Most profound robots invented by Hiroshi Ishiguro

in technology •  10 months ago


Hiroshi Ishiguro

Hiroshi Ishiguro is the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, part of the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, Japan. Ishiguro has built many robots since he has been in Osaka and before he was there.

In robot development, Ishiguro concentrates on the idea of making a robot that is as similar as possible to a live human being. In his opinion, it may be possible to build an android that is indistinguishable from a human, at least during a brief encounter.

Ishiguro has been listed as one of the 15 Asian Scientists to Watch by Asian Scientist Magazine on 15 May 2011.


Most (if not all) of the robots listed below are collaborative work of Osaka University and Japan's Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute International (ATR).


In 2010, Ishiguro made a twin robot of himself and called it Geminoid HI-1. It is the first among the Geminoid series and it is teleoperated. Ishiguro controls this robot remotely, through his computer, using a microphone to capture his voice and a camera to track his face and head movements. When Ishiguro speaks, the android reproduces his intonations; when Ishiguro tilts his head, the android follows suit.

Ishiguro and Geminoid HI-1

Ishiguro’s surrogate doesn’t have sensing and actuation capabilities as sophisticated as those in the movie. But even this relatively simple android is giving Ishiguro great insight into how our brains work when we come face to face with a machine that looks like a person.


It is a female geminoid which was designed to look like a female model whose identity is kept secret. It uses 12 actuators which is far less than the 50 in Geminoid HI-1. This makes it more mobile and cost effective. 11 of the 12 actuators is located in the head and this enables it to exhibit a wide range of natural expression, it can smile, frown and change facial expressions more naturally than Ishiguro’s previous androids. It should also be noted the geminoid F is the first female android actress.

Geminoid F


Geminoid DK is the first Geminoid that’s based on a non-Japanese model, Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Denmark’s Aalborg University. It was first exhibited on 6 march 2011. Oh, It is also the first model that has beards.

Geminoids credit


These are the first android newscasters. They were first exhibited in June 2014 and, they have been at Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and innovation) in Tokyo, Japan since July 2014. They are multilingual and can express various facial expressions and gestural motions but their lip sync is not exact.

Kodomoroid and Otonaroid

Otonaroid is an adult that has 40 degrees of freedom and performs in any of tele-operation mode or autonomous mode. In tele-operation mode, any visitor of Miraikan can talk with another person by operating Otonaroid while, in the autonomous mode, Otonaroid speaks in synthesized voice.

Kodomoroid is the younger one and works as a news presenter reading scientific news and weather reports in a variety of voices and language everyday.


Telenoid R1 is a portable humanoid with minimalistic design. It is the size of a small child, it has soft and pleasant skin, bald head, doll-like face and stumps in place of limbs. It uses just 9 DC motors instead of pneumatics as actuators and therefore reducing the cost and size greatly.

The idea was to create a tele-operated robot that could appear male or female, young or old and the goal is to investigate the essential elements for representing and transmitting humanlike presence.

Child holding the teleloid

Telenoid R1 is used widely to transmit audio and movement as messages over a long distance. It enables user to feel as though they are communicating with an acquaintance who is far away. It is can also be use for advanced video conferencing.


Elfoid has the same physical features as Telenoid R1 but only the size of a cell phone and no actuator. It performs the function of Telenoid R1 and a cell phone.

Youths holding elfoid


Erica can perform various facial expression with her beautiful female face and gestural motions but, she is unable to move her arms and legs. She can work out where sound is coming from to know who is asking her a question. Using 14 infra-red sensors and face recognition technology, she can track people in a room.


Erica is one of the most life-like humanoid in existence and, she has one of the most advanced artificial speech system in the world. She has learned to tell jokes and she will debut as a news presenter around April this year. She has been described as so realistic she might have a soul.

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