In a Japanese movie film-makers have created a robot movie star - by casting an android robot 'actress' in a lead role. The android, called Geminoid F, was designed to look and act like a human with rubber 'skin' and a woman's face - but it is unable to walk and is wheeled around in the film. The robot co-stars alongside a human in the film 'Sayonara' set in the aftermath of a deadly nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan.
While robots have featur Geminoid F - or Leona in the film - is referred to by director Koji Fukada as an 'actress,' and the android is even listed as a member of the cast in the end credits.The robot is equipped with motorised actuators, powered by air pressure, which allow her to 'copy' human facial expressions. In the film, it is controlled remotely from a laptop.She can smile, furrow her brows and move her mouth. It can also talk and sing - playing recordings, or 'mouthing' other people's voices. Geminoid F is an android – a robot designed to look and act like a human being with rubber ‘skin’ and a woman’s face
after the first screening of Sayonara at Tokyo, Ishiguro is in high spirits. The film, he says, is proof that “androids can express as much humanity as human actors; this is an epoch-making event.” The ultimate aim of Ishiguro’s experiments is to isolate the elusive property of what’s known in Japan as sonzai-kan: the sense of being in the presence of another being. There needn’t be another human around for us to feel it – great cinema gives us intense feelings of sonzai-kan, so for Geminoid F, acting seemed like a worthwhile career, Ishiguro says.
At this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, Geminoid F made an appearance on the red carpet for the world premiere of her first feature (in a wheelchair: she can’t walk independently). The film, a science-fiction drama called Sayonara, is written and directed by Koji Fukada and follows the relationship between two friends in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster.