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Image of HRP-4C in all her glory  (Source: AP)
A new robot created by Japanese researchers will walk the catwalk next week in Tokyo

Researchers at the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have created a new "cybernetic human" robot that is able to move, walk, create facial expressions, and will walk down the catwalk.

Although it can walk down the catwalk by itself, it hasn't met necessary safety standards to be able to walk with human models on the catwalk.  It will, however, walk by itself during a fashion show in Tokyo next week.

Developers admit that their creation isn't ready to be used in the house as a daily chore worker yet, but the technology is surely getting there.

"Technologically, it hasn't reached that level," developer Hirohisa Hirukawa said.  "Even as a fashion model, people in the industry told us she was short and had a rather ordinary figure."

The robot, called HRP-4C, is 60 inches tall and weighs 95 pounds developers said in a statement.  HRP-4C's predecessor weighed 128 pounds total.  Its main purpose, for now, will be to attract attention at shopping malls or amusement parks, along with serving other roles in the entertainment industry.

It was designed to look like a regular Japanese woman, but has a silver and black body that makes it look like it's really wearing some type of space suit.  When it walks the catwalk next week, it won't be wearing the clothes, so it looks more normal.

Its face was inspired by popular Japanese anime, as researchers were scared to make it look too life like.

"If we had made the robot too similar to a real human, it would have been uncanny," humanoid researcher Shuji Kajita said.  "We have deliberately leaned toward an anime style."

The Japanese robotics industry is one of the best in the world, and continues to make breakthroughs toward the idea of having robots help people in the household.  Several robots created at the Tokyo University of Science and Osaka University are being tested as receptionists. 

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By melgross on 3/16/2009 6:00:24 PM , Rating: -1
Other than walking around, speaking some limited responses, and moving its arms and hands, what can it do?

I don't consider something to be a robot unless it can do something.

Can it pick things up?

Can it manipulate items?

If it can't actually do anything, it's not really much more than a walking toy.

RE: Usefulness?
By Hypernova on 3/16/2009 6:15:03 PM , Rating: 3
Well it will do a great job at scarring many a child for life. Making them vigilant of robots, forming a great source of recruits for fighting the upcoming robot revolution where this thing marries Skynet.

RE: Usefulness?
By quiksilvr on 3/16/2009 11:01:51 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the evolution of sexbots. Gotta remember the sexbots.

RE: Usefulness?
By nowayout99 on 3/16/2009 7:14:25 PM , Rating: 5
Judging from the open mouth, I can only assume it serves multiple functions.

RE: Usefulness?
By CyborgTMT on 3/16/2009 8:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
Give me 2 Armatrons, a Big Trak, and a Mrs. Potato Head and I'll build one of these over the weekend.

RE: Usefulness?
By lagitup on 3/16/2009 8:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
Give me 2 Armatrons, a Big Trak, and a Mrs. Potato Head and I'll build one of these over the weekend.

Pathetic! I could do it in 3 hours on a Thursday with only a pound of red kool-aid powderand an easy bake oven.

RE: Usefulness?
By Hypernova on 3/16/2009 11:28:51 PM , Rating: 4
But can you do it IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!?

RE: Usefulness?
By Chocobollz on 3/18/2009 1:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry Sir but I'm not Tony Stark..

RE: Usefulness?
By spread on 3/16/2009 8:49:35 PM , Rating: 3
It also gives blowjobs.

RE: Usefulness?
By scrapsma54 on 3/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Usefulness?
By afkrotch on 3/17/2009 2:31:43 PM , Rating: 1
There should only be 2 types of robots out there.

1. Sex bot
2. Terminator

You may combine the two and pray it doesn't mistake what it's suppose to do.

RE: Usefulness?
By smegz on 3/18/2009 3:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Or, only one type where the sex-bot turns into a terminator when you no longer call her.

RE: Usefulness?
By Icehearted on 3/19/2009 2:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
That would make it a little too lifelike...

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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