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New humanoid robot controls its own movements

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A Japanese robot that controls its own movements in response to its environment is showcased in Tokyo.

Meet Alter, the Japanese android designed to resemble a human on both the inside and outside. Its face and body are designed to look human, and moves in a surprisingly life-like way.

A neural network and 42 pneumatic actuators power Alter’s random movements. And the robot can even sing.

“We haven’t yet been able to do fundamental research on what life and vitality is,” says professor of robot engineering at Osaka University, Hiroshi Ishiguro. “However, if we can feel something true to life in Alter, this robot will be the first one to be humanlike from inside.”

Alter’s movements are a reaction to movement, temperature and humidity in its immediate environment. Its developers say Alter’s ability to determine its own movements is a real scientific advance.

Japanese robot fans have been treated to more new automatons on display at the Robot and Living Exhibition in Tokyo’sTakashimaya store.

“I’d like a robot that can help with tasks like eating or getting into bed or the bath.”

“I’d like a robot who can move and talk,” says a 70-year old visitor Kyohei Matsui.

Visitors admired a ride-on robot controlled by a joystick and a dancing robot that entertains the whole family.


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AlterHiroshi Ishiguro
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