Toshiba's Eerie Sign Language Robot Will Silently Stare Into Your Soul

By Andrew Liszewski on at

Proving its engineers are just as capable as anyone at developing a creepy human-like robot that embraces the Uncanny Valley, Toshiba has developed an android that specialises in sign language thanks to a pair of highly articulated hands. One day the company hopes it could serve as an artificial receptionist, but it's probably going to need to learn to talk first.

Working with researchers from aLab Inc., Osaka University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, and Shonan Institute of Technology, Toshiba actually adapted technologies the company developed for its industrial factory robots, including algorithms to coordinate 43 different actuators in the android's arms and hands.

In its current state the android can only pass along simple greetings in Japanese sign language, but Toshiba plans to continue to develop its creation, adding voice recognition and speech synthesis in the coming years to help make it a little more personable — and a whole lot less creepy. [Toshiba via Fareastgizmos]