KITECH’s humanoid robot EVE is no stranger to the stage, and now she’s earned top billing as the star of a Korean stage production called The Robot and the Seven Dwarfs. No-Won’s Culture & Arts Center (located in Seoul) is keen to explore how robots and human actors work together and adapted the old tale specifically for the robot. “Having a robot as the star is a good way to ensure a box office success,” said the director, “though working with a robot is proving to be an unusual challenge.”
While the current generation of life-like humanoid robots aren’t anywhere near as realistic or expressive enough to survive the scrutiny of close-ups in a movie, they don’t have to worry about that in a stage play. As such, they may be just realistic enough for certain roles (and let’s face it, Snow White is a bit of a block head). Actors worried about losing their jobs to the robots can rest easily (for now) in the knowledge that speech synthesis software is not yet sophisticated enough to deliver the kind of spontaneous and emotional delivery that audiences expect.