A Meinü robot is a Chinese fembot that was reported on in Chinese news sources in 2006. In Mandarin, Měinǚ Jīqìrén 美女机器人 literally means "beautiful-woman robot" and is officially translated "beauty robot". The first Meinü was later named Miss Rong Cheng.
The unit is capable of locomotion, using visual navigation to avoid obstacles, speech recognition, emotion recognition (whether audio or gestural is not stated), and speaking. The languages it uses are English, Standard Chinese and Sichuanese Mandarin. It can tell jokes, sing songs, etc. It is intended for tour-guide applications, businesses and hotels, advertising, and possibly for TV-show hosting.
Rong Cheng was sent to the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum to be a receptionist or tour guide. The build cost was approximately 300,000 yuan ($37,500), but the inventors expect this can be reduced to a third of that if 100 are to be produced. Only one year of research was required to produce it, which suggests it builds on other projects.
It was worked on by 10 researchers from the Robot Research Center at the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, but it is very difficult to locate their academic papers. ChinaDaily's English edition named the principal designer as Li Chengrong, whereas Reuters and Sina English said it was Yue Hongqiang.
- ChinaNews article in Chinese
- sina.com Tech article in Chinese
- Xinhua report in Chinese
- tom.com Tech article in Chinese
- BBC News video
- ChinaDaily English article
- Reuters report
- SINA English article (also has a picture of the robot's internals, apparently showing hydraulics)
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