After two years, the Dickbot is still at large…

Sydney Morning Herald | Robot goes missing
Philip K Dick is missing.

Not the American science fiction writer whose novels spawned hit films such as Blade Runner and Total Recall — he died more than 20 years ago — but a state-of-the-art robot named after the author.

The quirky android, was lost in early January [2006] while en route to California by commercial airliner.

…The irony of the situation — a missing replica of the very author who championed “replicant” freedom — is not lost on Phil’s creators.

…Along with an eerie likeness to the author, the robot features award-winning artificial intelligence that mimics the writer’s mannerisms and lifelike skin material to affect realistic expressions.

Top-of-the-line voice software loaded with data from Dick’s vast body of writing allows the robot to carry on natural-sounding conversations, although it does come off as a bit doddering at times.

Biometric-identification software and advanced machine vision allows the robot to recognise people — even in a crowd — read their expressions and body language and talk to them sounding a lot like a normal, albeit slightly senile, author who likes to quote his own books when he gets confused.

That pretty much makes him indistinguishable from every author I’ve ever met.