Life- sized hu­manoid robot stars at world’s top tech fair

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

white robot that sings, dances, re­cites Shake­speare, mim­ics other fa­mous ro­bots and even tries to kiss passers-by drew huge crowds at the world’s big­gest high-tech fair, in Hanover, Ger­many.

Vis­i­tors to the CeBIT fair last week flocked to see the ‘‘ RoboTh­es­pian’’ and its tricks, ap­plaud­ing loudly as the sleek ma­chine gave a per­fect per­for­mance of the fa­mous Ham­let so­lil­o­quy, com­plete with over-the-top th­es­pian ac­tions and voices.

Flu­ent in 20 lan­guages, the robot can hold ba­sic con­ver­sa­tions and copy the ac­tions of peo­ple in front of it. It wowed the crowd with its im­per­son­ation of C3PO, the world-fa­mous robot from Star Wars.

Marcus Hold, the en­gi­neer who de­signed RoboTh­es­pian, said its main func­tion was for en­ter­tain­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Hold said. ‘‘ But this is his first CeBIT and he’s lap­ping it up.’’

Oc­ca­sion­ally RoboTh­es­pian gets too amorous with vis­i­tors get­ting up close for pho­tos.

When it senses some­one stand­ing next to it, it turns to them and tries to plant a kiss on their cheek.

RoboTh­es­pian is yours for STG55,000 ($ A88,247), said Will Jack­son, di­rec­tor of the firm that cre­ated it.

‘‘ What’s unique about the robot is that it can do nearly ev­ery mo­tion that a hu­man can do.’’

The robot can be pro­grammed to re­cite any­thing its owner wants, in al­most any voice – there are also fe­male RoboTh­es­pi­ans.

Un­for­tu­nately, the robot isn’t quite fault­less. At­tempt­ing to demon­strate its maths skills, Jack­son asked: ‘‘ RoboTh­es­pian, what is 2+ 2?’’

‘‘ 496,’’ replied the beam­ing ma­chine.

‘‘ RoboTh­es­pian’’ drew big crowds at the fair

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