Machines

Ibuki: The Child-Robot Of Sci-Fi Nightmares

ibuki-child-like-humanoid-robot
Credit: Ibuki

The Ibuki robot was created by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, who resides in Osaka and for some reason, he decided to make his latest creation resemble a 10-year-old looking boy who sports rubbery hands and a rubbery realistic-looking face to match.

To add to the eeriness of the machine, Ibuki also has ‘involuntary’ motions built into it, such as blinking and head bobs. His robotic skull is transparent, so that only adds to the visuals that become slightly terrifying the more you stare at it.

Credit: Ibuki – a child-like android / Youtube 

Ibuk is capable of scanning for faces and has a half-track system that aids movement, but so far those are the only things it can do, since the robot was not built for specific actions, but for somewhat more psychological ones; Professor Ishiguro has also made an android copy of himself a while back and has since stated that his creations are meant to help people rediscover their psyche.

“My research question is to know what is a human,” Professor Ishiguro has said “I use very humanlike robots as test beds for my hypotheses.”

In 2001, Ishiguro had made a copy of his then 4 year old daughter, which he named Repliee R1, complete with nine DC motors in its head and silicone skin. Back then, the Repliee could only move its mouth, while the neck turns caused it to shake awkwardly. People would often tell the Professor the robot gave them a strange feeling.

Needless to say, Ishiguro’s daughter reacted in a similar manner: the 4 year old cried when she first met Repliee and it took a few meetings until she managed to approach it.

“Humankind is always trying to replace human abilities with machines. That’s our history,” the Professor continues to say. “I’m doing the same thing. Nothing special.”

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