The 2005 World Expo (formerly the World's Fair, famous for once introducing the world to ice cream cones and also communism) in Japan will be greeting its guests with robots when it opens later this month. The Actroid greeting robots speak to visitors in their native language, entertain their children and perform rap music spontaneously while understanding 40,000 phrases each in Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean. Developed by Japanese firms Kokoro and Advanced Media, "the humanoid can put on facial expressions suitable for the more than 2,000 types of answers it can give," and also packs a sense of humor:
When asked if she is a robot, she says, "Y.e.s, I. a.m. a. r.o.b.o.t" in a disconnected voice and moves about clumsily. A moment later, she says "Just kidding" and starts a natural flow of movements.
The article has more on the various types of robots making their debut at the World Expo, including child-care robots, T-Rex robots, and turntable-spinning DJ robots.
Robot to offer warm welcome at Japan's World Expo [servihoo via WMMNA]
Also: World Expo Site [Expo 2005]
Hybrid Pedal Taxi at World Expo [Gizmodo]