It seems robots are getting into acting more and more these days, which makes sense given acting is nothing more than a simulation of real feelings and situations. Last year we took a look at a few examples, but a UK-based company has been at it since 2005; their latest being the RoboThespian RT3. Developed by Engineered Arts Ltd, the robot is actuated primarily by Festo air muscles and dc servo motors. You can see him in person at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center, where he was nicknamed Andy (short for android) as part of their permanent roboworld exhibit.
Similar in function to Kokoro’s I-FAIRY and Interbots‘ Quasi 2.0, RoboThespian RT3 is more of an interactive exhibit than a real robot. To its credit, you can program it to say whatever you please using text-to-speech software (15 languages are supported), create custom motion routines using Blender (an open source 3d design software), and it has fully articulated hands and fingers. The developers claim it might even be able to walk around untethered someday – which the other two exhibits can’t do. RoboThespian RT3 has a total of 30 degrees of freedom, two LCD screens for animated eyes, stands 175cm (5’8″) tall, weighs 33kg (72 lbs), and can be purchased for $84,000 USD (just slightly more than the I-FAIRY at $70,000 USD).
A few videos follow after the break.
Engineered Arts Ltd | Steve Tanner