Greetings from the Uncanny Valley!
October 28, 2010 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Meet Actroid-F, the "world's first true Android", unveiled this month at a laboratory fair at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions, the robot can replicate surprisingly subtle facial movements. Previously.
posted by Dragonness (58 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pretty close! Except for the lips when it tries to talk. Only a little creepy.
posted by crunchland at 7:45 PM on October 28, 2010


Subtle facial movements, such as:

Disdain for your meat-based processor.

Puzzlement that you are still alive.

A small frown to indicate that you should more quickly bleed out.

A slight, polite smile from one T-600 to an earlier model as it crushes a human skull underfoot.
posted by adipocere at 7:49 PM on October 28, 2010 [18 favorites]


Also previously.
posted by Gator at 7:52 PM on October 28, 2010


The creepiest part is the fan / buzzing noise that goes on every few minutes. As if she's really only using half of her functions power on interacting with you, and the other half is rendering the last visitor into a paste.
posted by condour75 at 7:52 PM on October 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh, I see she's actually related to the 'oids I linked to in that previous thread. Yeesh.
posted by Gator at 7:54 PM on October 28, 2010


We need to include strategies and techniques for mentally correcting against anthropomorphizing androids in kindergarten so children do not look at these things with any shred of compassion. If they do, we've lost the war with silicon based lifeforms.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:55 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't understand how it would be used to gauge patient reactions. The fpp-linked article from akihabaranews.com simply says that it has been "designed to be used in hospitals and other locations involving natural human-to-human communication".

Also, has someone called Realdoll.com for comment?
posted by vidur at 7:57 PM on October 28, 2010


Kill it with fire.
posted by cthuljew at 8:06 PM on October 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Holy crap...that thing is way deep in the uncanny valley.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:10 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can barely stand to watch this. I expected her to look into the camera, then come crawling out of my monitor, The Ring-style.

I lost a $20 bet with my wife just now because I thought "kill it with fire" would be in the first 7 comments. Curse you, Metafilter. You have failed me for the last time!
posted by elmer benson at 8:12 PM on October 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Something is trying to come out of her forehead. I don't think it's friendly.
posted by maudlin at 8:14 PM on October 28, 2010


Is she single?
posted by Brocktoon at 8:16 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want to see the battle to the death between this thing and animatronic Ben Franklin at Epcot.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:18 PM on October 28, 2010


This is what's coming. There will be a robot revolution the moment that they become cost effective.
posted by niccolo at 8:19 PM on October 28, 2010


Designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions, the robot can replicate surprisingly subtle facial movements.

Let's just be honest and admit that it's being done because having seamlessly human-like robots would be totally awesome.
posted by clockzero at 8:26 PM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Huh. I owe Brent Spiner an apology.
posted by Xezlec at 8:37 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Between this, Roomba, Realdoll, and Asimo, y'all realize, we're pretty much a cake baking algorithm short of a Stepford wife.
posted by condour75 at 8:39 PM on October 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


This is pretty damned impressive-looking. Looks like a human wearing a crapload of latex paint and trying to act like a robot. When it's not doing something deliberately weird like waggling its eyes back and forth, I think that it's actually climbing a fair way up the canny side of the uncanny valley. At least for me. For some people, there doesn't seem to be any room between uncannily creepy and indistinguishably human, but for me at least, there's a little bit of space for things that can't pass for human but are very close and yet don't creep me out.
posted by ErWenn at 8:42 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions

And of course, it won't be too big a leap to get robots to spot pupillary dilation, changes in facial blush patterns and muscle tonus, abrupt shifts in vocal pitch, and increases in heart beat and respiration.

They'll read us more easily and more reliably, at least according to such crude indices as they have installed, than humans usually read each other.
posted by darth_tedious at 8:43 PM on October 28, 2010


More info on this Actroid thing. It's produced by a division of Sanrio! Also: "We took measurements of an actual woman and made a robot based on the measurements. You can make it sit on a chair-like object which a human being can actually sit on."

Oh, and it runs Windows XP. NOT KIDDING.
posted by Gator at 8:50 PM on October 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


1:44. Can't stop laughing.
posted by doublehappy at 8:51 PM on October 28, 2010


I think that it's actually climbing a fair way up the canny side of the uncanny valley...

...where the few of us who survived foolishly thought we could rest for a moment.
posted by doublehappy at 8:55 PM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think that it's actually climbing a fair way up the canny side of the uncanny valley. At least for me.

Me, too. I openend the video in another tab, then got distracted for a few minutes. When I back to the video, I was like who is this women. Oh, wait, that's that robot.

And since this is Metafilter: I, for one, welcome our new android overlords.
posted by nooneyouknow at 8:55 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is my surprised face. :| Oh, wait, that was her surprised face.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:59 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


....Stepford wife.

Why is it every time you people see the uncanny valley you want to put your penis in? mmmm?
posted by poe at 9:02 PM on October 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


When all you've got is a penis, every valley looks like an orifice.
posted by Gator at 9:03 PM on October 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


The bowing was programmed pretty well for the Japanese neuro-pscyhe, I think, but the head-wagging, not so much. Oh, those inscrutable androids!
posted by kozad at 9:10 PM on October 28, 2010


> The bowing was programmed pretty well for the Japanese neuro-pscyhe, I think, but the head-wagging, not so much.

It was just mimicking the demonstrator.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 PM on October 28, 2010


The Actroids were created by man.....
posted by schmod at 9:29 PM on October 28, 2010


I'm pretty sure we'll be ordering big macs from them at the fly through window in a couple years.
posted by cftarnas at 9:32 PM on October 28, 2010


Man, what if a human could replicate surprisingly subtle roboto-facial movements?
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:38 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Man, what if a human could replicate surprisingly subtle roboto-facial movements?

Maybe not yet, but we can dance!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:46 PM on October 28, 2010


I find it fascinating to see Brent Spiner's affected tics and mannerisms reproduced so precisely by an actual android more than twenty years later.
posted by 256 at 10:03 PM on October 28, 2010


Add a fleshlight to it and we're on our way to zero population growth.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:18 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why are most if not virtually all Japanese androids designed as imitations of females?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ooooooookay, That was creepy. Another decade, and there will be little way in telling who or what is real. Advanced computer graphics, real-time video manipulation, human-like androids...

Where are my bionic eye implants, cyber-body, Tachikoma's?
posted by PROD_TPSL at 10:32 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It doesn't blink it's eyes.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 10:38 PM on October 28, 2010


When it's not doing something deliberately weird like waggling its eyes back and forth, I think that it's actually climbing a fair way up the canny side of the uncanny valley.

That little above/between the eyebrow thing, near the beginning...it's like something that looks like a robot, and you assume is a robot, and then it does that eyebrow thing, and for a moment you think "oh, it's a person dressed as a robot, and they got distracted and lost their focus for a bit." Totally canny side of the valley.

I can see my house from there
posted by davejay at 10:41 PM on October 28, 2010


It doesn't blink it's eyes.

Sure it does, 'round about the two-minute mark.
posted by davejay at 10:42 PM on October 28, 2010


cthuljew and elmer benson, that was indeed the first phrase that entered my brain.
posted by aloiv2 at 11:17 PM on October 28, 2010


Why are most if not virtually all Japanese androids designed as imitations of females?

Because responses to the male Live Dolls have been pretty limp so far.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:21 AM on October 29, 2010


This video makes her look a bit more like someone who has had a stroke.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KF2E_K37B0&feature=related

I think that the operators may need to exaggerate some of their expressions to translate properly.
posted by dreamling at 1:39 AM on October 29, 2010


This video makes her look a bit more like someone who has had a stroke.

Still. This is like, today. Actually that video is from April, so the distant past. By now she's probably working in a strip club. Seriously, I'm slightly shocked how far advanced this technology is. It's well into the uncanny valley, and possibly working its way up the other side. Give it five years and something like this will be a suitable humanoid stand-in for a variety of situations

And I could imagine quadriplegics/locked-in patients eventually being given a brain implant interface with one (I'm guessing "replacement body" medical technology is significantly further away)

The future is arriving very quickly
posted by crayz at 3:21 AM on October 29, 2010


Yep. Every second.
posted by crunchland at 4:38 AM on October 29, 2010


You know, I feel guilty leaving my soft toys alone for too long, so the psychological expense of having one of her in the cupboard would be too much for me.
posted by doublehappy at 4:52 AM on October 29, 2010


You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:13 AM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


She actually looks a little bit like an ex of mine.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:15 AM on October 29, 2010


She would be equally well suited for the off-world mines or the Outer Rim flesh pits.
posted by Mister_A at 5:17 AM on October 29, 2010


Surely this is a gynoid.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:44 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


For some reason, near the end of the video the camera drops down and focuses on her chest. I was afraid she was going to say, "Excuse me, I'm up here!"
posted by various at 7:03 AM on October 29, 2010


Not yet in "I'd hit it" territory, but would I feel the same way if I didn't have a girlfriend?

I suspect a decade or two from now being a lonely male nerd is going to suck a lot less.
posted by Ryvar at 7:04 AM on October 29, 2010


So this robot was "designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions" to robotic patient reaction observers?

I'm most disturbed by how this kind of circular, begging-the-question explanation seems to bother no one in Japan.
posted by General Tonic at 7:25 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dude, it's Japan.
posted by Mister_A at 8:06 AM on October 29, 2010


These androids are used in post-op recovery units to gauge when a patient is coming out of anesthesia. At the first sign of a flinch/cringe on the part of the groggy/coming out of it patient, the android goes into full Bender/Kill All Humans mode.

Get's them up on their feet and out of the ward in no time. Big savings in amount of post-op recovery time.
posted by warbaby at 8:22 AM on October 29, 2010


@darth_tedious: And of course, it won't be too big a leap to get robots to spot pupillary dilation, changes in facial blush patterns and muscle tonus, abrupt shifts in vocal pitch, and increases in heart beat and respiration.

We call it "Voight-Kampff" for short.
posted by luvcraft at 8:40 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Other than for entertainment, I honestlyy don't see how this thing can be useful. Gauging patient reactions seems completely vague.
posted by Dragonness at 9:01 AM on October 29, 2010


Ahh, I thought it said "voguing patient reactions," which is what the video looked like as well.
posted by Mister_A at 10:37 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If this is meant to replace CNAs and sitters in Japanese hospitals, then their pay scale must be way higher than anywhere else.
posted by meehawl at 6:57 PM on October 30, 2010


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