Sunday, 4 January 2009
Those who have seen the sceptical documentary, "Where's My Robot?", would have concluded that it must be some considerable time before anything like a convincing android will appear on the scene. Well, I have to say that Aiko is the most impressive approximation I've seen so far, and has gone some way toward restoring my faith that it is possible. However, I am more dubious about the gender stereotyping associated with Aiko's development, which may speak volumes about less desirable future applications [sic]. It is best though to draw one's own conclusions by watching the video, and reading about Aiko's abilities on the official website:
Welcome to Project Aiko
This is the official Project Aiko website which talks about the making of a gynoid called Aiko. The original goal of Aiko was to help our aging population to do simple tasks like make tea and coffee, tell them the weather, read a magazine or remind them to take their medication at the correct time. There are many applications for Aiko in the home, office or public places.
Aiko was built in my basement using credit card loans and my entire savings account as funding. One of my dreams is to make Aiko walk and do other house chores. I cannot do this without your donations and support. The donations will go towards new motors, sensors and mainboards to design Aiko’s new arm and leg systems.
Aiko is the first android to react to physical stimuli and mimic pain. This technology could be applied to people born with or who have undergone amputations. Aiko is the first step towards a life-like mechanical limb that has the ability to feel physical sensations.
I started to build Aiko on August 15, 2007. About 1.5 months later Aiko version 1 was completed. Aiko made her first public appearance at the HobbyShow on November 2007 at Toronto International Center, and Ontario Science Center a week later. Aiko is bilingual, she can speak English and Japanese.