The Japanese are taking robotics to a whole new level (as usual).
Check out U-Tsu-Shi-O-Mi, an interactive "mixed reality" humanoid robot, originally developed by NTT DoCoMo, which appears as a computer-animated character when viewed through a special head-mounted display.
The augmented reality robot can take on the appearance of any virtual character. How? Basically, a computer-generated image gets projected in real-time onto a green-screen robot; the result is viewed through a head-mounted display.
This is just the latest project in the realm of mixed reality: a trend that gives virtual objects (such as avatars) a physical presense in the real world. This lets the user physically interact with the virtual character like never before.
We know what you're thinking: sex robots, right? It's possible. (OK, probable). But the technological possibilities that will come from this type of innovation go far beyond anime sex. And we can't wait to see how it all pans out.