Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Dawn of the Replicants?


Geminoid|DK is a crude android that is passably human in appearance and action (including breathing). At present he exists only as a torso with a neck and head. But, if you added the dexterous arms and hands of NASA's Robonaut R2B and a further refined version of Honda's ASIMO P3 bipedal abilities, we would have a fair simulacrum of a mechanical humanoid body in motion. Then, add advanced versions of currently available tech for medical and commercial electronics sensors and pattern recognition (language, speech, vision, audio), the next-gen of "self aware" computers" (two or many more computers watching each others' "perceptions" and outputs)… the gizmo seems to come alive.

Today, Geminoid|DK's actions are entirely controlled by the user's actions. In this, he is merely an advanced platform for investigating Human/Machine interaction as it may exist in the near future. But, "he" also embodies the promise of an advanced form of telepresence. Imagine tying the coming iterations of mind controlled computing networked between your thoughts and a full-body prosthetic of your own proportions, your own gate and physical manner, and an approximation of your own sensorium. Care to take a stroll sans space suit on the icy shores of Titan? Want to walk past the rim of a volcanic caldera? Let's go…