March 11 - Science fiction becomes reality at CeBIT, the world's largest tech fair in Germany. As Sonia Legg reports humanoid robots were the star attractions along with new ways to protect authentication.
He moves, he talks and likes to express his personality. Roboy is a so-called humanoid that can actually show emotions. (SOUNDBITE)(German) HEAD OF "ROBOY" PROJECT, RAFAEL HOSTETTLER, SAYING: "Roboy is a little more humanoid than most humanoids. Not only did we imitate shape and look of a human but also the functionality. We especially tried to build in muscles and sinews into the joints instead of motors. We want to understand how it works." Roboy was developed by a team run by Rafael Hostettler at Zurich University. He's designed to help doctors and scientists better understand how the brain and body interact. (SOUNDBITE)(German) HEAD OF "ROBOY" PROJECT, RAFAEL HOSTETTLER, SAYING: "Roboy is supposed to become a platform for doctors to train. They are supposed to diagnose illnesses that Roboy will simulate." Where there's man there's generally a dog. This is Charlie - the world's first robot with sensitive feet and a flexible spine. He was created by the German Research Centre of Artificial Intelligence. (SOUNDBITE)(German) HEAD OF PROJECT "ISTRUCT" AT THE GERMAN RESEARCH CENTRE FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, DANIEL KUEHN, SAYING: "We have put special focus on the sensor-feet, where we have integrated more than 60 sensors whose data we pre-process right there so that just the results are sent to the main computer. And secondly, our focus is on the spine. The spine is flexible and can move in all directions and has the same movement range as us humans." Data security is another key theme at the CeBIT tech fair in Hanover. And it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Tento Technologies is a UK-based firm. (SOUNDBITE)(English) MANAGING DIRECTOR TENTO TECHNOLOGIES LTD, HOWARD YATES, SAYING: "We have come up with the idea of the tento-card which uses actual visual pictography. It takes an image and splits it into two. One of the images we print on the card here and the other image we put on your PC screen. So when you are logging in you use your tento-card to overlay on the image on the screen and it reveals a four of five character password that is then like a second factor of authentication." A quarter of a million visitors are expected to attend the fair. And the 3,400 exhibitors represent 70 countries. Many of their products would have seemed like science fiction a few years ago. Roboy has every reason to feel special