Dentsu Inc. will launch a new business focusing on developing “humanoid robot entertainers,” the major ad agency said.
For the first project, the company has created Matsukoroid, a life-size humanoid robot modeled on Matsuko Deluxe, a popular plus-sized cross-dressing TV star.
The robot was developed under the direction of Hiroshi Ishiguro, an Osaka University professor famous for making extremely human-looking androids. The project also involves Tokyo-based robot developer A-Lab Co. and Natural Eight Co., a Tokyo talent agency to which Matsuko belongs.
“Looking at the recent entertainment industry, the use of technology has been facilitated in various fields like movies and music. But there haven’t been many cases where artists and entertainers themselves are seen as content that can be combined with technology,” Dentsu said in a statement. “The Dentsu group believes the need to develop android entertainers will grow.”
A Dentsu spokeswoman said the timing of Matsukoroid’s debut still remains unclear but it will be in the near future.
Dentsu has not publicly disclosed exactly what the robot looks like. But given Ishiguro’s previous works, it is likely that it will look just like the real Matsuko Deluxe.
The spokeswoman said Matsukoroid is also programmed to move in certain ways, such to make eye contact and engage in other upper body movements, to help recreate his character in detail.