Hiroshi Ishiguro is director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, part of the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, Japan. A notable development of the laboratory is the Actroid, a humanoid robot with lifelike appearance and visible behaviour such as facial movements.
In robot development, Ishiguro concentrates on the idea of making a robot that is as similar as possible to a live human being. At the unveiling in July 2005 of the gynoid Repliee Q1Expo (in the cybernetic world, the term for female android, gynoid, from ancient Greek "gyne", that is woman) he was quoted as saying, "I have developed many robots before, but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence. ... Repliee Q1Expo can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It's very satisfying, although we obviously have a long way to go yet." In his opinion, it may be possible to build an android that is indistinguishable from a human, at least during a brief encounter.
Ishiguro has made an android that resembles him, called the Geminoid. The Geminoid was among the robots featured by James May in his 5 October 2008 BBC2 documentary on robots Man-Machine in May's series Big Ideas. He also introduced a telecommunication robot called the Telenoid R1. Hiroshi also uses the android to teach his classes at Osaka University of Japan and likes to scare his students by making Geminoid do human-like movements like blinking, "breathing" and fidgeting with his hands. Ishiguro has been listed, in 2011, as one of the 15 Asian Scientists to Watch by Asian Scientist Magazine. In 2018, Ishiguro was interviewed interacting with one of his robots for the documentary on artificial intelligence Do You Trust This Computer?.