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Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Philip K. Dick ANDROID on the Lam

Amazing irony foreshadows a missing android
replica of the very author who championed "replicant" freedom.


PKD's Head.

Philip K Dick is missing. Not the American science fiction writer whose novels spawned hit films such as Blade Runner and Total Recall -- he died more than 20 years ago -- but a state-of-the-art robot named after the author. The quirky android, was lost in early January while en route to California by commercial airliner.

"We can't find Phil," said Steve Prilliman of Dallas-based Hanson Robotics, which created the futuristic robot with the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, the Automation and Robotics Research Institute at the University of Texas at Arlington and Dick's friend Paul Williams.

Along with an eerie likeness to the author, the robot features award-winning artificial intelligence that mimics the writer's mannerisms and lifelike skin material to affect realistic expressions. Top-of-the-line voice software loaded with data from Dick's vast body of writing allows the robot to carry on natural-sounding conversations, although it does come off as a bit doddering at times.Biometric-identification software and advanced machine vision allows the robot to recognise people -- even in a crowd -- read their expressions and body language and talk to them sounding a lot like a normal, albeit slightly senile, author who likes to quote his own books when he gets confused.

Visit the Hanson Robotics Web site
Learn more about Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick fansite










posted by NEXUS  # 6:51 PM


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