Philip K. Dick Robot Unveiled At NextFest 2005

One of the distinguishing characteristics of a Philip K. Dick novel is his remarkable ability to blur the line between natural human beings and androids - human by artifice. For example, in his book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, he uses devices like the mood organ to make his human characters seem more like biological machines, open to manipulation. At the same time, the artificial human beings are made to seem more life-like.


(Philip K. Dick Robotic Memorial Portrait
At NextFest 2005)

The eerie robotic Philip K. Dick unveiled today at the NextFest 2005 event in Chicago is almost an objectification of Dick's fascination with what really makes people human. The robot was designed to provide a convincing imitation of life, with subtle head movements and facial expressions. The software that gives life to the device is well-stocked with all of Dick's printed works and memoirs. It also has face recognition software and a library of faces; it was capable of recognizing several of Dick's relatives who came to take a look at the project. It includes voice recognition and natural language processing features.

The Philip K. Dick robot is presented in a small 1970's living room; windows shut out excess noise that can ruin the voice recognition software that is used to interpret questions by visitors. I asked several questions, including "Are you paranoid?" and "Can you pass the Voight-Kampff test?"

Unfortunately, the Juke Bot presentation less than fifteen feet away made it difficult to really interact with the robot. So, I asked David Hanson, the CEO and Chief Scientist at Hanson Robotics (co-creators of the Philip K. Dick memorial robotic portrait); he responded with a firm "No" to the second question. Keep an eye on their products, though - this part of the future is coming on fast.

The Philip K. Dick android project is the creation of a team of designers, engineers, programmers and artists. Hanson Robotics, the FedEx Institute of Technology and the Automation and Robotics Research Institute at the University of Texas Arlington collaborated on the project.

If you are interested in life-like robots, take a look at Robot Repliee Q1. Find out more; see the pkd-Android Project and the project description at Hanson Robotics.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/24/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...' - Philip K Dick, 1953.

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Festo's eMotionButterfly, AirJelly And AirPenguin Robots
... Bright beings darted through the hot light.' - Rudy Rucker, 1988.

Robot Animals Set To 'Spy in the Wild'
'[The electric sheep], sophisticated piece of hardware that it was, chomped away in simulated contentment...' - Philip K. Dick, 1968.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...'

Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.'

Axiom - The World's First Private Space Station?
'So Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

DataTraveler Ultimate Generation 2 Terabyte Flashdrive
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary data spheres...'

HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
'...A million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people.'

MIT's aeroMorph Technology
'... It falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.