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Mobile Teleoperated Android

In previous work using a teleoperated android created to closely resemble an actual living person (Geminoid), we found that both a remote operator and conversation partner facing the robot can feel the operator’s “presence” through using the robot. This phenomenon appears even when the operator is not the original model for the Geminoid (their appearances do not coincide).

In order to reveal essential factors to transmit human presence, we construct a "Geminoid Cell Phone", a new communication medium based on Geminoid, which features the minimal design required to express human-like appearance and motion. We have developed two types of Geminoid Cell Phone. The first, “Telenoid”, is approx. 70 cm tall and possesses actuators and sensors. The other, “Elfoid”, is approx. 20 cm and features cell phone functionality. For these two robots, we are interested in development of user recognition functionality: the teleoperation system must transmit the user’s utterances, as well as lip and head movements, and facial expressions. However, the Geminoid Cell Phone’s camera is expected to move and recognition must be possible under different lighting conditions; therefore, a robust recognition system is required.

Another research issue involves study of the applicability of the Geminoid Cell Phone. In contrast to Geminoid, an operator using the Geminoid Cell Phone cannot see their conversation partner’s face. Work on this topic will reveal which scenes and forms of communication improve the applicability of the Geminoid Cell Phone.