Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro and his robotic double, respectively in both pictures (via Hiroshi Ishiguro)
Following the structure of nature, we strive to build and create as we were built and created. In computational robotics, the Holy Grail is artificial intelligence. While that may take several decades or even centuries, Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro of ART’s Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, is working to make sure we can make a deceivingly good humanoid well before AI. He has already replicated his own material self at a masterful degree of detail.
Ishiguro’s droids are among the best looking robots you can get, but what pulls them apart from the rest is the amount of detail that has been programmed into their artificial behavior. Realistic skin material, many actuators, eye movements and their clever coordination, allow the robots to make finely detailed facial gestures. Equally as impressive, his cyborg is programmed to fidget while sitting and tap its foot incessantly just as an anxious or impatient mad professor would.
The amount of detail captured by Ishiguro’s work is so great that, earlier this year, his bots were used a in theatrical productions along real humans. He sometimes sends his robot double to lecture and remotely transmits his own voice. Now, the humanoids are appearing in a narrative-less documentary that manages to communicate a message about the relationship between technology, humans and nature. The film, Samasara, meaning “continuous flow” [of the wheel of life] and directed by Ron Fricke (director of Baraka), is composed of breathtaking footage shot during a 5-year journey through 25 countries.
It was difficult to tell which face was real for the crew shooting Samasara. In his demo video, it would also be difficult to tell, if it were not for the mechanical noises.
Courtesy of 123theJapan