Nobody does humanoids quite like Japan. The Japanese diaspora have come a long way in their quest to replace authentic human companionship with synthetic human companionship. Why, it seems like only 2004 (it was) that the Boyfriend's Arm and Lap Pillow were introduced to an easily mollified public…
We cannot help but stand up and admire the Japanese. They dove into the deep end of humanoid development without so much as a “Hey, wait, is this weird?”
And let's face it. People smell. They secrete from unexpected places. They have mysterious markings that you didn't put there yourself. And when you go to abruptly fondle their breasts, they start bitching and complaining and blowing it all out of proportion with shit like “You're invading my personal space” and “I do not like it when you touch my breasts”.
At least with androids you can always count on them to just mindlessly go along with whatever depraved whims enter your meaty little brain, right? Not necessarily…
Aiko is an android created by Japanese-Canadian inventor Le Trung, and no, she will not just mindlessly go along with whatever depraved whims enter your meaty little brain.
She will, however, converse with you, track your facial movement via a necklace camera, move her head and arms around, and give you directions or the weather forecast. She even responds to touch on all parts of her body. She cannot walk yet, and her hands still need work.
Actually, Aiko needs a lot of work. But she is funded solely by Trung's credit cards and is continually in development in Trung's basement.
According to Trung, Aiko's measurements are:
Height: 5 ft
Ahem, what were we talking about? Ah yes. Forbidden robot sex. And that brings to mind secret robot babies.
Affetto is an adorable nightmare attached to a table. It is a baby. Head. A baby head. It wants to ruin your life. Just like a real baby! Except more like that David Lynch baby from Eraserhead.
In development at Osaka University, Affetto is supposed to simulate infant cognitive development and is expressly designed “to be treated like a human being by human caregivers.” It's basically a multi-million-dollar Tamagotchi, which is a virtual pet on a keychain that virtually eats, virtually shits, and virtually dies if you fail to push the “feed” button. We're hoping Affetto will become like that, only with 100% realistic poo. Because, you know, why get a real baby when you can get one just as dirty, but soulless.
And then there are those fully corporeal android babies whose souls seem on the verge of developing right before your eyes:
If you will imagine, for a moment, that we are watching that very baby mature into a girl of about age 9, this is the disturbingly human-ish result:
That dancing android is the HRP-4C. Developed by the Humanoid Research Group of the National Institute of Advance Industrial Science and Technology, the HRP-4C is slated to replace Britney Spears as the most-searched term in the history of Google. We hope that it will be programmed to age, and as it does so, eventually shave off its hair and destroy something in protest to the 24-hours-a-day starfucking paparazzi media circus.
This violinist created by Toyota could be the HRP-4C's more classically oriented cousin:
Actroid F and Geminoid DK
The latest and greatest in incredibly realistic humanoids from Japan are the Actroid and Geminoid series of androids, developed by Kokoro and ATR. They blow Le Trung's Aiko out of the water in terms of realism. The Actroid and Geminoid can smile, laugh, and tilt their heads to give the impression of active listening — to somewhat-convincing effect. The Actroid F is slated to sit in hospitals and hang out with humans in order to gauge their reactions to an emotionally empty silicon body snatcher:
And the Geminoid DK is currently on an extended tour of the world to observe the ways in which different cultures run in terror:
You can score yourself an Actroid or Geminoid for less than $200,000, which is exactly what most meat-based people would sell their bodies for.
Here, have a very small white human that you hold to your face and talk into because it's a phone covered in what developer ATR describes as “human-like skin” and “tickles” you when it rings:
Let the creativity continue. Donate to the Japan relief effort.
by Will Conley