When it comes to technology, Japan have always been one step ahead of the curve and their filmmakers are no different, proving how forward thinking they are by casting an actual real robot in a feature film.
The robot movie star is the first android “actress” to be cast as the lead in a movie.
Humanoid robot ‘Geminoid F’ plays Leona and co-stars alongside actress Bryerly Long in new movie Sayonara which is set in the aftermath of a lethal nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan, showing how the robot stays loyal to its owner amidst the disaster.
She is designed to look and act like a human, featuring rubber skin and a remarkably realistic face which can move its eyebrows and mouth, and even talk and sing.
She is also equipped with motorised actuators, which are powered by air pressure, to allow her to “copy” human facial expressions.
Geminoid F – which was produced by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a renowned robot designer at Osaka University in western Japan – was controlled via laptop during shooting of the film.
Ishiguro hopes the robot’s appearance on the big screen will bring the technology closer to the mainstream, although with a price tag of £776,000 we’re not sure how many people will be rushing out to buy one of these for themselves.
Still, the film’s director Koji Fukada seemed to enjoy working with the robot, noting at the Tokyo International Film Festival that it was easier than directing people given that an android “doesn’t complain, never gets hungry and doesn’t need to sleep at all”. So, take note Hollywood, we guess.
Japanese film fans can see Geminoid F in action when Sayonara is released in cinemas on November 21 but there’s still no confirmation on whether the movie will be screened overseas just yet, unfortunately.