Dec 13 2008

Project Aiko – an android with BRAINS


Project Aiko is Canada’s first functional female android and was developed by Le Trung, a chemist graduate from York University. The project is also headed by Le Trung, who has designed the software and the hardware for the android. The name, Aiko, is derived from the combination of the word “Ai” love and “ko” child.

According to Le, Aiko is Canada’s first android that can mimic pain, and has the ability to learn what pain is and avoid it. Her first public appearance was held at the Toronto International Center Exhibition in 2007 during the Hobby Show. Aiko’s physical body and gear were built in a period of 3 months at a cost of $25,000 in US funds. However, Mr. Le is continually adding new hardware and software to Aiko, thus making the android more human like.

Mr. Le said silicone from a Japanese Doll company was used to construct Aiko’s body, which looks similar to human skin. The android weighs 30 kilograms and has a height of 151 centimeters.

The creator also said that Aiko can recognize speech, voice, faces, motion, and objects. Aiko can also solve math problems displayed to it visually. Furthermore, Aiko has access to servers to get weather information worldwide. By using the B.R.A.I.N.S. software (Biometric Robot Artificial Intelligence Neural System) Mr. Le designed, Aiko has the ability to learn simple new information from her surroundings. The android can speak Japanese and English, with 13,000 sentences to respond to questions verbally. Aiko has many sensors in her body and arms to interact with people when being touched.

Mr. Le has said that he hopes to have Aiko walk one day. In addition, he will also improve the B.R.A.I.N.S. software to make it perform better with the hardware.

You can see video of Aiko in action here, and find more information on the Project Aiko website.