Geminoid HI-1 is an android copy of its creator, Hiroshi Ishiguro. It reproduces the voice and head movements of Ishiguro (or another operator) and is intended to study what it means to be human.
Did you know?
Strands of hair from Hiroshi Ishiguro's scalp were used on his android twin.
Hiroshi Ishiguro describes how the Geminoid lets him be in two places at the same time.Photo: Osaka University
In 2006, Japanese animatronics firm Kokoro and Hiroshi Ishiguro, a researcher at ATR and a professor at Osaka University, unveiled Geminoid HI-1, an android designed to look like Ishiguro himself. Ishiguro constructed his mechanical doppelgänger using "silicone rubber, pneumatic actuators, powerful electronics, and hair from his own scalp." Ishiguro and his collaborators use the robot as a tool to study human-robot interaction. They have since built five generations of the android. The latest model, Geminoid HI-5, received major upgrades, but its appearance hasn't changed: With dark hair, furrowed brows, eyeglasses, and dark clothing, it remains an unmistakable copy of Ishiguro.