How to build a robot

The Robo-C is one of the most advanced robots in the world

The Robo-C is one of the most advanced robots in the world Photo: Vladimir Smirnov/TASS/picture alliance/dpa

A museum tour with Albert Einstein or cold drinks served by Arnold Schwarzenegger: That is now possible. The Russian company Promobot has developed a so-called humanoid robot that looks amazingly human.

The Robo-C speaks ten different languages, including German, English, French and Italian. At the same time, it has 100,000 speech modules. From these, the robot builds its sentences and puts them together in a meaningful order; it can carry on complete conversations.

The developers have built in a total of 29 moving body parts. Robo-C can move its lips, eyebrows and neck, among other things. The most extraordinary feature, however, is its facial expressions. With the help of mechanical facial muscles, over 600 human emotions can be expressed, be it joy, sadness or anger.

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The skin of the Robo-C consists of three layers of silicone. It is modeled on the natural skin of humans, and even has details like fine pores. Also the hairs are transplanted individually in it, seem so deceptively genuine.

The skin color, age and much more can be determined individually by the buyer. Anyone who wants to recreate themselves or a family member simply has to send a few photos of the person in question to the developers. The experts use this information to create the corresponding 3D model and adapt the robot’s appearance to it.

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Robo-C's face can express 600 emotions

The Robo-C’s face can express 600 emotions. Photo: Vladimir Smirnov/TASS/picture alliance/dpa

The robot’s voice can also be adjusted. For this purpose, the "model", i.e. the person to be imitated, is interviewed by a psychologist. Language samples are collected. The more of them there are, the more accurately the voice can then be recreated. The examples can be used, for example, to analyze how the model’s pitch changes in certain situations. Also the speech rhythm is captured in such a way.

Problem: This voice imitation is not yet technically 100 percent accurate. The robot’s own traits in particular are still technically difficult to capture, as they can be arbitrary and therefore do not correspond to any pattern.

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If you want, you can also connect your robot to the W-LAN. It then has access to all the smart devices in the house. The Robo-C can then turn on the washing machine or turn up the heating, for example, on cue. Via the Internet, it can also automatically fill out documents and stand in digital queues, for example when selling tickets.

The catch: because the robot is so big and has so many technical intricacies, it consumes a lot of energy. The battery life suffers from this: after eight hours at the latest, the electric helper runs out of breath.

The price of the Robo-C will be communicated to interested parties on request.

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