Home Page

Friday, September 14, 2007

Real Life Astro Boy......Yeah It's Another Robot Story..

I was reluctant to address another android issue so quickly, but it does fit with the Afronerd motif, so why not? Check out the latest robotic innovation courtesy of Hanson & Son, as this new interactive toy is actually modeled after the creator's child (with a dash of the anime character, Astro Boy)-Courtesy of Halflifesource.com:

Hanson Robotics Unveals Artificial Boy

Two boy-like robotic Zenos are built by Hanson Robotics.

Hanson Robotics unveals two little Zenos, one is 18-month-old son Zeno, who prattles and smiles as he bounds through a cramped office, and the robotic Zeno. It can't speak or walk yet, but has blinking eyes that can track people and a face that captivates with a range of expressions.

Both Zenos stand at 17 inches tall and weigh 6 pounds. The artificial Zeno is the culmination of five years of work by David Hanson and a small group of engineers, designers and programmers at his company, Hanson Robotics. They believe there's an emerging business in the design and sale of lifelike robotic companions, or social robots. And they'll be showing off the robot boy to students in grades 3-12 at the Wired NextFest technology conference Thursday in Los Angeles.

Hanson says he envisions Zeno as an interactive learning companion, a synthetic pal who can engage in conversation and convey human emotion through a face made of a skin-like, patented material Hanson calls frubber.

Hanson said he is aiming for the same sort of realism found in the book "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," by Brian Aldiss. Aldiss' story of troubled robot boy David and his quest for the love of his flesh-and-blood parents was the source material for Steven Spielberg's film "Artificial Intelligence: AI."

He plans to make little Zenos available to consumers within the next three years for $200 to $300.

Until then, Hanson, 37, makes a living selling and renting pricey, lifelike robotic heads.

No comments: