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Valerie the domestic android takes shape

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November 2, 2005

Image Gallery (5 images)

November 3, 2005 Valerie the domestic android is running well behind her initial delivery date of December 2004 but remains the most promising advanced android in the world with more degrees of freedom than anything comparable. Valerie caused a sensation when we first wrote her up in mid-2004, with hundreds of readers (and the odd Gizmag staffer) concerned we’d been conned and that she was nothing more than a window-dummy and a lot of hot air. Well Valerie’s shapely window-dummy legs are taking shape, and her hands are all but finished (with four degrees of freedom per finger) and we’re thrilled to report that the project remains on our “most promising” list. Valerie will clean your house, change light bulbs, wash the dishes, do the laundry, check the sports scores for you, book plane tickets and call the police if there's an emergency. She speaks English (using the AT&T; speech synthesizer for a realistic human-sounding voice) but more importantly, understands English and hence be programmed by non-programmers.

Creator Chris Willis’ Androidworld site is always worth a visit as he tracks the developments in the world of robotics as well as regularly reporting on his own Valerie project. Valerie’s asking price remains at US$59,000 with half down and the final payment on acceptance. The delivery time frame is between six and nine months from initial order and if you’re not happy with Valerie when she’s ready, Chris will refund your deposit.

Valerie’s vital statistics can be seen here, what she can and cannot do can be found here, the images that caused the controversy here, and you can see her legs here and the incredibly intricate work that has gone into her hands here.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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