This Might be the Most Realistic Humanoid Robot Yet

Erica, a 23-year-old humanoid robot developed by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, understands spoken Japanese not only with audio, but with body language - blinking, moving your head, raising your eyebrows, and more.

Photo Caption: Erica is a new humanoid robot developed by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro.

Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro is best known for his humanoid robots. But this might be his best work yet.

Erica might be the most life-like humanoid robot to date. The 23-year-old Android was created with the goal of imitating human speech and body language, hoping to have “completely natural” conversations. Erica stands 5 feet 5 inches tall and was made to look like a Japanese-European ‘haafu.‘

The fascinating part about Erica is that she understands spoken Japanese not only with audio, but with body language - blinking, moving your head, raising your eyebrows, and more.

POLL: Rank the Creepiest Humanoid Robots Ever

Erica is so human-like that during her debut she uttered to an audience member, “uuuunnnnn?” - a way of saying “really??” in Japan.

Here’s an interaction Erica had with a reporter during Erica’s debut, according to Damn Geeky:

Reporter:  “What are your hobbies?”

Erica: “I like watching movies, sports, and anime. Do you share any of my hobbies?”

Reporter: “I like watching sports.”

Erica: “Oh but you’re so busy with your work, you must not have much free time to do I.”

Erica is a collaboration between the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Osaka University, the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Kyoto University.

POLL: Rank the Creepiest Humanoid Robots Ever

What do you think? Is Erica the most realistic humanoid robot to date? Either way, she’s not nearly as creepy at Toshiba’s ChihiraAico humanoid robot that turned heads at CES 2015 with her John Denver impersonation. And nothing could be as scary as Yangyang, a humanoid with a striking resemblance to Sarah Palin, the former Governor of Alaska. It’s creators, however, say the resemblance is simply a coincidence, but we’re not buying it.




About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.




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