Kinect-controlled humanoid robot offers a real-world C-3PO

Take the delicate circuitry aesthetics of C-3PO and mix it with the British wit of John Oliver (Daily Show, Community) and you might just come up with something like the amazing RoboThespian. The robot is the work of UK-based Engineered Arts, and points the way toward a very real application of real-time controlled robotics.

The RoboThespian can be controlled remotely via 3D model on your computer, or it can be preprogrammed with a set of movements and speech. The robot's witty banter can either be pre-recorded on an mp3, or delivered live via text-to-speech. Another nice touch is that the robot's eyes are LCD screens which very effectively add to its expressive impact. The company can design specific custom presentation packages for clients, but the exciting part here is knowing that the human-to-android sock puppetry of The Surrogates is essentially just a few years from being a reality for us all. You can see the RoboThespian being controlled via Microsoft Kinect in the video below.

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