Seductive Robots: Tatsuya Matsui Helps Androids Escape the Uncanny Valley

The post-apocalyptic world in which robots control humanity and keep us as pets is a long way away, apparently.

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Aug 4 2010, 10:26pm

The post-apocalyptic world in which robots control humanity and keep us as pets is a long way away, apparently. As Tatsuya Matsui explains, robots simply are not that smart at the moment. With only limited AI power available, his company, Flower Robotics, creates robots that make the most of what is possible.

Aiming to use functionality as a form of expression, Matsui has a successful line of full body and upper torso mannequins that display clothing and jewelry in a dynamic way. These mannequins, especially the robot “Pallete,” strike a variety of poses, and learn how to act by taking note of what poses consumers smile at and respond well to.

“We’re not trying to make cute robots,” Matsui says. That may be, but it is truly impressive that his creations are able to learn how to appeal to humans through postures and motions. Matsui’s charismatic creations have been used by Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and the MOMA. The Uncanny Valley is looking like less and less of an obstacle thanks to the work of Matsui and those like him who have greater ideas of how robots can interact with human society, and improve it too.