OSAKA- Robot girlfriends are on sale now in Japan. Buy two for the price of one!
The Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, from the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, has created a small surrogate girlfriend for men (and women). The Japanese roboticist unveiled his creation in April, but it is now on sale everywhere across Japan in Seiyu (Japan’s Wal-Mart).
The android was originally called Geminoid F, but Ishiguro renamed her Chizuko (which means “the child of a thousand storks”) and is also the name of Ishiguro’s first girlfriend who dumped him for a five-foot tall accountant. Ishiguro programmed Chizuko to call him, “Stud.”
Ishiguro teamed up with Kokoro Co., Ltd. to create the realistic-looking female android says she was modeled after a woman in her twenties. She has long black hair, soft silicone skin, and a set of lifelike teeth that allow her to produce a natural smile. Here’s Chizuko with her model:
When female researchers at Intelligent Robotics Laboratory asked Ishiguro why he didn’t make the female android a thirty-something woman (especially considering Ishiguro is in his late 40s) Ishiguro said, “anybody want some tea?”
Chizuko is friendly, kind, always smiling and only talks when she is asked a question by her “partner” (man or woman). Ishiguro said, “She’d make a great wife for anybody. Many Japanese parents are buying them for their sons.”
The efficient design makes Chizuko easy to produce. She is on sale at Seiyu for 5 million yen (about $50,000) each. But for this week – and this week only – you can buy one and get one free. “If you consider how much you spend on a girlfriend over time, it’s a real bargain,” Ishiguro said.
At a press conference in Osaka, Chizuko spoke to reporters. “It feels great to be alive. Anybody want a date?”
No doubt it will take time for people to get used to robot girlfriends, but Ishiguro assures everyone that it they are a viable product that he expects to be as big as the iPad. “We’re neurologically hardwired to react to these androids as though they’re human beings. Once you Chizuko walking across a room in her little black dress, you won’t be able to tell the difference between Chizuko and a human female.”
The question on everyone’s mind: can Chizuko have sex? A grinning Ishiguro said, “You’ll have to buy one and see.”
Ishiguro dispelled rumors that he married Chizuko last week are false. Ishiguro is not a one- android man, he owns twelve of the female androids. “One for each room,” he said.
The female androids will go on sale at Wal-Mart in the U.S. on September 1st. As per Maria’s question below… Yes, there will be a male version on sale in December. So save up girls!
Here’s Chizuko when she was introduced to the public in April, 2010.