I finally got round to loading this short movie of my encounter with a terranoid robot at Kyoto’s ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories back in October. This is a “terranoid ” – a robot that you can hold as you interact.
The Westerners working at ATR had nicknamed it, “Casper” after the lovable friendly ghost, but I was reminded more of the cult horror classic “Basketcase” about the wretched siamese twin who is separated from his brother to be carried around in a basket from where he terrorizes his victims. BTW,the origin of the term ‘basketcase’ comes from the British slang for quadruple amputees during WWI.
The aim of the terranoid is to produce androids that one can hold. You can tell where this technology is going but as you can see, there was something very strange about this encounter and I clearly do not seem at ease. The texture of the synthetic skin was very lifelike but it did feel like I was holding a deformed human.
I will get round to uploading my encounter with Geminoid soon. I even got to be her for while and experience what it feels like to remotely control an android. The future is just round the corner, and a lot weirder than you imagine!