Skip

Actroid DER2
October 7, 2006 10:51 PM   Subscribe

So, what is an "actroid"? It's an android actor, and you can rent one for $3500 for 5 days, to do presentations at shows or whatever else you want. They come in a number of configurations and wear a variety of costumes. The latest one, Actroid DER2,  is shown on this page in several high quality stills and 3 WMVs (in Japanese; click thumbnails and links immediately below thumbnails). Why is she wearing a "Hello Kitty" T-shirt? Because she was created by Kokoro, a member company of the Sanrio Group, which also does the majority of "Hello Kitty" merchandising. So are they working on a robotic Hello Kitty? If you need me, I'll be hiding under my bed.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
No one will mistake her for human; from the videos you can see that her motions are still a bit jerky (because of the pneumatics which control her movements). But it's still an amazing achievement.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:51 PM on October 7, 2006


Hiding under your bed from what? Catgirls?
posted by loquacious at 11:01 PM on October 7, 2006


I'll hide from a human-sized "Hello Kitty" that moves, yes.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:03 PM on October 7, 2006


So this is just Disney-style animatronics, yes? Not nearly as creepy as those goddamned Country Bears.
posted by lekvar at 11:17 PM on October 7, 2006


No, I don't think it's the same as Disney's system, which requires a huge rack of equipment backstage to run each model.

Disney's original "Mr. Lincoln" was entirely based on cams and cables; it took a room of equipment to run him. I'm not completely sure but it looks to me like DER2 is close to being self-contained. I think there's a single airhose running in through one of her legs to provide pneumatic power, and I think all the switching is being done by an onboard computer.

On one of the Kokoro Corp pages there's a rather blurry picture that seems to be one of these actroids without the skin, and it looks like there's a lot of electronics in there; it isn't just an armature and pneumatic actuators.

I think it's "the same" as the Disney stuff, in the sense that a tube radio is "the same" as a transistor radio.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:25 PM on October 7, 2006


Here's that picture.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:29 PM on October 7, 2006


It's a bit more then what we're used too, animatronics normally need to be fixed to the ground, right? She appears to be freestanding (and self balancing) Definitely falls into the uncanny valley.

Her arm movements are very strange, she wobbles every time she moves, and I think part of that is due to the balancing system they're using.
posted by delmoi at 11:31 PM on October 7, 2006


Well, anything that enables more realistic live-action role-playing in the Hentei tentacle porn genre has to be good, right? Though, I have yet to see any penis-tentacled squidbots in their catalog. This is something I'm assuming they're remedying as we speak.
posted by loquacious at 11:40 PM on October 7, 2006


It's probably bad that my second thought (the first being 'that's impressive, yet creepy...') is of a Basement Jaxx video.
posted by sysinfo at 11:42 PM on October 7, 2006


Am I the only one that'd hit it?
posted by squirrel at 11:46 PM on October 7, 2006


No.
posted by Brian James at 11:49 PM on October 7, 2006


"$3500 for 5 days" for an actroid.

Scale is currently $1,620 per week for union actors. For the moment, actual flesh and blood is still the better deal.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:57 PM on October 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, anything that enables more realistic live-action role-playing in the Hentei tentacle porn genre has to be good, right?

I wouldn't know about that, so I'd have to defer to your clear expertise on the aesthetics of "hentai tentacle porn".

She appears to be freestanding...

There's no way she's free standing. She's definitely bolted to the base she's on. And she needs both electrical power and high pressure air to run.

But the first prototype of this series from two years ago was only the top half, and it was connected to a full sized rack of equipment. Now it looks like they've managed to fit everything inside the volume of a rather small human figure.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:01 AM on October 8, 2006


Not nearly as creepy as those goddamned Country Bears.

Idunno. She comes in Gothic Lolita.
posted by 3.2.3 at 12:42 AM on October 8, 2006


I'm glad someone mentioned that, 3.2.3. I really am honestly curious if these things are ever rented for, erm, personal home use.

Also, she looks, moves and acts a bit like she's mildly drunk, and enjoying it.

One of the things that makes these sorts of humanoid-android projects so uncanny and creepy is that there's a lot of detailed human stuff they just never seem to think about in the design process.

Little details like how your average human with longer hair in a loose hairstyle (as shown) will be frequently smoothing or combing their hair back out of their face. Or how people breath, or adjust their glasses, or scratch themselves, or rub their eyes. Then there's even more important mini-cues like eye movements in specific directions during speaking, depending on the subject matter, the memory recall being used, and how "honest" they are during the interaction.

There are thousands and thousands of essential little gestures like this that need to be worked out and integrated.
posted by loquacious at 12:52 AM on October 8, 2006


I imagine Meryl Streep is sleeping just fine; Ben Affleck, on the other hand, should probably dust off the Selectric.
posted by rob511 at 2:06 AM on October 8, 2006


Have you ever seen this much lively robot?

I don't even know where to begin.
posted by toma at 2:38 AM on October 8, 2006


I, for one, welcome our Engrish-speaking android overlords.
posted by SteveTheRed at 2:47 AM on October 8, 2006


See for yourself at the “Movie Theater” for its presence.
posted by The Deej at 3:17 AM on October 8, 2006


"Have you ever seen this much lively robot? This is robot working girl."
posted by moonbird at 4:46 AM on October 8, 2006


Somebody published a psychology paper a while back where they constructed what I'm going to call (becasue my Google Fu is weak this early on a Sunday morning) the curve of creepyness.

Basiacally it said that C-3PO would be more well recieved than the actroid because he isn't trying to be a human being. Meanwhile the actroid is going to hit all the same buttons that a zombie would hit, other than the smell and the trying to eat your brain.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:43 AM on October 8, 2006


yeah, but can you fuck it like Lincoln?
posted by evilgenius at 8:02 AM on October 8, 2006


Kid C, I recall seeing something like that too.

It's worth noting those bases are being covered, too. Check out Asimo.
posted by ®@ at 8:20 AM on October 8, 2006


Sounds like you're refering to Masahiro Mori's uncanny vally, mentioned upthread.
posted by Jawn at 8:27 AM on October 8, 2006


Sounds like you're refering to Masahiro Mori's uncanny vally, mentioned upthread.
posted by Jawn at 8:28 AM on October 8, 2006


There are thousands and thousands of essential little gestures like this that need to be worked out and integrated.

Define "need," please.
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:19 AM on October 8, 2006


Little details like how your average human with longer hair in a loose hairstyle (as shown) will be frequently smoothing or combing their hair back out of their face...
posted by loquacious


Watching it's bangs flop in it's eyes really bugged me. The hairstylist should find another line of work.
posted by taosbat at 9:30 AM on October 8, 2006


Scrub the apostrophes...I'll hit the coffee again...
posted by taosbat at 9:32 AM on October 8, 2006


Dan Actroid?
posted by papakwanz at 10:47 AM on October 8, 2006


« Older What?! No running in PE? It’s true.   |   That sounds colorful... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post