Fashion bot created to own Tokyo's catwalk

March 23, 2009  |  10:30am
It seems, judging by the popular status of our bionic List of the Day, that our readers love their robots. However, the new HRP-4C "Fashion Fembot" blurs the line between cute and creepy. Japanese researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology debuted this pretty little bot to the media recently, preparing for her to strut down the catwalk in Tokyo's spring fashion show. She is the first (fully) plastic and metal fashion model.

According to the Institute, the girly-bot "has been developed mainly for use in the entertainment industry." Although this may conjure up images of the lovely Replicant Rachael from Blade Runner, the Institute wants to clarify that it is not trying to create clone-like fashion-bots. "If we had made the robot too similar to a real human, it would have been uncanny," humanoid research leader Shuji Kajita said. "We have deliberately leaned toward an anime style."  

At just over five feet and weighing roughly 90 lbs, the robot model is certainly not too human-like. But then, neither are the waif-like proportions of many fashion-models. A commenter to the Gizmodo blog said it best: "Seeing as most models are enhanced with silicon and plastic, it seems a logical next step to go 100% silicon and plastic."

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