OK this could be confusing; when we say android, we’re not talking operating systems. No, this is more to do with the word’s original meaning. And from the picture this 'lady' is not in the middle of a karate maneuver but instead signing in Japanese. In a recent press release Toshiba Corp has announced a prototype ‘lifelike communication android’ which they plan to demonstrate at CEATEC JAPAN 2014 held between October the 7th and 11th at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo.

There is a big push in Japan to develop robotic ‘helpers’ which they predict will be necessary to provide care for the elderly and infirm. The appearance of this android is spookily human, movements of the head and eyes are quite unsettling. At its present stage of development it can only exchange greetings and communicate using Japanese sign language. Toshiba plan to integrate its wide-ranging technologies in areas including sensing, speech synthesis, speech recognition and robotic control to realize a more sophisticated social robot by 2020.

The big omission in the press release is of course the android’s name. Everyone knows it’s the first thing you decide on when working on anything vaguely cybernetic. If you want to watch the android sign its name, go to this YouTube clip posted by Toshiba, it (she?) is called Chihira.