Japanese androids hold news conference, chat with baby droids

PCWorld | Jan 20, 2015

At the Miraikan museum in Tokyo, robots are one step closer to taking over. Two female androids held their own news conference, with little participation from human beings.

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Robots hold their own news conference – script

At this technology museum in Tokyo, robots are one step closer to taking over.


Two female androids have held their own news conference, with little participation from human beings.


Kodomoroid and Otonaroid have been working at the Miraikan museum since last year as guides. At their news conference, they introduced even more robots.

The small, tabletop droids are named CommU and Sota. They’re designed to be communications robots for the household.

Developed by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Osaka University and robot firm Vstone, the little bots engaged in dialog with their larger counterparts.

With their baby-like appearance and voices, they resembled a trio of robot children talking to their robot mother.

The scenario was slightly ironic given Japan’s low birth rate and shrinking population.

The cartoonish Sota runs on an Intel Edison single-board computer and is capable of basic image and voice recognition.

It’s scheduled to be released around April for under $850.

Osaka University roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, who helped create Sota as well as the more sophiscated CommU and the androids, says it’s the first stage in a project to develop a fully autonomous interactive robot.

That may be a long way off, but meanwhile Sota may be used to help sell electronics, just like mobile carrier SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper, which is promoting cellphones and coffee machines in Japan.

They could be the vanguard of a robot revolution.

In Tokyo, Tim Hornyak, IDG News Service.
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