Robot to star in theatre
Seoul - A South Korean-developed robot that played to acclaim in Robot Princess and the Seven Dwarfs is set for more leading theatre roles this year, a scientist said on Wednesday.
EveR-3 (Eve Robot 3) starred in various dramas last year including the government-funded Dwarfs which attracted a full house, said Lee Ho-Gil, of the state-run Korea Institute of Industrial Technology.
The lifelike EveR-3 is 157cm, can communicate in Korean and English, and can express a total of 16 facial expressions - without ever forgetting her lines.
Lee acknowledged that robot actors find it hard to express the full gamut of emotions and also tend to bump into props and fellow (human) actors.
But he said a thespian android was useful in promoting the cutting-edge industry.
"South Korea is an active frontier in developing robots and we thought that making it would be a good way to promote our technology," Lee said.
And just as visitors to New York flock to Broadway, tourists in Seoul may be drawn by a robot actor, he said. "We will try more plays this year with help from the National Theatre and the government."
Robots in future could also play a role as stagehands controlling music and lighting, Lee said.
South Korea has in addition developed a walking robot maid, a robotic penguin, koala and rabbit, and a variety of other models.
In 2007 a robot named Tiro was master of ceremonies at the wedding of one of its designers.