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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick
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.
Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'
Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."
Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'
Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'
MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'
Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbotís infrared eyes.'
SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.
Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories