[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 12:11 GMT
Qrio the robot makes acting debut
Qrio records his part
Could this be Qrio's Oscar-winning performance?
It has already prove it can boogie and jog, but now the Japanese humanoid robot, Qrio, has made its TV debut.

Sony's child-sized, shiny performer recorded its voice for a cameo part in a top Japanese cartoon show, Astro Boy.

Before delivering its line, Qrio joked with the audience, saying: "All this attention is making me nervous."

Qrio's "voice" is generated using software that converts text to speech. Sony uses the robot as an ambassador for its products at events.

Say it with feeling

Japanese actress Miki Maruyama, 16, who plays the part of one of the children in the programme was very impressed with Qrio's acting abilities.

"I couldn't believe it was a robot. It said the lines better than me," she said.

Qrio - which stands for "quest for curiosity" - even showed it could withstand a director's fickle requests, bringing a whole new meaning to the expression "robotic acting".

When asked to put more musical feeling into its line delivery, the robot started to sing.

The 58cm-tall (23 inch) robot has been animated to play its part in the latest remake of the popular cartoon, which is due to be shown on US and Japanese TV.

Based on a 1950s comic series by Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy tells the tale of a super-strong boy-like robot who has a human heart.

Qrio prepares to record his part
"All this attention is making me nervous"
For its part, the cartoon Qrio tells a story to some children under a tree and says, "At last the young man fell under a spell. But he could not give up."

Qrio impressed Kazuya Konaka, Astro Boy's director, too.

"Our message is that robots are our partners", he said.

"This has demonstrated that robots and human beings can work together."

Flesh and blood actors need not fear for their jobs just yet. Yuichi Hattori, Sony's senior manager admitted Qrio was not really responding to what the director was saying.

It was actually being directed to say its pre-programmed lines remotely from an operator in a booth using a wireless connection.

Sony shows off jogging robot
18 Dec 03  |  Technology
Humanoid robots wow Japanese
04 Apr 03  |  Technology
Sony reveals singing robot
19 Mar 02  |  Science/Nature
Dancing Aibo debuts
08 Nov 01  |  Science/Nature
Robot attends Czech state dinner
21 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific