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Geminoid clone-bot hipper than human original

The first Geminoid robot to leave Japan is bound for Europe. We suspect it will form a band of international terrorists.

Henrik Scharfe checks out his robot clone Geminoid DK, the perfect stand-in for professors who want to skip class.

Here's a nifty way to preserve your youth and popularity: get Japanese entertainment company Kokoro to make an ageless robot clone of yourself.

Danish academic Henrik Scharfe did just that and his clone looks ready to get out and party. Or perhaps play the villain in a reboot of "Die Hard."

Aalborg University's Scharfe (no relation to Alan Rickman) has been working with Kokoro and Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) to create Geminoid DK, a lifelike android copy of himself. DK follows in the silicon footsteps of Geminoids HI-1 and F1, developed in collaboration with Osaka University roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, father of the Telenoid robo-fetus.

Scharfe plans to test his clone at ATR and then ship it back to the new Geminoid Lab in Denmark, where he presides over Aalborg University's Center for Computer-mediated Epistemology.

Geminoids are basically remote-controlled slave robots powered by a quiet air servo system. They mimic the facial expressions, lip movements, and body motions of a human user through motion-tracking gear and an Internet link. As the vid below shows, Scharfe's clone is already quite lifelike. So when it starts projecting his voice and mimicking his idiosyncrasies, students may freak a bit. See more videos and pics here. I love its evil sideways glance.

The Geminoid DK page lists the following research subjects for Geminoid: "emotional affordances" in human-robot interaction; blended presence; and cultural differences in the perception of robots.

I suspect Scharfe will use his dummy to teach his classes while he sits back in the comfort of his home. What would Hans Gruber say?

(Via IEEE Spectrum)