My birthday is April 10, 2017. How long do I live?
Leon, Blade Runner
What happens when androids get old? Well, it ain’t pretty. Basically, they melt.
Of course, ‘old’ comes pretty fast in robotics. Your gorgeous synthetic Actroid companion may be the stuff of your dreams today - but her skin will start to liquefy in about a year. Before long she’ll end up dismembered and rotting in a cluttered basement, like this first-generation Repliee I found at Dr. Hiroshi ‘Gitchang’ Okuno’s lab at Kyoto University. When I saw her in such a fallen state, I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic.
The Actroid and Repliee series of androids developed in Japan have silicone skin. An insider at developer Kokoro Co. tells me that one of the biggest challenges with Actroids is that their skin decays and dirties quickly. It has to be replaced every year. The process is long and tricky…
(Read more after the jump at Loving the Machine)
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