Is Titan really a robot?

12:50 | 12/10/2011
The amazing capabilities of a British-made robot which appeared in Vietnam last week has triggered debate about its mechanism and even speculation if it is operated by someone inside it.


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The giant gray robot with blue flash-bulbs, which has become a worldwide sensation in the last few years, appeared at the SECC international exhibition center in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 from last week.

After parading through the center and warmly greeting the audience, Titan began to sing, dance, and laugh and even blew a kiss to the audience.

He belched and broke wind, saying coyly in Vietnamese: “Không sao, nhà vệ sinh ở đâu? (It is ok. Where is the restroom?).”

It then asked, “Tôi không hiểu. Có nói được tiếng Anh không? (I don’t understand. Can you speak English?).”

Many Vietnamese netizens have claimed that the robot does not function autonomously but is operated by someone inside.

Titan has performed all around the world including in Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, and all over Europe.

Titan the robot

The poster of Titan the robot - Photo: Wikipedia

Is it a real robot?

“Is Titan a real robot?” is a question asked in many countries since Titan never appears in articles or magazines about automation.

But its creator Cyberstein Robots Ltd has answered the question on its website: “Titan is a remote controlled robot that receives instructions from an operator. In a direct control situation, Titan detects and relays information to the operator about his environment. The operator then uses this information to return appropriate instructions to the robot. This sequence can occur in real time allowing Titan to perform safely in the toughest of environments.

“As each generation of Titan has been developed, so too has the mechanism of control. The Mk5, the version of Titan brought to Vietnam, is controlled by a state of the art body suit that mimics every moment of the operator down to the last millimeter in near real time, using high resolution bendy resistors that accurately detect the human body’s movement in relation to itself and the robot, allowing Titan to balance and walk with human-like ability.

According to information available on the website of Cyberstein Robots Ltd, Titan’s maker, the robot is 2.4 m tall and 60kg. The concept robot was created by Nik Fielding, the founder of Cyberstein Robots Ltd, entirely for the purpose of entertainment. There have been five generations of Titan so far.

Cyberstein plans to unveil the next two generations with the latest control systems which will potentially enable the robot to perform independent of the operator and to be a “true robot.”

Tuoi Tre

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