Hiroshi Ishiguro, the director of the Intelligent Robotic Laboratory, has just unveiled his lab's latest creation. Her name is Yangyang.
She's an android - a robot designed to look and act as human as possible - and by all accounts seems to have been the star of the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing between April 28 and 30 2015.
Ishiguro has spent almost his whole life creating and designing a series of realistic androids. He's made one that looks like himself, one based on his own daughter, and now one based on researcher Yang Song, the wife of the president of a Chinese technology company that he collaborated with.
Yangyang has been designed to be as humanlike as possible - able to blink, shake hands and fidget like a human. She'll be used to teach kids about robotics, and may also be used in more commercial settings - as a 'greeter' in a department store, for example.
Ishiguro has been granted $16 million by Japan's Sci-tech funding body ERATO to continue his work, with one eye on the lucrative Chinese market. "The Chinese market is more active than the United States and Japan. They're eager to accept new technology," he told Vice. "A lot of robotics companies are focusing on the Chinese market now as they are more flexible and richer than the Japanese one."
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