A child touches the female android named EveR-1 during an exhibition at the Seoul Education Culture Center, Thursday. /Yonhap
By Kim Tae-gyu
Standing 1.6 meters tall and weighing about 50 kilograms, she can understand others, speak, blink with her eyes and makes several facial expressions.
But she is not human, rather an android developed by a team of South Korean scientists. It is only the second time in the world that an android has been developed _ Japan made the first one.
The team, headed by Baeg Moon-hong, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, Thursday took the wrap off the female android, named EveR-1, during an exhibition at the Seoul Education Culture Center.
EveR-1, a combination of Eve and robot, looks just like a Korean female in her early 20s including her shape that is benchmarked against the nation's model.
The human-sized robot can understand 400 words and make eye contact while talking via her lips that are synchronized with the pronunciation of words.
Fifteen tiny motors embedded into her silicon face enable her to make a total of four expressions in tune with as many sentiments _ joy, anger, sorrow and happiness.
From a distance, the android could be confused with a real, flesh and blood human being, according to Baeg.
``EveR-1 amply demonstrates our robotic technologies are at the forefront in the world. We will continue to make efforts to advance,'' Baeg said.
Only Japan was faster than Baeg's team in making an android as the country developed a life-size female robot in 2003, dubbed ACTROID. It cannot move because it is glued to the floor.
Neither does EveR-1. The Korean robot can move the upper half of her body such as arms and hands but she cannot travel because her lower half is immobile.
Baeg, who spent just 3 billion won in creating EveR-1 in a year, is looking to exceed his Japanese rivals by making the model move four limbs by late this year.
``For now, EveR-1 can be employed as a guide robot at museums and department stores or as an educational model to read books to children,'' Baeg said.
``But we are looking further ahead _ we are working on upgrading the android with the aim of making it move its legs by the end of this year. It will be able to sit down and stand up by then,'' he expects.