Monday, October 15, 2007

U-Tsu-Shi-O-Mi virtual humanoid

U-Tsu-Shi-O-Mi is an interactive "mixed reality" humanoid robot that appears as a computer-animated character when viewed through a special head-mounted display. A virtual 3D avatar that moves in sync with the robot's actions is mapped onto the machine's green cloth skin (the skin functions as a green screen), and the sensor-equipped head-mounted display tracks the angle and position of the viewer's head and constantly adjusts the angle at which the avatar is displayed.

Given technology's ability to transmute the very definitions of "real" and fantasy, I predict efforts like this will eclipse our preoccupation with "nuts and bolts" humanoid robots in the near future. We'll still rely on bots for companionship, but our interface with them is likely to escape the bounds of "meatspace." That's not to say we'll never get around to building conventional androids, but I foresee "old school" bots quickly becoming a seductive anachronism along the lines of our faddish preoccupation with "steampunk."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And you don't have to buy her dinner....

--W.M. Bear