After HRI’10 in Osaka I gave a talk at ATR’s Intelligent Robotics and Communication Labs, the place where Geminoid, Hiroshi Ishiguro’s doppelgänger robot lives. The visit was excellent and I really enjoyed my talk and the lab tour.
Meeting Geminoid after my talk was an interesting experience. I hadn’t expected it to affect me all that much, but the feeling I had during walking up to the robot was horribly similar to walking into an open casket wake; something felt off and it was a social situation I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with. Touching Geminoid felt strange, especially since you wouldn’t do the same to the real Hiroshi – in my mind he was around, watching.