Shake hands with the avatar

The Emerging Technologies section of the upcoming Siggraph will showcase tons of very curious projects (if augmented reality is your thing), i’m quite intrigued by NTT DoCoMo and Tohoku University‘s project: U-Tsu-Shi-O-Mi:The Virtual Humanoid You Can Reach.


The system synchronizes a humanoid robot and a virtual avatar, allowing users to shake hands with the avatar.

The main objectives of the project are to build digital humans that you can touch and talk with and to turn them into digital media content that can be merged with robotics, mixed reality, computer graphics, or artificial intelligence.

Several technologies are combined to ensure that robot and avatar motions are synchronized during their “physical contacts” with humans: an optical tracker tracks the head movements of the person wearing a head-mounted display; the robot has joint-angle and force-detecting sensors; the avatar uses the robot’s sensor data as its posture control commands.

Thirty years from now, we will be able to buy a sophisticated humanoid robot, overlay the computer graphics of Ichiro, and play baseball with it.

Related: DVD-powered mannequin.

Siggraph will take place in Boston, from July 30 till August 3.