Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Robot Model

The female form has long been the subject of art and admiration. The objectification and hyperrealisation of that form are also critiqued, setting unrealistic standards for women. Barbie dolls have unrealistic proportions; magazine photos are unrealistically air-brushed, etc.

But the latest is the actual formation of the robot woman. Behold.


This robot (model number HRP-4C) is soon to appear in a fashion show in Japan.

Now, rather than cutting and slicing the flesh of living women in order to create catwalk perfection, a mechanical version can be set as the standard model for women's clothing. In the first show, HRP-4C won't be wearing clothes (how apt). Nevertheless, the very placement of this robot on the catwalk is a statement about artificial perfection.

As an engineer with a degree in mechatronics, I'm in awe of the technology. The potential to use robots for dirty, dangerous and demeaning work is good to see. Using them to standardise human form is Marx' prediction: the human is objectivised (production line workers, pornstars, etc.) as much as the object has become humanised.
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