Roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, famous for creating a robotic duplicate of himself, over the weekend debuted his new female robot. Called Geminoid F, it's designed to smile, laugh, and serve as a remote-controlled emotional avatar.
The IEEE Spectrum has the story:
The new robot, a copy of a woman in her 20s with long dark hair, can laugh, smile, and exhibit other facial expressions more naturally than Ishiguro's previous androids . . . the Geminoid HI-1 . . . is also designed to be remote controlled by an operator. In a press conference in Osaka, Ishiguro demonstrated how the android could mimic the facial expressions of the woman as she sat in front of a computer with cameras and face-tracking software . . . Ishiguro's team and Kokoro engineers wanted to create an android that could exhibit a wide range of natural expressions without requiring as many actuators as other androids they'd developed. In particular, they wanted the robot to sport a convincing smile.
This reminds me a little bit of the scenario in the movie Gamer, where people could control human "avatars" - and what we see are a lot of in that movie are men wanting to control hot female avatars like our Geminoid here. So you're either witnessing a new phase in dolly fetishes. Or you're seeing the new face of customer service, where one person behind the scenes is controlling service worker droids all over Tokyo.
via IEEE Spectrum