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Meet RoboThespian - The human-sized robot actor taking up residence at W5

By Kirsten Elder

Published 04/05/2015

The world’s first commercial robot that behaves like a person takes up residence in Northern Ireland at W5 in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

RoboThespian is a life-sized, interactive robot who can move, speak, educate, interact and entertain. The humanoid has a variety of memorising movements and vocals to be enjoyed by all the family.

He can even do famous movie impersonations which include scenes from movie classics such as; The Sound of Music, Star Wars, Jaws, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and a unique impersonation exclusive to RoboThespian at W5 is Taken, made famous by our own Liam Neeson.

The humanoid is the world’s first commercial robot that behaves like a person, and is made by British company Engineered Arts Ltd. With more than ten years continuous development and research, RoboThespian has been used in University’s around the world and even in the NASA Space Centre in Florida.

“RoboThespian is primarily a robot actor and performer. He is fully interactive, user-friendly, and capable of communicating and entertaining in a way that few people will have experienced before. This humanoid robot can be controlled by the visitor, via a touchscreen panel, and can sing, greet, inform, act and even do impressions. Visitors can choose from a wide range of pre-programmed performance sequences or can even control RoboThespian’s movement and voice to create performance pieces of their own," said Adrian Lutton, head of exhibitions, design and marketing at W5

He added, “In 2014 we introduced Climbit, the first multi-story climbing structure of its kind in the UK and Ireland and in May 2015 we are introducing RoboThespian, the first robot of its kind in Ireland. W5 are continuing to add and enhance the visitor experience by bringing new innovative interactives to fire the spirit of discovery in everyone.”

Will Jackson, Founder of Engineered Arts Ltd was always fascinated by robots and made his first one when he was a child, he said: “I made my first robot when I was 12-years-old, it was a thing with two wheels and it scuttled off underneath the bed with a felt pen and coloured the carpet purple.

“When I founded Engineered Arts in 2004, I had the slightly more ambitious idea to create an interactive humanoid robot that could communicate with and entertain science museum visitors all day long. Now we make RoboThespian humanoid robots, each with individual personalities that are loved by people al over the world.

“We are delighted that the first RoboThespian to travel to the island of Ireland is joining the team at W5 and we look forward to following his adventures.”

For more information or to meet RoboThespian visit www.w5online.co.uk

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