All of a sudden we’re getting large numbers of search engine referrals from people looking for videos of the Repliee Q1.

I was wondering what could have caused this sudden surge, until I realized that BBC News just wrote about it.

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised – a “female” android called Repliee Q1.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

I wrote a post about the Repliee a little while back, but for people who may not have seen it, I’ll just repeat the part that I translated from Japanese.

You can also find an older brief article at
National Geographic.

For more information, photos, and best of all video, see the official project website at Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory.

The Japanese language website of NEDO (New Energy and industrial technology Development Organization) has some additional information worth mentioning.

The name “Repliee” is supposed to suggest the French word replique (replica).

The Repliee Q1’s skin is made of silicon and colored in imitation of human skin. The android uses air servo actuators to subtly inflate and deflate the chest in imitation of real human breathing. The Repliee has been designed to respond to its environment in the unconscious ways that a human does. For that purpose it has extremely sensitive touch sensors throughout its body, and different kinds of touched trigger different responses. It also has microphones to pick up and respond to human voice.

Size: 680mm wide, 1,500mm tall, 1,100mm deep
Weight: 40kg
Power: air servos (external air compressor)
Movement: Upper body moves via actuators with 42 degrees of freedom
Operation: controlled via serial link to external computer
Usage environment: indoors
Controller size: 1000mm wide x 680mm tall x 850mm deep
Compressor size: 900mm wide x 1360mm tall x 900mm deep

Since the video on the university web site is fairly large and slow to download, my friend Matt has posted a tiny, tiny recompressed version on his website.