Casper? Is that you?
Yeah, this bot looks like Casper the friendly ghost. The Telenoid R1 comes from designer Hiroshi Ishiguro and just like Casper I’m sure he doesn’t mean to scare people, but he will. It’s the latest telepresence robot in Japan.
Weighing in at 11-lbs. the robot’s stubs, tail, eyes, mouth and limbs all move in synch with the user, thanks to 9 actuators. Facial expressions are transmitted to the robot through FaceAPI software, which tracks the eyes, mouth, and tilt of the head. (video)
It’s meant to be androgynous on purpose, allowing both male and female users to use it. Creepy? Just a bit. $35,000 worth of creepy. A cheaper version covered in cloth instead of silicone will sell for $8,000 in 2011.