Japanese Actroid Robot – The Best Androids
Do you love the latest robotics? Are you wondering when the hard working Japanese mechatronics and animatronics engineers will build realistic human like android robots?
In fact the Service Robotics Research Group in Japan have been developing human like robots for a while and now they are testing two human androids (a male and a female)!
Experiencing A Realistic Human Android Robot In Japan
When you want to meet real cool robots in Japan – it’s time to fly to Tokyo city! I did that.
First time I met a Japanese android human was in Tokyo back in early 2009 when I for the first time in my life visited the science exhibit center Miraikan on the large artificial island Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. It was an epic experience to see a real Japanese robot!
To get there I needed to change from Tokyo subway to take the fully automatic monorail sky train in the air. No human driver. The train car navigates and moves all by itself.
Only people you see are the passengers who travel together with you. These Japanese stations are unmanned. It’s like a cool machine world – living its own life. Stuff just works!
It felt so sci-fi to stand face-to-face with it while it talked to me like a human – but being a cold blooded metal robot beneath its human looking skin surface and eyes looking at me.
I took several photos of this awesome Japanese female android robot. Enjoy this side shot! Remember this was back in early Spring season in 2009. Newest robots are better.
She spoke with us visitors. It was a creepy feeling (!) to stand in front of a real human like android bot while she spoke in Japanese turning her head and waving with her arms.
Japanese engineers are world leading in the field of human androids. No doubt about it! Here below is information about this android. Written in only Japanese. It’s typical Japan!
Back then I had not moved to live in Japan yet, but as soon as I saw the nanotechnology, biotechnology and artificial intelligence research done in Japan – I fell in love with the know how of the state of the art Japanese engineering. It blew my mind! So impressive!
These are things you need to see to believe. It’s like in future – but now…here in Japan.
For example my picture above shows a mobile Japanese earthquake rescue robot (and its combined “Hull and Halluc II” setup). I took this photo inside Miraikan exhibit in Tokyo.
The omniglobe user interface (that round half globe) screen shows what the robot sees while the human operator can follow the journey as the robot sees through its own video camera eyes. These are life saving disaster and catastrophe robots used here in Japan.
I took this other photo to show more close details of these Japanese earthquake robots. They need to navigate in narrow passages in collapsed earth quake damaged buildings.
In a catastrophe your life can depend on Japanese life saving rescue robots like these.
It can not only roll, but it can turn around its wheeled legs to become feet to walk with like an insect. A rolling robot as well as a multiple leg walking robot. It’s fantastic Japan!
Of course I couldn’t stop enjoying the Terminator future battle war robots exhibition inside Miraikan either. If you love robots like I do – then this is like Christmas Eve to experience!
Maybe you have seen the judgement day action movies with Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger (or the Terminator series on TV)? Intelligent robots take over humanity.
They built a whole judgement day scenario inside the Miraikan in Tokyo, so that you as a visitor in Japan can experience a future robot war scenario with its dark sides of possible destruction and termination of the human civilization. Scary sci-fi, but well worth to see!
It’s one thing to watch the movies, but a different experience to meet the evil robots! There were all kinds of them – including the water swimming snake like robots. Yikes!
My Own Background In Intelligent Advanced Robotics
I love robotics and I’ve studied robot technology at University level in Sweden including mechatronics, simulation engineering and software development about the automation industry of the future – the fast machine learning neural networks of intelligent robotics.
Compared to Japan the University education in Sweden is free. Ok to have poor parents.
Yes, I’m one of those geeks who build robots at home as a hobby. Design them, build the electronics, mechanical parts as well as program its operating system & control software.
The day when my rolling intelligent mobile robot won the University Robot Championship competition I felt proud of my personal progress and achievement. I was the local best.
It inspired me to learn more about robotics, but as soon as I met the professional level world leading robot creations made here in Japan – my heart just melt by amazement.
There I stood…speechless. Wondering how anyone can create this advanced robots?!
At the same time as my own robot knowledge felt like at kindergarten level compared to what the scientists in Japan have been able to build. They are so skilled! I admire them.
I found design information on robotics here in Japan – but the majority of it is written completely in Japanese language with Kanji symbols. No use of any other languages.
My 5 other languages (except for Japanese which is my 6th language) didn’t help here. To follow the best world leading robot research in Japan it is useful to learn Japanese.
Human Robots In Japan – Androids – Man And Woman
Learning curves are quite steep when venturing into the worlds of programmed artificial intelligence combined with the Japanese human robots. The big market of future robots.
The culture in Japan is known for its never give up policy and passionate robot research.
So, where are they? The newest robots? In the video above you can see two of the most new animatronic responsive androids. Male and female realistic human android models.
Not only do they look like humans and act as such. They learn by watching Y-O-U!
Imagine an infiltrator. How that person needs to adapt to a new environment of people. Within the android world of leading advanced robotics that is the big thing – right now.
These robots watch you and your behavior to then imitate and mimic your expressions. Basically they clone your visual way to behave. What other people see as personality.
How you blink, how you move your face expressions in different situations, where you watch, how you nod your head and breathe while moving your lips. Copy cat technology.
These robots talk and communicate with you. They interact depending on what you say to them and how you answer their questions. Real verbal communication with sentences.
Above you can see the mouth of the female android robot. Looks almost like a human!
The face is exactly the same for a male and female robot. The hair style, makeup and the clothes they wear differs them. Take a close look yourself and notice the similarity!
Android Technology Robotics In Our Japanese Hospitals
As I’ve mentioned in my blog, the Japanese hospital technology is impressively hi-tech and modern. Not only that – they use these robots to observe patients health conditions.
When people don’t have time – robots take over. Robots that look like humans. Androids!
Robotic surgery is not the only advanced technology around anymore. Next generation of artificial life is on its way in – the robots that observe, take notes and act interactively.
The face of the Japanese Actroid F series of androids has about 12 degrees of freedom. Because of that it can form fine detailed face expressions while communicating with you.
Another use of these robots here in Japan is to let them talk with old retired people to keep conversations going. The elderly can avoid mental decline to a certain degree.
Kids who have developmental disorders during their childhood can also benefit of this type of android robot as an observing and communicating friend. Researchers claim so.
Best Way To Learn Robotics – Start Making Your Robots
I would strongly recommend to send kids to places like Robosquare in Fukuoka here on Kyushu in West Japan where children can learn how to build robots from scratch, how to program their hobby level robots using programming languages and get used to the world of mechatronics as its done here in Japan. The best start for kids! Free entrance.
Another way to learn automation and robotics is to start out with homemade robots, just like I myself did (but I had previous programming knowledge as a software developer).
Society Sectors Where I See Growth In Applied Robotics
Service robots is a sector that is growing rapidly. Look at all those lawn mower robots like the ones from Swedish Husqvarna and also Wiper. I own a Wiper lawn robot myself.
It’s useful in the way that you don’t need to waste your time cutting the grass when the robot does it for you. The lawn is mowed by itself. Stuff just works. It frees up my time.
Useful robotic systems don’t end there. In our neighbor country South-Korea they have developed window climbing robots that clean large shopping windows by themselves.
In Japan we have wall climbing robots that work as a team. One robot climbs on metal walls removing old paint while another robot climbs after it and paints the cleaned area.
We have flying round robots like the famous ball in the old style Star Wars movie trilogy. You know the one that fly around while being chased by a laser sword (in the movie).
Ours here in Japan is larger than that, but it can still levitate in the air and follow people. Of course it has built in video camera too. You can see it in this video. Click on it to start!
It’s military technology so far, but the electronic and mechanical parts for it were bought in hobby shops in Akihabara Electric Town (located as a popular district in Tokyo city).
With some high quality digital servo motors and micro processor programming skills you can build a similar robot hardware yourself and give it instructions on what to do when.
Where Should I Begin If I Want To Build My Own Robot?
For example start out with an Arduino if you are a beginner. It’s easy to program, cheap to buy and doesn’t require as much knowledge to get the hang of (as other technology).
Java programming skills take you far. If you know C programming – that is good too.
You can even code in AS3 (ActionScript-3) if you want! An engineer from Japan built a chip so that you can use AS3 as your programming language (if you are used to Flash).
Of course you can use your possibly existing knowledge in server side PHP & MySQL. Network connections to online databases is a must if you want to have a robotics career.
In case you are programming in Python then you can use the power of free open source Blender as a 3D modeling, animation, simulation and rendering environment to build your own cool robot as a virtual prototype before you continue manufacturing the real android.
I could talk about this whole day, but I’ll round it off here so that you don’t fall into sleep. The future of robotics is here to stay. Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated!
Filed under: Technology In Japan
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