miraikan1_500If you find lifelike robots unnerving, try attending a news conference held by a pair of androids. That was the scene on Tuesday in Tokyo when the androids Kodomoroid and Otonaroid introduced a new pair of communication robots developed by an Osaka-based company, Vstone, and its partners. Sota and CommU, each about 30cm tall, engaged in dialog with their full-sized counterparts at the Miraikan technology museum as journalists looked on, entranced. The smaller, tabletop droids can only move their arms and upper bodies, but spoke in cute Japanese resembling the speech of a toddler. “We’re good at natural dialog and that’s tough to do,” CommU, which looks like a baby, told Otonaroid, a hyper-realistic robot “woman.” The exchange was like a cybernetic mother and child, evoking both the lifelike “replicant” androids and the sentient toys in the 1982 science fiction film “Blade Runner.” Kodomoroid and Otonaroid have been a feature at the museum since last summer, providing information to visitors, and are not for sale. More