Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, presented two lifelike androids at a press event for their upcoming exhibition “Android: What is a human?”
The two androids, Kodomoroid and Otonaroid, were introduced to the press by their creator Hiroshi Ishiguro, a Japanese roboticist and director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University.
At the press event, Ishiguro presented Kodomoroid, an amalgamation of kodomo (child in Japanese) and android, as the first robot newscaster.
Kodomoroid astonished the crowd of reporters by delivering a newscast in pitch-perfect Japanese including stories of an earthquake and an FBI raid.
Otonaroid, the childlike Kodomoroid’s adult counterpart, excused herself after a reboot in front of the crowd, stating, “I am a little bit nervous.”
Kodomoroid stole the show by telling Ishiguro, “You are starting to look like a robot!”
The childlike android also asked Ishiguro why he had made her. The Japanese roboticist explained that he wanted to create a newscaster who looked like a child.
Which is the woman and which is the machine? (photo: Miraikan)
“Making androids is about exploring what it means to be human, examining the question of what is emotion, what is awareness, what is thinking,” Ishiguro told the press at the event. “Until now, you could only see androids in research labs, so having them as permanent museum exhibits is an advance.”
“We will have more and more robots in our lives in the future,” Ishiguro told AFP.
The two androids will join the staff of Miraikan as Science Communicators starting 25 June 2014.