Tue, March 24, 2009
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Robot takes to Tokyo runway

2009-03-24 02:54:16 GMT2009-03-24 10:54:16 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

Japan's latest female humanoid robot opens Japan Fashion Week.

Meet HRP-4C - Japan's first humanoid female robot.

She's making her debut at Japan Fashion Week.

At 43-kilos, HRP-4C is trying to look like a supermodel.

Her creator, Shuji Kajita, says she's one of a kind:

SOUNDBITE SHUJI KAJITA, DIRECTOR, HUMANOID ROBOT ENGINEERING, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, SAYING (Japanese) :

"We believe this is Japan's and, perhaps, the world's first humanoid robot to walk on two feet and resemble the average body type of a young Japanese woman."

HRP 4C runs on battery-powered motors located in her body and face.

Her looks are based on 'anime', the Japanese animation characters.

She cost about two million dollars to make, but there's still some way to go before she can compete with the supermodels.

SOUNDBITE SHUJI KAJITA, DIRECTOR, HUMANOID ROBOT ENGINEERING, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, SAYING (Japanese) :

"Our robot can't move elegantly like the real models that are here today. It'll take another 20 to 30 years of research to make that happen!"

HRP-4C cost an estimated two million US dollars to make.

Designers are currently filing for patent protection.

And whilst she has already mastered the transition from lab to runway, she still needs to improve the finer points of catwalk elegance.

Mirja Spernal, Reuters

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