes are ambiguous, so there's nothing to say that the robot is supposed to be caucasian at all. It could simply be modeled after a Japanese person who doesn't have slanty eyes... they do exist, you know.

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (0)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230008)

No Asians have slanty eyes. That is a Caucasian trait.

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228912)

What makes you say that it is a white robot? If anything it looks mixed, but it could also pass for Asian, albeit with a 1950s hairstyle (have you seen actual photos of upper-class Asian women during that time period? They look like this). I would hazard a guess that whatever its facial features look like to you, is probably just a result of what they could do for the face, given that it's not a real face to begin with. If they were obsessed with making it white, it would have been blonde. Believe me. It would have been. Oh yes.

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228948)

Looks Asian to me (quite similar to the woman in the control room that was shown briefly). What do you suppose white people and Japanese people (or Asian in general) should look like? Let me guess, in your mind it's Brad Pitt vs. William Hung.

It may come as a shocker to you, but there are also plenty of Ozzy Osbourne [google.com] s and Takeshi Kaneshiro [google.com] s in the world.

Now tell me more about this alleged racism again. Is it in you, or the Japanese?

Re:Why is that Japanese robot cacasion? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229226)

It could be a commercial thing. Japan exports a lot of electronics and most it is aimed at westerners. It wouldn't pay for the robot to be designed to look Asian, even though its just a skin they stick on to the outside.

Actroid F (1)

crf00 (1048098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228768)

I don't know much since most of the materials are in Japanese, but I think before this it is called Actroid F. There is a Youtube video on the late testing phase of Actroid F [youtube.com] . Three months ago I also saw two [youtube.com] obscure videos [youtube.com] with translated title "Long Distance Service Terenoido" which I believe shows the early prototype of the robot. Through the videos of the naked robot we can see pretty clear why the robot can only sit still and not move it's hand.

It's a fancy puppet (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228798)

This is Jim Henson's muppets on steroids. It's an advanced and complex machine to be sure, but it doesn't do anything on its own. As the article shows/says, it is controlled by a person remotely. I fail to see the difference between this and any other puppet. There are robots that are programmed to respond to its environment, but this doesn't seem to be one of them. I don't think it's fair to characterize this as a "robot actor" until it can act. Wakamaru is a better actor.

Re:It's a fancy puppet (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229774)

I fail to see the difference between this and any other puppet.

Well, Kermit has more charisma and looks less creepy.

I don't think it's fair to characterize this as a "robot actor" until it can act.

Why hold the poor robot to a higher standard than a human?

mod DOwn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228800)

'*BSD Sux0rs'. This ch[osen, whatever

Jmod d0wn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34228844)

create, manufacturE on baby...don't own lube, beverage,

Not very talented (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34228926)

However an actress who co-starred pointed out that the lack of human presence made the droid difficult to act alongside

There are actors who've acted quite successfully alongside empty spaces - where the other character(s) will be added in later either manually or by CGI. They have to imagine the reactions.

Perhaps she's just not very talented?

Re:Not very talented (2, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229026)

Or perhaps it wasn't easy for those actors as well.

Re:Not very talented (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229552)

Acting alongside an empty space is a *lot* easier than acting alongside a robot that isn't actually looking at you, but rather through you. You can imagine something in the empty space and play against it, but when there's actually something in that spot that you're supposed to play against, it's nearly impossible to set up a proper dynamic when it isn't playing against you.

Seen better robots at Disney World (3, Interesting)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229036)

Seriously, can't they do better than that? A puppet sitting still, slowly moving its arms, lips and eyelids? Remote control from back stage? Did we somehow teleport back 20 years or so? There are already robots that can walk around and do all sorts of movements based on real time autonomous decisions, surely you can make one that does a series of realistic, pre-programmed movements for a play?!

Re:Seen better robots at Disney World (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229192)

'There are already robots that can walk around and do all sorts of movements based on real time autonomous decisions,..'

Oh no, not another Pelosi joke.

Re:Seen better robots at Disney World (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229766)

None of them are truly bipedal AND look humanoid with everything down to facial expressions, and any bipedal robot is unstable at best. I can imagine it would be far worse to have a walking robot fall over and not get up than it would be to have it just remain seated.

I'm pretty sure the cables are just power, audio, and pneumatic air to drive the movement actuators.

Re:Seen better robots at Disney World (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229894)

Well, TFA says that the actions of the robot were controlled from behind the scenes by a human. I do agree that actually walking around might have proven difficult (even the best models do still fall over from time to time), but this robot barely moves at all! And the movements that it does make, are jerky. In the video, it looks like the robot is not even moving its arm, but the actress is holding it. This is technology from a few decades ago.

Re:Seen better robots at Disney World (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230586)

20 years ago, ever been to the hall of presidents? they are not that less conviencing and that is 1960's "robot" tech

speaking of which how is this the first? 50 years of animatronics anyone?

Missed it by 46 years? (3, Interesting)

billius (1188143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229142)

I fail to see how this is any different than Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln [wikipedia.org] , which Disney brought to the World's Fair in 1964. I suppose you have the added element of a human actor working alongside the animatronic, but I didn't see anything interesting. Mostly I just found the thing creepy...

I attended this "play" (3, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229164)

The play went well, and the Robot actress was surprisingly seamless in her role.

There were a few hushed gasps when she snagged her blouse and revealed her arms were, in fact, two "Goal Keeper" Gatling guns, but apart from that, it was an enjoyable display of technology meets art.

OBep...? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229366)

ple4Se moderate

#$!^@# commercial (1)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229566)

The video link produced a commercial. I don't watch video commercials on the Internet...in fact I don't watch many commercials on TV either. Hence I wasn't able to see the robot.

Re:#$!^@# commercial (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34229690)

oh no! an advertisement on the internet? what is this world coming to.. when will these people learn, commercial free media content is a basic human right

Ironic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229668)

It is ironic that the BBC is reporting this. Its news presenters have been droids for years:

"Buzzzz. Click click. Public spending good... austerity bad... whirrr"

"Tick tick clunk. Israel evil... America evil... must not mention Darfur... All crises the fault of the white man... beep beep"

"Gurgle gurgle boing... Must give more airtime to Polly Toynbee... Must pretend China no longer totalitarian... Must propagandise climate change using taxpayer's money... Big cars bad except when they're ours... EXCUSE ME you've put skimmed milk in my latte... MUST EXTORT TAX PAYER BY GOING ON STRIKE! MUST DESTROY ECONOMY VIA CHAMPAGNE SOCIALIST PROPAGANDA!!!! TARGET HUMANOID DEEE-STROY
DEEE-STROY!!11!"

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230220)

Ha ha, yes.

This robot sounds perfect for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229704)

The lack of human presence.. absence of soul.. stilted interaction.. .. the role of IT programmer!

Re:This robot sounds perfect for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34229958)

Hey, if you'd ever been stuck on a team doing SSDD[0]-- Subsequent Sales-Driven Development[1] -- your soul and desire to interact with other human beings would whither and die, too!

[0]Nope, the initialism wasn't an accident
[1]Where the specification changes every time a new potential client wants something done differently. Which is every potential client.

It has begun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230068)

Skynet is here.

Chucky Cheese (1)

ohiovr (1859814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230618)

Has prior art!
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