Robots with beards; truly, we are wading through the future. Geminoid-DK is the handiwork of Japanese firm Kokoro and robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, designed to look exactly like similarly-bearded Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark.
Video demo after the cut
The creepily lifelike 'bot is on its way to Denmark soon, where it will be used to research how people interact differently with robots when they look so similar to a real human. Currently Geminoid-DK is operated remotely with gesture and movement recognition, tracking an operator's facial positions and mapping them exactly.
There'll also be questions about the nature of identity and presence - if you remotely operate a robot in a different physical location, can you be considered "there"? - and, we're guessing, plenty of scared undergrads not sure who to hand their assignments in to. No word on hardware details as yet, which Professor Ishiguro is keeping close to his chest.
[via IEEE Spectrum]