Ultra-realistic robot planted in London pub to celebrate Westworld launch
Would you be able to clock that this man is in fact a robot?
An ultra-realistic robot called Fred shocked unsuspecting visitors at The Prince Alfred pub in Maida Vale.
The stunt was set up by streaming service Now TV to promote series two of Westworld, which features artificially intelligent robots indistinguishable from humans.
Fred the robot was built by five engineers at robotics company Engineered Arts and was modelled on a 55-year-old man from London named Tedroy Newell.
Man meets robot (Now TV)
Over 12 weeks, the team developed hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code, and components including a metal skeleton, silicone skin, real hair and acrylic eyes.
The parts were 3D-scanned from Newell, and the complete robot has full speech and motor functions.
Newell said: “Seeing yourself in robot form is a very, very strange experience.
“I’m honestly amazed at how realistic they were able to make it look – you can barely tell us apart.
“Not many people have had the chance to meet their robotic twin.”
Captured by hidden cameras in the pub, the robot struck up conversations with unsuspecting members of the public, who were in equal parts fascinated and unsettled.
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Members of the public were asked creepy questions including: “What are your thoughts on the impending humanoid robot invasion?”
Created to engage in natural conversation in real time, his interactions were controlled by Engineered Arts’ telepresence system, which uses inbuilt sensors, cameras and microphones to track what and how people interact.
Experts predict that robots like Fred will be emotionally intelligent as soon as 2028.