SHE is quite amazing, if her inventor is to be believed.
Standing at a little under 1.5m tall and weighing a mere 32kg, brown-eyed Fembot Aiko has a human-like silicon skin, realistic hair and a moving mouth that helps simulate convincing female speech, reported the Tech Herald.
Canadian inventor and software specialist Le Trung said he took three months to put the US$25,000 ($38,000) design together.
'I want to make her look, feel and act as human as possible so she can be the perfect companion.
'Like a real female, she will react to being touched in certain ways. If you grab or squeeze too hard, she will try to slap you. She has all senses except for smell,' Mr Le, 33, was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying.
Though news of Aiko has been carried in various newspapers around the world, some of her feats do raise eyebrows.
Aiko ('ai' means love and 'ko' means child in Japanese) can speak English or Japanese and is programmed with some 13 thousand common phrases, according to her inventor.
She can also read blocks of text, track objects moving before her and distinguish up to 300 faces per second.
But Aiko's most controversial feature is her bust size of 82cm and an anatomically correct body, reports news.com.au.
Mr Le, who has degrees in analytical chemistry, biochemistry and general science, said he didn't design Aiko for sexual purposes, but it was one possible use of the technology.
'In theory, yes, it's capable of that,' he said.
'Do I sleep with her?' asks Le Trung in recounting the most common question levelled at him by inquisitive visitors to his Project Aiko website.
'No,' he answers, explaining that he chose to make a female android as it would appear less threatening than a male version.
Mr Le said while most people thought life-like robots were strange at the moment, in the future every household would have one.
'Right now people see robots as if they're just like in the movies,' he said.
'So when they see films like I Robot, it makes them scared that robots might take over the world or cause a lot of job loss.'
Mr Le wrote Aiko's software - dubbed Biometric Robot Artificial Intelligence Neural System or BRAINS - and hopes to license the system to other robot developers in the future.
The only thing Aiko cannot yet do is walk due to the project's lack of financial sponsorship, reports the Tech Herald.
Aiko needs 14 individual motors worth US$500 each to just get up on her feet. Mr Le hopes to get funding to do this.
The current version of Aiko's body has moving parts at the mouth, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands.
The robot's hands have five movable fingers and can also be controlled by a human wearing sensor pads on the forearm to detect muscle movement.
Mr Le hopes to upgrade Aiko to include engines in the body, hips, knee and ankles and to teach it to walk.
Meanwhile, Mr Le enjoys her company. He dresses Aiko in different outfits and takes her for drives in the countryside.
'People have mixed reactions when they meet Aiko,' he said. 'They either love or hate her. Some people get angry and accuse me of playing God.
'Once someone threw a rock at Aiko. That really upset me. But many people are fascinated by her.'
WHAT AIKO CAN DO
IN one YouTube video, Mr Le demonstrates Aiko's ability to feed patients. The inventor asks the robot to feed him and it responds by grasping a biscuit and aiming for his mouth.
Mr Le then starts bobbing his head from left to right while Aiko's hand follows him. 'Stop moving around,' the robot says sternly.
Mr Le continues to weave and duck, before Aiko gives up in frustration. 'Screw this, you can feed yourself,' it says.
In another video, taken during Aiko's first public appearance at the Ontario Science Centre last November, Mr Le squeezes the robot's breast.
'I do not like it when you touch my breasts,' Aiko says while swatting the inventor away with her right arm.
This story was first published in The New Paper on 17 December 2008.