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What is Android

What is an android?

A-Lab’s flagship products are its android robots. Humans can relate to Android’s friendly and familiar nature, creating endless possibilities for the future.
In recent years, there’s been a growing variety of ‘robots’ developed and are they are becoming an indispensable part of our daily lives. These robots include both, ‘industrial robots’ and ‘communication robots.’ “Industrial robots” are designed for specialized tasks, and some of them have shapes or functions that replicate human body parts. “Communication robots” are designed to communicate with people through body movements and conversation.
Within these robot types, are robots called ‘humanoids’, whose appearance closely replicates that of human beings. The word ‘humanoid’ refers to non-human beings that are life-like and in recent years, the humanoid- style of industrial robots have been expanding in their areas of activity. An ‘android’ is a humanoid with such intricately designed appearance and movements, that it is difficult to distinguish them from humans.

Geminoid and Ars machina

A-Lab offers two types of androids; ‘Geminoid®’ and ‘Ars machina.’

Geminoid HI-4, 2013
Osaka University graduate school Intelligent Robotics Laboratory Ishiguro Lab.


Geminoid® is a coined word derived from Gemini, meaning twins. These super-realistic androids can replicate appearances and movements of existent and historic figures which they are modeled after. Not only Geminoids® look identical to its model, but with the exclusive Geminoid® control system, Geminoid® can replicate controllers’ movement real-time. This make it possible to remote control android as an alter-ego, creating a sense of unity between an android and its controller, and making the audience feel as though he/she is facing the real person.

*Geminoid® is a registered trademark of Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and A-Lab has agreed contract with ATR regarding technology and commercial codes.

ERICA, 2015
Ishiguro Laboratory, ATR (Photo by Kurima Sakai)

Ars machina

In contrast to Geminoids®, face and appearances of Ars machina are originally designed. They feature very realistic details of humans while maintaining mechanical looks.
With Ars machina, it is possible to bring fictional figures and characters to life as if they are real humans. For example, anime characters who have unreal body proportions can be made real without distorting its image. Ars machina does not end with “-od (like)” because they are original unique beings who come into the real world.

Our technologies

Our android is the fruit of our advanced technologies in design, control and modelling. Androids made using our unique technology are use in wide variety of scenes.

Unparalleled capability in durable, structural design

Androids are utilized in a variety of fields, including entertainment, research etc. and we been able to improve our design capability, through the knowledge and experience accumulated by manufacturing and operating these androids in different fields.
With a vision, of expanding the utilization of androids in business, we continue to pursue advancements in productivity, cost efficiency, ease of operation and maintenance, expandability and durability,

Unique pneumatic control system

Our androids are moved by air-pressure systems. To move an android, there are many types of actuators, including DC motors, AC motors, Hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic cylinders and so on. Considering various factors such as practical durability, safety, controllability, and fine control for delicate movements, we were able to identify pneumatic systems as the optimum choice for our products and developed our own, original pneumatic system called the ‘Air Performer Drive System(APDS)’.
The APDS system, efficiently converts pressure of compressed air into motive power, resulting in an overall reduction in air consumption and cost. The APDS system can also be easily controlled, by anyone using our unique ‘Android Motion Generator (AMG)’ application software. With androids as a starting point, we continue to search and find new approaches to pneumatic system operations.

Original skin and moulding techniques

Our Androids’ incredibly realistic skin is made from our specially developed silicone material and has negligible oil bleed. It is strong, and does not deteriorate or peel, easily, even after longtime use and/or the application of make-up. Its soft texture and flexible nature, provides optimal durability and performance for its use as android skin. A Lab’s unique modelling expertise, and materials, allows for the faithful reproduction of the natural curves and texture of human skin. A-Lab can create impeccable, identical android models, from the real person, or from materials they may feature in, such photography or videos. We will also provide the exact material and modelling skills to match the optimum purpose and usage of your android.