I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Linda Nightingale. Today, Linda introduces Japanese robots and shares her latest audiobook releases, Love for Sale and Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody.
This may seem to fly off the pages of science fiction, but it’s a hot new research field and making rapid progress.
At the Toshiba booth at the Consumer Electronics show, Chihira Aico, a life-sized robot in a pink party dress with pearls, stood like a mannequin, perfectly still—at first. Suddenly, the android began to gesture wildly.
“I can be a news reader, consultant or cheerleader!” She threw her arms up and squealed, “I can get excited!”
Chihira is a new concept for a life-like android. Her creators intend to make her seem even more expressive when interacting with humans. By adding additional motors to her joints, engineers are refining her movements to make them appear fluid while programmers work on her language processing, improving her communications skills and responsiveness. The ultimate goal is for the robot to read human behaviors and emotions, then mimic them, thereby appearing human herself.
This complicated piece of hardware has over 40 motors in her joints to coordinate her body’s movements. Fifteen tiny air pumps on her fact control the blinking of her eyes and the opening of her mouth as she speaks. Toshiba developed Chihira under the direction of Hitoshi Tokuda, the project leader. Osaka University performed the muscle research, building on previous work on prosthetic limbs.
On-lookers thought Chihira was creepy. What do you think?
A hi-tech hotel in Japan, Nagasaki prefecture’s Henn-na Hotel, opening in July will employ ten robots at the check-in counter as receptionists. If you think these humanoid androids are creepy, you might think twice about visiting this hotel. They can establish eye contact and respond to body language.
When I wrote Love For Sale, my sci-fi romance from The Wild Rose Press, I didn’t know about the Japanese life-like robots. In fact, Love for Sale was inspired by Tanith Lee’s immortal Silver Metal Lover. I don’t find robots creepy but extremely interesting. I’d love to interact with a human-like android.
A recent Pew report entitled, “A.I., Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” suggests that while it might be some time before we see a robot takeover of our workforce, we’ll be having sex with them sooner than we think. Hum. Interesting. Would you find a sentient being programmed to love you disturbing?
Love For Sale is about Christian and March. March is a disenchanted dreamer. Christian is her dream man, but…inside he’s all circuits and wires while outside he is perfectly human and programmed to love her unconditionally.
Love for Sale and Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody have been released as audio books. Both are read by a woman with a lovely British accent and are enchanting to listen to.
Audible Samples/Buy Links
Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.
Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt. She retired from a career as a retired legal assistant, just joined the Houston BMW Club, and the stars in her crown—two wonderful sons. In a former life, she must have had to walk everywhere because today she is into transportation with fine taste in expensive horses and hot cars! She likes to dress up and host formal dinner parties.
Where to find Linda…
Note: Visit and look around Linda’s website. There’s a free continuing vampire story. On her blog, you’ll find interesting guests and prizes.
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