Sparx: Season 2, Episode 1
These are the questions Rafael Hostettler is pondering. Born in Switzerland, he is working on humanoid robot avatars in Munich, expanding the limits of the human body.
We humans have always expanded our own abilities with aids, says Hostettler. For example, by riding horses to get from A to B faster than with our own feet. Or by building machines that, unlike the human body, can transport tons of goods. Hostettler takes this optimisation path even further: he wants to live forever – by becoming a robot and thus separating his "self" from his fragile body.
Do you now envisage scenes from a science fiction film in which robots and machines take over the world? That is not the goal, says Hostettler: "On the contrary, we want to use technology to bring people closer together". In his "Sparx" talk, he discusses his visions and how he, as a robot, can in the future hug his grandmother from a distance.
Making robots as versatile as human bodies – that's what Rafael Hostettler (*1985) has been working on for over 10 years. After studying computational science and engineering at ETH Zurich, Hostettler started the "Roboy Project" in 2013, which aimed to develop a humanoid robot. Since then, he has continuously developed his first prototype, "Roboy Junior". In 2018, Hostettler founded the Devanthro GmbH. Their goal: every 6 months, the robot should be able to do something new.
Rafael Hostettler also talks about his motivation to develop a humanoid robot in our podcast "Cat!apult" - listen in here!