Although androids often get a bad rap in science-fiction movies and video games, real-life androids are already improving people’s lives—and making “careers” of it. Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation has actually “hired” two lifelike androids: Kodomoroid will read the latest news from the Internet, and Otonaroid will converse with visitors about science and technology. The androids were designed by Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, whose previous work includes a lifelike clone of himself.

Thanks to the work of Ishiguro and other robotics engineers, sophisticated androids may one day commonly help out around people’s homes, offices, and beyond. If this seems implausible, consider that people already use robots to build automobiles, to check for explosives and other dangers, to transport materials in warehouses, to clean floors, to work in space, and to do myriad other tasks.

The robots are here! Long live the great minds that create them!


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