Robotic ""Einstein"" wows Spanish technology fair

August 1, 2007 - 0:0

VALENCIA, Spain (AFP) -- At first glance, the bulky white figure looks like a prancing astronaut -- until it turns round and its features reveal it to be a Korean scientist's concept of a 21st century Albert Einstein.

Then the robot ""speaks"" and proves that, as Albert would himself doubtless have pointed out, matters such as gravity and resemblance are all relative.
""Hi. My name is Albert Hubo. I come from South Korea and I am very happy to be in Valencia,"" says the creature, after having demonstrated some rather bizarre hip-hop moves.
Albert is strutting his stuff at the Campus Party, a week-long technology fair at the Spanish city's futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex that has drawn thousands of people.
A packed audience was on hand for the entrance of Albert, the brainchild of Jun Ho Oh of South Korea's Institute of Advanced Technology.
Albert's head bears the Einstein's instantly-recognizable facial features and his characteristic shock of white hair. But Jun has taught the robot a few tricks that the iconic scientist never managed.
He can walk, talk, smile and even have a go at the gentle movements of Tai Chi, thanks to the advanced technology packed into 66 motors, most of which are situated in his head.
According to Jun, in a few years busy householders might find a use for an Albert in the home undertaking the daily chores that humans would rather live without.
""They will be able to help human beings in daily tasks,"" says Jun.
Albert, who stands one meter 37 centimeters (4 foot 5 inches) tall is ""based on a Windows XP platform that allows us to make him as intelligent as we want"", he adds.
For Jun, the future is robotic. Albert, who takes his leave of his new admirers with a cute wave after first performing a traditional Korean dance, is just the start, he says