RoboThespian welcomes visitors to the opening of Robots at London’s Science Museum with suitable drama. The life-sized humanoid blinks its pixelated eyes, moves its head and gestures theatrically as it introduces the exhibition with great enthusiasm.

But move on a step and the illusion is shattered. Behind a wall sits engineer Joe Wollaston, with a computer and a headset. From here, he can see and hear people

approaching RoboThespian through a camera and a mic on the robot. When he speaks, his voice booms out of the robot’s mouth.

Wollaston is RoboThespian’s Wizard of Oz, and this is a peek behind the curtain. “What you just saw was an example of our telepresence application,” he says after the robot’s introductory speech. “So it’s actually remotely operated.”

Read more: Science Museum’s Robots: Who is really pulling the strings? | New Scientist

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Published by Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Science Museum’s Robots: Who is really pulling the strings? | New Sc…

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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