Underneath the realistic silicone skin of the Geminoid F lies the familiar face of a robot. Machined from aluminium, the latest version of this Japanese robot has just one quarter of the hardware used in its predecessor (Geminoid HI-1), with just 12 degrees of freedom.
Unlike most modern robots, the Geminoid series doesn’t use electric motors for animation. Compressed air and pneumatic rams are used instead, as the creators feel it gives a more human-like quality to their movements.
Geminoid F uses an electric air compressor to supply her many actuators. These are controlled by computer-operated valves, in order to reliably synchronise the 65 facial expressions to match the words spoken by the robot.
Human head movements, gestures and facial features are observed, recorded by the computer and mimicked to improve realism. Operators can speak via the Geminoid, or have her respond autonomously using a computer program to work out a suitable reply to questions.