Elfoid Portable Telepresence Robot
Here is an interesting concept; a mobile phone one that is actually a genuine android. The Elfoid is a robotic cellphone that acts as an avatar for the user on the other end of the line. This creepy looking phone aims to use a camera and a motion-tracking system to mimic the head movement and facial expression of the user.
Photo by: eSeL.at
Elfoid was developed by robotist Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro and is a minimized version of his Telenoid robot. Telenoid is a life-sized telepresence android designed to convey a human presence for people communicating over large distances. Instead of talking to an image on a screen the user is able to touch the android and have the same experience as having another person in the room. It’s basically the same thing with the Elfoid but only a lot smaller.
The Elfoid is said to have a “soft, pleasant-to-the-touch exterior,”. The buttons embedded in the chest light up green whenever the android is active. The current version of the Elfoid is only a prototype and is unable to move, but developers will add motors allowing it to move it’s eyes, head, mouth and arms. It will also feature an accelerometer, temperature sensor and a voice and gesture based interface. Developers say it will probably be five years until they can present the first fully functional Elfoid.
Do you see this replacing your smartphone?