Status: Weird News
Wired has an interesting article
about Hiroshi Ishiguro, a Japanese researcher who has built a remote-control robotic version of himself:
Ishiguro's silicone-and-steel doppelgänger was made from casts taken from his own body. Powered by pressurized air and small actuators, it runs on semiautonomous motion programs. It blinks and fidgets in its seat, moving its foot up and down restlessly, its shoulders rising gently as though it were breathing. These micromovements are so convincing that it's hard to believe this is a machine -- it seems more like a man wearing a rubber mask. But a living, breathing man.
Ishiguro says that he built the robot so that he could "robot in" to his classes instead of having to endure a long commute. During college I actually had a recurring fantasy about doing exactly this, since I would routinely oversleep and miss classes. So I imagine in the future, if Ishiguro's idea becomes popular, there could be entire classes filled entirely with remote-control robots. Though if everyone in the classroom were a robot, it would kind of defeat the purpose. You might as well just have a tele-conference. (Thanks, Kathy!)