Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Androids at China's Robot Expo

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the realistic-flesh? dept.

80

eldavojohn writes "China's 2006 Robot Expo has wrapped up. Even though there is little information on it online, there has been much attention given to Zou Renti's android. It seems that everyone cool is making androids of themselves these days. There's a decent article on the state of androids in Japan but unfortunately, the concentration isn't on functionality, it's on fooling the humans the robot interacts with: "The key to a successful android, according to Dr. Ishiguro, is both very humanlike appearance and behaviour. One of his early android creations was cast from his then four-year-old daughter. While it looked like her, it had few actuators and its dull facial expressions and jerky movements proved so uncanny that the girl later refused to go to her father's lab because her scary robot double was lurking there." The latest robot he's built has 42 actuators, allowing it to wow many spectators at the expo. I wonder how much longer it will be before we see Blade-Runner-like cases on the evening news?"

cancel ×

80 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Oblig. etc. (1)

rkd2110 (992694) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444161)

I for one welcome our andro... This is getting old. *shrugs and walks away*

Re:Oblig. etc. (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444271)

I welcome our androids who will replace those who think this is getting old, shrugs and walks away. :P

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444679)

As a human overlord, I for one welcome our new android slaves.

As a resistance fighter from the future.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444695)

.. you won't find me standing near any stairs after this.

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

b100dian (771163) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444335)

...has 42* actuators...
Well.. Blade-Runner-like cases or RoboCop-alikes, I think the world is trying too much to mimic the Science-Ficion books.
Why too much"? For example, computer software as we know it (take windows, linux, office, autocad, matlab, catia whatever example) doesn't match at all the vision of the all-problems-solver computers in science fiction books.
I have a strong feeling that androids are also not supposed to be like us, as opposed to what SF belived.

Maybe the HUGE difference between real-world implementation of these fantasies and books is that real world is governed by marketing and economics in general.
You will never have a Blade Runner that's hunting droids from one company, nor a U.S.Robots that does all the robots from 21th century till the end of Foundation..
If it's real world, it's thought by at least two persons at a time, it already has two different versions, it's not humanly-resamblable..., it has WHEELS and SENSORS not eyes and feet...

*reasonable 42 joke intended here

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444985)

I'd take a 2 or 3 cubic meter box that was pink and had warts... if it could cook and clean the dishes.

Re:Oblig. etc. (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445357)

I have a strong feeling that androids are also not supposed to be like us, as opposed to what SF belived.

If you take notice of what's happening in the east, they are trying to make their bots more and more humanlike. I think that's useful in a human interaction role, e.g. an automated cashier at a store or a personal all-purpose android. Of course it's not useful for very purpose-built robots, especially for the military where insect-like bots are much more useful than bipedal mechas or industrial robots which have a pretty much optimal shape already. But most people would probably prefer a bot that looks like a sexy woman over a more useful hexapod bot running around in their home (never mind that the hexapod would never be useful for a certain purpose...). Aesthetics and marketing are important for selling these things, people will buy an iPod over something that offers more functionality at a lower price because the iPod looks more appealing and is made by a brand they know.

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16452969)

"Aesthetics and marketing are important for selling these things, non-geeks/idiots will buy an iPod over something that offers more functionality at a lower price because the iPod looks more appealing and is made by a brand they know."

fixed that for you

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 6 years ago | (#16446157)

I'm waiting for the 42 gigapixel security camera that can zoom in from across the room in a reflection so you can see what some guy with sunglasses is reading by enhancing the reflection you see in his glasses.

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16447785)

You watch a lot of CSI, don't you?

No, wait, that would be if the reflection was in the guy's retina...

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

bchernicoff (788760) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444393)

Don't say that! It wasn't funny this time, but it will be funny again!

Re:Oblig. etc. (1)

phantomflanflinger (832614) | more than 7 years ago | (#16451847)

I'd have thought this was the obligatory post: It's too bad she won't live ... ... but then again, who does?

He Meant (0)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444173)

In Soviet Russia, indistinguishable human doppelganger robotic overlords clone YOU!

Re:He Meant (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 7 years ago | (#16449915)

Where's my damn mod points when I really need them? I don't have any just now, but at least I can give the previous poster "mad props". "Hell yeah!!!

Laws of robotics (1)

God Of Atheism (1003892) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444179)

Do they obey the laws of robotics? Or is the terminator just around the corner?

Re:Laws of robotics (0)

failure-man (870605) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444231)

The US army already has robots that break the laws of robotics. Their armed drones happily shoot at things.

Of course, the laws of robotics will probably do more harm than good with more advanced robots anyway. I've heard Servotron . . . . . .

which part of "drone" didn't you understand? (2, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444279)

The US army already has robots that break the laws of robotics. Their armed drones happily shoot at things.

An armed "drone" doesn't do anything without being commanded to. It has no independent decisionmaking capabilities. Hence the name drone.

The "laws" apply to AIs, not machines.

Re:which part of "drone" didn't you understand? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445381)

What qualifies as an AI? Does the automated targeting system of a Patriot missile battery count?

Re:which part of "drone" didn't you understand? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#16447045)

What's interesting is that if you leave your 3-laws-safe HomeMakerRobot(tm)(patent applied for) at home and go off to work for the day having forgotten to give it any commands, there's nothing stopping it from killing your pets and trashing your house if it thinks your environment is unsafe.

Re:Laws of robotics (0, Offtopic)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444405)

How would you program the laws of robotics?

That seems very hard because they are arbitrary/relative in every situation.

Regularly, you wouldn't pound on a guy's chest. But if they meant to save humans in trouble, they'd have to give the heimlich manuever to a choking man and CPR to a man pulled out of the pool and not breathing - both acts which can break ribs, etcetera - thus being acts they can't perform lightly.

Re:Laws of robotics (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445117)

The laws were made flawed to create interesting scenarios for novels. Nobody wants to read a book where nothing bad or challenging to the intellect happens.

Why? (2, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444181)

Anyone else wondering what use this will be to "copy" people, when we can hardly even make robot walk let alone more these days?

Re:Why? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444375)

Your boss can be in the office in more than just spirit nowadays.

Hook up electronic senses (webcam mic and speaker) and he can be on the golfcourse and in the office at the same time.

Re:Why? (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444759)

Yeah, but all he's doing is thrashing about wildly and trashing his office. He's really got to remember to turn off the motion sensor when he's out on the course.

Re:Why? (1)

Jens Egon (947467) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444449)

From TFA: "Robots are information media, especially humanoid robots. Their main role in our future is to interact naturally with people."

put in an "also" and replace "Their main role" with "One of their roles". Now you've got an almost certain truth.

  • A good story teller can out compete the tv anytime.

  • A robot is already better than a sign (but also (much) more expensive.)

  • A robot can lie as well as it can tell the truth, (most) humans can't.

P.S. What does a wife cost in China these days?

Re:Why? (1)

WCLPeter (202497) | more than 6 years ago | (#16447447)

Anyone else wondering what use this will be to "copy" people, when we can hardly even make robot walk let alone more these days?


Because this is Slashdot. While it might be fun to make android copies of Grace Park using Lego Mindstorms, those hard bricks, 90 degree angles and pointed corners make playing with her not fun. Not to mention the lube keeps shorting the damned thing out.

Or so people tell me.

Pete...

Skin realism (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444191)

The most uncanny thing about these is that, every time I see a new one in the news, the skin looks better and better. That aspect of realism is the most striking, I wonder if this is driven by the prosthetics industry?

Re:Skin realism (3, Insightful)

mrsam (12205) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444207)

the skin looks better and better. That aspect of realism is the most striking, I wonder if this is driven by the prosthetics industry?

Oh, please. You must be an impostor around here. Any true geek would tell you that it's the porn industry that's... err... behind it.

Re:Skin realism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444229)

Skin realism is, I should think, less important for making an android comfortable to interact with than personality realism. To take examples from science fiction, think about Mr Million in Gene Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus [amazon.com] and Anson Guthrie in Poul Anderson's Harvest of Stars [amazon.com] . Both are downloaded personalities of real people, and even though they are encased in ugly battleship gray, the other characters understandably react to them as real human beings because of their personalities.

Meanwhile, even if you had the most realistic-looking android ever, its limited intelligence and tendency to misunderstand would make dealing with it an annoyance. It would be like dealing with an infant.

If robotics wants realism, it's really dependent on progress in AI, not matter how much materials science makes authentic-looking skin.

Re:Skin realism (1)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444247)

I would think you need both AI and the materials science.

Re:Skin realism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16447735)

Skin realism is, I should think, less important for making an android comfortable to interact with than personality realism.

Yes, because when I have my Lucy Liu-bot, the first thing I am planning is a serious discussion of politics followed by religion.

Bloody geek. ;)

Re:Skin realism (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16453119)

"To take examples from science fiction"

That just doesn't work in so many ways :p *waves his lightsaber around and then flies off at warp 10 in his shuttle*

Bear in mind that sci-fi is generally written by one person, who is usually a geek, and who may have different ideas of what they're comfortable around than the rest of the population. A geek may be comfortable talking to a gunmetal-grey box, but your average .. person.. probably won't be. A lot of people don't even like using phones.

Re:Skin realism (1)

failure-man (870605) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444251)

I'd have to assume so. There are very few uses for realistic plastic skin.

Re:Skin realism (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445567)

Animatronics and movie special effects?

Real skin? (2, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444401)

IIRC, the droids have to be enveloped in real skin otherwise they cannot travel through time.

Hopefully, the only built them with six foot cords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444239)

So when the robots turn against us, we'll be able to escape.

Re:Hopefully, the only built them with six foot co (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444601)

And hopefully they don't have metal claws. If you're caught in them, you can't escape, because you know, they're made of metal.

Is there any video... (1)

Tjeerd (976354) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444243)

...available of this? Have been looking on Youtube, nothing there yet. Suppose there must be someone who has some action footage of this doll? Furthermore, very nice and indeed the skin looks very realistic on the pictures. It looks much like the Hanson Robotics [hansonrobotics.com] skins which is/are used for the Albert Hubo [wikipedia.org] robot.

The key to a successful android... (1)

cartel (845256) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444303)

...is a massive neural network (IMHO).

Re:The key to a successful android... (4, Interesting)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444615)

Unfortunately, it isn't true. People with a clue has built massive neural networks before. They didn't magically become intelligent.

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

cartel (845256) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444711)

They didn't magically become intelligent.

Of course not...and why should they have by themselves? Neither will a computer function without an operating system.

I just think that a massive neural network would be a critical component of any artificially intelligent android. It would also, of course, require the correct topologies, proper algorithms, a more adequate understanding of the human brain (and then probably a model of that), massive computing power (quantum computer)?

What do you think?

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444911)

I think that with all that other stuff you mention (including stuff that we don't have, and don't know how to get, i.e. proper algorithms), it would be misleading to label "a massive neural network" as "the key".

The truth is, if we knew what "the key" was, we'd be a lot closer to creating AI than we currently are. As it is, we can hypothetize that it is proper algorithms, a massive neural network, or a lot of other things. In reality we haven't got a clue. In particular, labelling something we already have got as "the key" is most likely wrong.

Re:The key to a successful android... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444925)

*sigh*

OK, I know where people get this, and this sort of thing keeps flowing around, so maybe I can help, just this once.

IAAAIR. (I am an artificial intelligence researcher).

First: neural networks do not, in the general sense, run programs. They get trained to execute what basically amounts to mathematical functions. One function-crunch per cycle, roughly. (I'm vastly simplifying here, but the main point is that neural networks are not, as currently implemented, general-purpose computing devices).

The brain is not a neural network in the generic sense used by programmers. Neurons don't operate that way. And it violates a definition of algorithmic behaviour by not having a clear `beginning' and `end' state of any given operation. At best you can close your eyes and pretend for a while that it's a collection of disparate communicating self-modifying neural nets. Whoops, you just left out brain-wide effects like stress hormones, nutrition and so on, even ignoring hallucinogenic crap people feed themselves for kicks.

Quantum computing, too, does not allow escape from the basic limitations of turing machines. There's some discussion about whether it equates to a nondeterministic turing machine, but it looks like it doesn't even do that.

Even so, let's say that you build a neural network which does The Right Thing(tm); how do you know it's intelligent? Answer: you really don't. We don't have any clear idea of how to reverse engineer the operations of neural networks. So maybe it's intelligent (in the sense of having automated non-human cognitive processes) or maybe it's just a convincing act. You don't know, and until you learn to analyse neural networks (be sure to tell the Nobel folks) you won't know.

If we're going to build an AI (I hate that phrase), and prove that we have done so (contentious point number 5239 in the field), we have to understand the operation of what we assembled. This means we need to have a definition of cognition, an implementation plan which covers the necessary subcomponents and communications between them, and some way of monitoring and interpreting that behaviour. Some components may actually be neural networks. Some may not. My money says that we'll have neural nets doing jobs they're good at, such as pattern recognition for perceptual tasks. At that level one hardly cares how the Android of the Future sees the Klingons, one just wants the identification to be reliable enough so that he doesn't shoot Picard.

By the way, if you're really, really driven to get involved with something like this, and are tired of having a life (or you're tired of your favourite realdoll) then reply to this message. If not, well, this world has plenty of plastic pundits, what's one more?

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

jqstm (703262) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445365)

Even so, let's say that you build a neural network which does The Right Thing(tm); how do you know it's intelligent?

How do we know that humans are intelligent? Couldn't we apply the same standards to determine if a candidate AI is intelligent? We don't entirely understand how the human brain works, yet we regard ourselves as intelligent.

A neural network is neither necessary nor sufficient for intelligence, but biological neural networks are the only functioning intelligent entities we know of. Seems like emulating them is a good approach to AI. Granted, current artificial neural networks don't behave like biological neural networks. So just making current artificial networks bigger almost certainly won't do the trick. We need to make them bigger AND better.

Re:The key to a successful android... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16449599)

How do we know that humans are intelligent? Couldn't we apply the same standards to determine if a candidate AI is intelligent? We don't entirely understand how the human brain works, yet we regard ourselves as intelligent.

How do we know humans are intelligent? Welcome to a huge reason why AI researchers do, or should, study the philosophy of mind. The quickie answer is that we have privileged information on ourselves, and as long as we ignore the existentialist dilemma, we can extrapolate with respect to each other. With that as a groundwork, we can move into cognitive psychology to characterise our intelligence. Please note that the Turing Test is not involved here, nor does it address matters on this level of detail. So no, the fact that we have privileged knowledge on the condition of humanity doesn't mean dick with respect to our knowledge of machines. Even if it did, that still leaves wide open the question of how, precisely, you build machines to be intelligent. Copying humans? Without understanding what it is about humans that makes them intelligent? That's cargo cult thinking at its finest.

A neural network is neither necessary nor sufficient for intelligence, but biological neural networks are the only functioning intelligent entities we know of. Seems like emulating them is a good approach to AI. Granted, current artificial neural networks don't behave like biological neural networks. So just making current artificial networks bigger almost certainly won't do the trick. We need to make them bigger AND better.

Why should emulating neural nets be a good approach? They're not readily analysed, they're at best (to judge by the combination of neuroscience and cognitive psychology) a nauseating welter of spaghetti code, and there's plenty of evidence for anyone who looks at the rest of the body that evolution is a very sloppy designer. How's your appendix doing? Your gall bladder? How's your redundant heart doing? Oh, you only have the one heart? Dear, dear. Sorry about that. If an engineer designed the human body, he'd have been fired and rightly so.

Facetiousness aside, just because Mother Nature did something one way doesn't mean it's a good, wise or efficient way of doing so, and definitely doesn't mean that we should, with our different goals and constraints, do so at all.

To put it another way, ask yourself what you want to do; build an AI! How? A neural net! Why that way? Because humans have neural nets which make them intelligent! OK, so how do these neural nets work? Nobody knows! So how will you make this one intelligent? .... blind luck. Whups. Not a good engineering strategy, I'm afraid.

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462009)

How's your redundant heart doing?
As a Time Lord, it's doing pretty well.

Re:The key to a successful android... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16446531)

You brought up Turing machines: are you implying that the brain is not a Turing machine (or rather, a DFA)? If so, what is your evidence?

Re:The key to a successful android... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16449527)

No. My implication wasn't that the brain isn't a Turing Machine.

My implication was that Quantum Computing Pixie Dust(tm) won't suddenly make AI, as a problem, any easier, any more than Neural Networking Pixie Dust(tm), or Genetic Algorithm Pixie Dust(tm).

I have a strong suspicion that the brain is, on some level, equivalent to a Sufficiently Fast Turing Machine, but that is based in limitations of computation which can be supported by the universe as we know it. Since the jury's still out on the details, I'm not making any firm pronouncements here. (Again, if you have The Answer, let the Nobel committee know.)

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16462033)

I know The Answer is 42, but I don't know The Question.

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445215)

I think the easiest way to make another intelligence is to have a kid.

After that, the next most easy is to genetically engineer some animal to have more intelligence.

Finally, after all of that, is to make it from scratch with wires and silicon and so on.

Re:The key to a successful android... (1)

jftitan (736933) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445151)

You are all wrong... The key to successful AI is the INTERNET!

Yes, when I ask my android where would I find the answer to 42... its response should be "The Internet! oh and porn! would you like to see another Hot Lezbo Teen flick?"

I'm looking to bake a cake? response "Fruit cakes are good, but why not buy one online... here is a nice one, Barry's Hot Fruit Cakes, it comes from Asylum Ridge... buy now?"

yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444307)

wow that's cool!

I Thank you for your time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444317)

the tjime to meet

Forget these androids (3, Interesting)

Onnimikki (63071) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444325)

I was at the expo, and just got back from China today. One of the androids disappeared during the expo. Why? Supposedly, because the president of China wasn't too happy about the android looking like a popular politician.

Regardless, these androids are carnival mannequins with better fake skin. They are also victims of the "Uncanny Valley [wikipedia.org] ". At worst they look cheap, at best they're creepy. I got a picture taken with one [mcgill.ca] . The developers refer to it as a "lover robot" and it would move its mouth while piping a Celine Dion song through a speaker. They spent way too much time adding fake nipples and revealing clothing.

The product brochure by the "Beijing Yuanda Superman Robot Science A Company of Limited Liability [bjydcr.com] " states:

"The lover robots like the real beautiful woman and handsome guy are primarily for family collection and appreciation. This is a huge market, for instance, recently Japanese will spend about 27 billion yuan on person-like robots each year, and the global consumption on such commodity is about 500 billion yuan. Comparing with these unmovable puppets, the lover robots are more realistic, charming, intimate, lovely, sexy and attractive."

Re:Forget these androids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444359)

got a picture taken with one. The developers refer to it as a "lover robot" and it would move its mouth while piping a Celine Dion song through a speaker. They spent way too much time adding fake nipples and revealing clothing.

How much for the one on the far left of that picture?

Re:Forget these androids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444471)

Is that a snake in your trousers, or the mains power line?

Re:Forget these androids (2, Interesting)

Merovign (557032) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445065)


I don't think you CAN spend too much time on nipples and revealing clothing.

And I'm not kidding - you want to make high-brow robots? Make and sell sexbots first.

Once you're a billionaire, you can make that chess partner and Jupiter Probe Pilot.

Science history will remember you for the AI work, but sexbots will pay for it.

Who wants to take bets on the first lawsuit over a celebrity replica sexbot?

Re:Forget these androids (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445473)

In case anyone's wondering, those japanese "robots" they're talking about are 90% these [orient-doll.com] (NSFW and Paedobear approved).

Re:Forget these androids (1)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16448279)

Actually, I like the cooking robot better. I have seen the photo of the robot in some Chinese forum. It was released in a few days ago at the same time as the annual tradeshow in Guangzhou. It looks like a large fridge with two arms. It can do stir fried etc. It has been programmed to cook hundreds of local dishes. While it may not be that advanced in terms of robotics, the idea is just so cool. I would definitely try that out if there is a robot theme restaurant. In the longer run, it can actually be a very sucessful commerical project (just imagine a vending machine style self serve restaurant that operates 24hr in places like airport). I look forward for that.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinese_Scientis ts_Develop_Improved_Cooking_Robot_999.html [spacedaily.com]

Re:Forget these androids (1)

bigsimes (737788) | more than 7 years ago | (#16450583)

That 'limited liability' will no doubt come in handy when they start throwing old people down the stairs and hiding their medicine.

The link to the pictures of the robots seems to be wrong, or has it moved?

Sigh... Like Cyborgs? (0, Offtopic)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444391)

You might want to watch "Natural City".

I liked the special effects, the androids, and the visual related to facials and cranials. Even the scenes where human bones are broken by a particularly ruthless android/robot are "chilling" I got my copy at Virgin for $24.99. You can also get it at Border's. Probably 5 or 6 other places.

SPOILER WARNINGS!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378428/ [imdb.com]

http://www.lovehkfilm.com/panasia/natural_city.htm [lovehkfilm.com]

http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm03.html [koreanfilm.org]

Despite there being any DVD 9 on Tartan DVDs, it runs fine in Kaffeine and Xine, and I'm on Mandriva 10.1

Oh, and I agree with what LoveHKFilm said:

"It must be said again: the production design is damn fine. What director Min Byung-Chun and company have accomplished here rivals anything out of Hollywood's SFX handbook, and probably at a fraction of the cost."

These help:

"Natural City attempts to placate both the thinkers and the bloodthirsty in one glorious widescreen go."

"The carnage is kind of cool, but not entirely consistent."

"However, in grand Korean Cinema style, tragedy and bad vibes are nearly guaranteed. If you've seen any Korean Cinema before, you should know this: it's going to get melodramatic, and if the filmmakers can pull it off, they'll send all their characters straight to hell in a body bag."

You don't say (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444407)

unfortunately, the concentration isn't on functionality, it's on fooling the humans the robot interacts with

That's the whole point of those robots. They are neither especially smart or revolutionary. They are very high tech puppies with latex skin, designed to explore our perceptions of what is real and what is not.

Re:You don't say (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444423)

puppies

Nice, this will spoon a bunch of replies laughing at me for taping the wrong world.

Execution (0, Offtopic)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444411)

"It seems that everyone cool is making androids of themselves these days."

And then, when an android commits a crime, it gets executed by lethal wetning and you are sent the bill for those drops of water.

Look at Japanese humanoid work (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444735)

The important site to look at is Robots Dreams [robots-dreams.com] , which covers Japanese robotics work. The little humanoid robots at the $1000 level are getting quite good mechanically. The best ones now have maybe 70% of the hardware functionality of Asimo at under 1% of the cost. They're typically remote controlled, but, because they have more degrees of freedom than a human can control with an R/C controller, preprogrammed movements were added. That wasn't good enough, so some hobbyists have added gyros and balance reflexes. Now it starts to get serious.

The hobbyists are doing some very good work. There are competitions and battles for these things. Obstacle courses which look like something from Army basic training. The battles aren't just banging away like Robot Wars; these machines can execute judo throws.

More to the point, the hobbyists are making progress much faster than the academic robotics people ever did. There are more of them, enough to drive a market for mass-produced parts. That makes it easier to build the things.

If you took the best kit humanoid available (which costs about $1200), added a 6DOF inertial unit (a few hundred dollars and getting cheaper every year), a stereo vision system (or even a SwissRanger [swissranger.ch] minature LIDAR), better force sensors in the feet and hands, and a WiFi link, you'd have ASIMO-level capability for a few thousand dollars. We'll probably see that within two years, and probably at a low price point.

Then it's all software. And there's lots of theory out there just waiting to be used. This is going to be fun.

Re:Look at Japanese humanoid work (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445429)

THe work that you shoot down so smugly for the academics is the basis of what is going into the hobbyists. What I always find funny is that so many folks want to shoot down the pioneers that do the hard work (determining HOW to do things), while speaking well of those who simply mimic and grab the best ideas out there. You post is akin to what I read on the privatization occuring in space today. Many here (and in the press as well as political circles) will claim that NASA and Russia has done so little WRT to the space program. Yet, it is the CEOs and engineers in these programs who will tell you that with out the giants from NASA, Russia, and Germany, they would not be where they are today. The same can be said of robotics.

Re:Look at Japanese humanoid work (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445487)

The work that you shoot down so smugly for the academics is the basis of what is going into the hobbyists.

Actually, I'm more from the academic side. The US academic world is great at theory but terrible at bending metal. In fields where you need a few technicians per engineer, US academia does not cope well. (Except, historically, in high-energy physics, which does have several technicians per engineer, and in the biological sciences, which inherit the tradition of several flunkies per doctor.) You don't get tenure for making nice metal parts.

There are ways around this, usually involving teaming with some industrial partner. But the US has almost no robotics industry. So what we have are academic one-off designs that aren't suitable for volume replication.

Re:Look at Japanese humanoid work (1)

smartalix (84502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16450923)

Don't forget power. All of these devices are going to need massive batteries to be able to perform any real work for any amount of time. There is a reason autonomous robots like the Asimo have barrel chests or backpack-like protuberances. This will improve as time goes on, but it is a real restricting factor to the development of true androids.

Oblig. question (0, Troll)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444843)

But... does it have a positronic brain?

(and can it run Linux? And imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!)

I welcome .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16445079)

the next American president.

A Daryl Hannah one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16445561)

uhhh...ok...do they finance?

Let's see... what's the one real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16446449)

female body part I want on my android?

Re:Let's see... what's the one real (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#16447135)

If it's the same one I'm thinking of, the maintenance,behavioral side-effects of malfunction, and 20% downtime argue for hydromechanical replacement.

Would these be... (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 6 years ago | (#16446539)

Would these perhaps be the "China-bots" once mentioned in a sketch by "Arnold Schwarzenegger" on Late Night with Conan O'Brian? :D


Conan: Arnold what do you think about building a fence on the U.S-Mexican border?


Arnold: Conan, what we really need to do is build a fence around the "future"? Yes, the future Conan. You see in the future the U.S is overrun by robot forms of Chinese and Mexicans called "China-bots" and "Mexi-borgs". See Conan, so the future is what we need to worry about. What you need to do is build a time machine and send me to the future. I'll make myself look like Mexi-borg. Then I'll stand by the timemachine in the future and when a China-bot tells a Mexiborg"hey lets go to the past", I'll say don't you mean the "present". Then they'll know I'm from the past and then I'll put out my shot gun from under my future pancho and blast the Mexi-borgs and China-bots and then say "NOW THATS A BLAST FROM THE PAST!"

Re:Would these be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16450369)

That's funny, even if the mod don't think it is.

Re:Would these be... (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16450613)

Thanks :)

It's a pity I could not find this video fragment somewhere online, like on YouTube. It would have been so much better. :)

I believe the pinnacle of robotics will be... (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#16447137)

When we can develop a Johnny 5. He was just too cool! And had a cool catch phrase... "Johnny 5 is alive!" Unfotunately he wasn't intelligent enough to understand pig latin.

Spock's Brain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16452585)

6.5 billion people in the world and we're trying to build artificial ones? Wouldn't it be easier to use an existing human body and wire up their brain for direct control? Or, even easier, develop some form of mass mind control and force them to do your bidding.

Fracking toasters (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16457043)

When they can make one that can navigate flights of real world stairs and do it consistently and without setup or practice runs, THEN I'll be impressed.

-Eric

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>