I took a trip up to Brampton (a suburb of Toronto) yesterday to interview Le Trung, the fellow who got a ton of media attention a few months ago – like here, here and here – for building himself a robot “girlfriend.” Aiko, the aforementioned robot, was in a bit of disrepair as she was recently damaged during transport from one of her many public appearances, but she was still working well enough to wow me.
Trung showed me a myriad of Aiko’s capabilities, including her ability to recognize faces, read text put in front of her, and react to touches. The robot seemed a little bit primitive compared to some of the things we’ve seen out of Japan – i.e. dancing and singing robots – but in actuality, Aiko is quite advanced. Most Japanese robots are purpose-built to do one or two things well, but Trung’s creation is multi-talented.
Of course, inquiring minds want to know whether Aiko has any other, ahem, talents (wink, wink). Trung says she is not built for sex, but she does have sensors in the appropriate areas and is programmed to have an orgasm. Sex robots are entirely possible right now, he said, but nobody is making them because of the required funding. Check out the video to see what he says (note: turn up your volume as he’s pretty soft-spoken):