Show-Bot: Half Human Half Machine

Show-Bot: Half Human Half Machine
Scheduled to be released in 2008, Show-Bot is one of the latest inventions by International Robotics. It is the world’s first half-human, half-machine electronic robotic costume. Whether used for corporate events, exhibits, advertisements or amusement parks, Show-Bot promises to provide a unique kind of entertainment that is not likely to be forgotten quickly.

The performer inside the Show-Bot costume can see his surroundings clearly thanks to the panoramic visor integrated into the head gear. In order to make sure the costume’s interior remains cool and comfortable, four cooling fans are attached in the suit’s head, body and base. The Show-Bot has a self-balancing motorized wheelbase, which allows the operator to move simply by leaning his body.

Show-Bot is 30” wide at the base and weighs 230 pounds, excluding the performer. These dimension are meant to provide stability for the operator while navigating through crowded environments. The robot’s height is not fixed, since it is made up of the height of the hidden base platform in addition to the operator’s height. Show-Bot can also be customized to a specific person’s height.

Show-Bot is equipped with a 250 watt, four speaker surround system and with an internal synthesized voice-processor linked to the operator’s mouth via a concealed microphone. In order to create a realistic effect, the robot has integrated articulated jaw movement.

Show-Bot also has a built-in internal media player, with a 40 GB hard drive. A large 10.5” LCD video screen is located on the chest area of the costume, displaying the images or video clips transmitted from the media player.

Located on the costume’s head is a full color video camera used to monitor, record and playback the images it captures on the LCD screen. In addition, Show-Bot has sound and lighting effects integrated into it. High-powered multicolored LED lights emit an indirect glow from different areas of the costume, adding to its theatrical abilities.

TFOT recently covered Toyota’s i-Real, a vehicle developed in order to demonstrate Toyota’s concept for future transportation in crowded environments. In 2006, TFOT reported on a robot called “Enon”, capable of autonomously supporting customers’ tasks while being linked to a network.

 
A video demonstrating Show-Bot in action can be found here.
 
Further information on the Show-Bot can be found here.
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About the author

Noa Rotkop

Noa has a B.A. in Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University and is currently completing her degree in Arts. She has also applied for MA studies in Philosophy, which she plans to begin next year.

View all articles by Noa Rotkop