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Only in Japan! Lonely Lady Android Seeks Valentine’s Date in Tokyo Department Store!

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Do you ever get freaked out by those über-realistic looking mannequins in trendy shop windows? You could have sworn that it looked at you as you walked by. If you take a walk down a certain Japanese high street, your suspicions could be quite right..

If you approach the window display of the Takashimaya department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo you’ll be greeted by Geminoid F – a fembot looking for a Valentine’s Day date. From a far the droid looks like a real-life lonely lady sitting with phone in hand waiting for that all important call for a special someone. Geminoid F is programmed with realistic expressions, blinks and head motions, in fact Geminoid F has 65 different actions which she uses to react to her “emotions” to what’s happening around her. Upset her, and she’ll break into a sad frown, but do something pleasing and she’ll respond with a sweet but somewhat disturbing smile.

The ‘bots creator Professor Ishiguro of the Osaka University has previously worked on an “Android Theater” where human’s and robots perform and interact, and says of this latest project: “We’re always looking for places where androids could be utilized. Show windows normally use mannequins, but ideally, that wouldn’t be the case. It would be better to have actual fashion models there because that would make the clothes look great. But in reality, a model can’t spend all day in a show window. Mannequins though, don’t really look like people. So we think androids are a great match for the purpose of show windows.”

Ishiguro is well into his robots and regards them as he would a sentient human being and his thoughts on android / human interaction are to “think of the android as an ordinary person. Treat it as if it’s a person sitting there in the usual way. If you react as you normally would to a sitting person, the android will react. But if you pester it too much, it’ll ignore you. I think it would be fun to imagine what the android might be feeling while you’re watching it.”

We’ve seen The Terminator, and personally we don’t!

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