It would seem that sexism exists even in the world of robotics. Though most robots don’t have a true gender, as the notion of gender is typically defined by reproductive organs, it’s not unheard of to use “he” when talking about Asimo or similar boy-like robots. There’s nothing inherently male about them, but nothing inherently female either. Which raises the question: What gestures convey femininity? If you were going to make a robot that would be female, how would you signify the gender?
OriHime is an abstract female humanoid robot that answers the question in the most depressing way: You make her act like a fashion model. Check this out:
What the hell is that? Funniest comment on the YouTube video: “This isn’t creepy at all…”
From the video, you’d guess OriHime is for robo fetishists, but you’d be wrong. Actually, the engineering student who designed this gal did so for people in the hospital, to cure their loneliness. From Plastic Pals:
Young people with chronic illness can spend a lot of time in hospital, and because they don’t attend school they don’t get the chance to make many friends. And as the elderly population increases, and the traditional family home becomes fragmented, people tend to communicate less and less. His solution was a robot equipped with a camera so that a human operator could see a live video feed using an internet connection. By building a humanoid robot “avatar” capable of a variety of expressions and gestures, the feeling of communication could go beyond a simple telephone call to a sense of physical presence.
Hmm. Live video feed with an Internet connection … does she do private sessions?