Next best thing to TV star - her robot double?

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Android robot Totto, modelled on Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, one of Japan's top television stars, speaking to a visitor at the World Robot Summit in Tokyo yesterday. Created in collaboration with Japanese robotics master Hiroshi Ishiguro, Totto replicates the 85-year-old star's facial expressions almost perfectly but conversation with it hardly flows. It was among the popular robots on display at the summit, which featured down-to-earth machines that can deliver the mail, do the shopping and build a house. Amid Japan's ageing population and manpower shortage, felt especially keenly in the retail and construction sectors, companies at the summit showed off human support robots that can help the infirm, put items into shopping baskets and stack shelves.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2018, with the headline 'Next best thing to TV star - her robot double?'. Print Edition | Subscribe