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Toshiba Android Will Take You for a Trip Down the Uncanny Valley
All aboard for another trip down the Uncanny Valley!
At the CEATEC Japan electronics trade show in October, Toshiba trotted out what it calls a "lifelike communication android," though perhaps the term lifelike is a bit generous. The android, named Aiko Chihiro, is similar to others we've seen at labs and trade events. While certain parts of the robot look quite good, such as the hair, I found that, as I watched Aiko move, it didn't take long for my Uncanny Valley instincts to kick in.
To many people, androids like Aiko raise the question: Should we build robots that look exactly like people? That issue has generated a lot of debate among roboticists. Masahiro Mori, the Japanese researcher who came up with the Uncanny Valley concept, has said robot designers should avoid developing robots whose appearances approach that of a person.
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