(AFP) – Mar 16, 2009
TSUKUBA, Japan (AFP) — Japanese researchers on Monday showed off a robot that will soon strut her stuff down a Tokyo catwalk.
The girlie-faced humanoid with slightly oversized eyes, a tiny nose and a shoulder length hair-do boasts 42 motion motors programmed to mimic the movements of flesh-and-blood fashion models.
"Hello everybody, I am cybernetic human HRP-4C," said the futuristic fashionista, opening her media premiere at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology outside Tokyo.
The fashion-bot is 158 centimetres (five foot two inches) tall, the average height of Japanese women aged 19 to 29, but weighs in at a waif-like 43 kilograms (95 pounds) -- including batteries.
She has a manga-inspired human face but a silver metallic body.
"If we had made the robot too similar to a real human, it would have been uncanny," said one of the inventors, humanoid research leader Shuji Kajita.
"We have deliberately leaned toward an anime style."
The institute said the robot "has been developed mainly for use in the entertainment industry" but is not for sale at the moment.
Hamming it up before photographers and television crews, the seductive cyborg struck poses, flashed bright smiles and pouted sulkily according to commands transmitted wirelessly from journalists via bluetooth devices.
The performance fell short of flawless when she occasionally mixed up her facial expressions -- a mistake the inventors put down to a case of the nerves as a hail of camera shutters confused her sound recognition sensors.
The preview was a warm-up for her appearance at a Tokyo fashion show on March 23.
Like her real-life counterparts, robot model HRP-5C commands a hefty price -- theinstitute said developing her cost more than 200 million yen (two million dollars).
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