BoingBoing reader Roland Piquepaille
A robotics designer named David Hanson, who lives in Dallas, Texas, says yes, according to this story from the Associated Press. But can you imagine that this guy gave his latest robot, designed to resemble his girlfriend, a name like Hertz? Does he think his girlfriend is for rent? Quite amazing! Besides choosing such a name, why is this such a controversial idea to make robots looking very much like human beings? Because the theory goes like this: "humans have a positive psychological reaction to robots that look somewhat like humans. But if a robot is made to look very realistic but somehow isn't quite right (it has an odd smile, or it doesn't blink, for example) it seems grotesque instead of comforting." You'll find more details and an astonishing picture in this overview.
UPDATE: Popular Science magazine ran an extensive profile of David Hansen and his robot/girlfriend project last September, which includes some cool photos. Link
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