2009

Geminoid Research Collaboration

photo: Voggeneder

A geminoid is a robot created as a clone of an actual human being. The human-mechanical duo is linked together by network & sensor technology, so the geminoid not only resembles its human model, but behaves like him too. In a collaborative experiment during 2009 Ars Electronica Festival, the android and its creator Hiroshi Ishiguro were announced as a special attraction in the overall context of the arts festival. The android was installed in the exhibition space of the Ars Electronica Center as well as a “guest” in the Café Cubus and was tele-operated from a distant location to research the reactions of the visitors and cafe guests.


How can a person’s unique personality and essential character traits be captured, simulated and imparted to a robot?

Hiroshi Ishiguro, professor at the University of Osaka and guest group leader at ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, served as the model for HI-1, the very first geminoid. A geminoid is a robot created as a clone of an actual human being. The human-mechanical duo is linked together by innovative network & sensor technology, so the geminoid not only resembles its human model, it behaves like him too. Since 2009, Ars Electronica Futurelab and Prof. Ishiguro have collaborated together for unique projects, such as the Geminoid experiment in Café Cubus. Through these projects, we realize new forms of interactive installations and search for the social contextual robot.

Equipped with 46 servomotors and various sensors, it’s one of the most complex robots ever built and is correspondingly difficult to transport. Accordingly, Ishiguro built a more mobile version, Geminoid HI-4. This lightweight model can converse with humans, and has 12 servomotors for facial expressions as well as eye and head movements. Ishiguro and Geminoid HI-4 are usually not at the same place at the same time. While one of the two is out delivering a speech somewhere, the other is at work, maybe in Japan. Or vice-versa.

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Credits

Research & Development: ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories (Hiroshi Ishiguro) & Ars Electronica Futurelab (Hideaki Ogawa, Gerfried Stocker, Horst Hörtner, Erwin Reitböck)
PARTNER: ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories (Hiroshi Ishiguro)