The first geminoid, HI-1, was created in 2005 by Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro of ATR and the Tokyo-based firm, Kokoro. A geminoid is an android, designed to look exactly as its master, and is controlled through a computer system that replicates the facial movements of the operator in the robot.
In the spring of 2010, a new geminoid was created. The new robot, Geminoid-F was a simpler version of the original HI-1, and it was also more affordable, making it reasonable to acquire one for humanistic research in Human Robot Interaction.
Geminoid|DK will be the first of its kind outside of Japan, and is intended to advance android science and philosophy, in seeking answers to fundamental questions, many of which that have also occupied the Japanese researchers. The most important questions are:
- What is a human?
- What is presence?
- What is a relation?
- What is identity?
We intend to pursue these questions while looking at areas such as emotional affordances in HRI, the novel concept of Blended Presence, and by studying cultural differences in the perception of robots.
The first Geminoid Lab outside Japan will be located at Aalborg University. The lab will be the home of a gemonoid, a human-like robot, modeled over the director of AAU's Center for Computer-mediated Epistemology, Associate Professor, Henrik Scharfe.The purpose of the lab is to systematically investigate certain aspects of Human Robot Interaction.
A Geminoid or twin-robot is designed to resemble a living person. It is controlled by an operator who through the use of advanced software can transfer facial movements and speech to the robot next door (or where ever...). For many years, robot technology has primarily been associated with factories and warehouses, but the days of thinking about robots as just 'tools' are over, Henrik Scharfe says. The robots have become a media, perhaps one of the more significant media of the future. In that way, robot technology follows the trajectory of computers: from tools to media.
The research at the Geminoid Lab at Aalborg University will focus on:
- emotional affordances in human robot interaction
- The novel notion of Blended Presence
- Cultural differences (from different continents) in the perception of robots
The geminoid soon to inhabit AAU will be build in Japan, as is it's predecessors.