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5/4/2006
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South Korea Unveils Female Android

The robot can recognize 400 Korean words and can answer questions both verbally and through facial expressions, according to the developer.

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea debuted an android featuring a woman’s body and capable of expressing human emotions, following movements and communicating in Korean.

The developer, the state-funded Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), claims the robot, dubbed EveR-1 is the second of its kind, following Actroid which Japan unveiled in 2003.

The 160 centimeter-tall EveR-1 weighs 50 kilograms and has facial and physical features of a Korean woman in her early 20s, KITECH said. It can recognize 400 Korean words, and can answer questions both verbally and through facial emotions, according to KITECH.

Unlike Actroid, EveR-1 has motion data process sensors installed inside its artificial eyeballs, allowing it to follow people’s eyes and face movements as well.

KITECH claimed overcoming mechanical and technical difficulties to control the 35 miniature motors installed over the robot’s face and body. Engineers have enabled emotional expressions of EveR-1 to be smoother and more natural than those of Actroid’s movements. EveR-1 can imitate human emotions like pleasure, anger, sorrow and joyfulness through 15 motors built into its face and pliably synthesized skin made of silicon. It also can synchronize its lips with verbal communication.

The android, which cost $321,000 to build, can move the upper body only, but KITECH said it hopes to develop an advanced version able to sit and stand on its own by year-end.

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