Gadgets for humans

This humanoid robot is eerily lifelike

Meet Nadine, a robot designed to look as human-like as possible and based on its creator at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 15.24.16
Prof Nadia Thalmann with Nadine, her robot doppelgänger.

Nadine was created to take on the role of a personal assistant or companion. Unlike other robots, this one has its own personality and can experience moods and emotions, depending on the topic of conversation.

Pair this with the robot’s soft looking skin, hair and human-like body and you have something quite shockingly lifelike. Nadine is designed to look as much like Professor Thalmann as possible and it really does.

Thalmann’s team have been working on Nadine since 2011. Speaking about the process, she says:

Over the past four years, our team at NTU have been fostering cross-disciplinary research in social robotics technologies – involving engineering, computer science, linguistics, psychology and other fields – to transform a virtual human, from within a computer, into a physical being that is able to observe and interact with other humans.

The university is currently using Nadine as a receptionist where it will smile when greeting you and remember your name the next time you meet, as well as recalling your previous conversations.

Nadine runs on software akin to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana and the creators are hopeful that with advances in software and silicon chips in the future, Nadine will act as an assistant in the home or companion for the elderly, sort of like a real life C-3PO.

➤ ​NTU scientists unveil social and telepresence robots [Nanyang Technological University via Engadget]

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Published December 30, 2015 — 15:52 UTC