The two robots stars of the play, Takeo and Momoko, appear alongside human actors in the play Hataraku Watashi ('Working Me').
Set in a future where robots and humans co-exist, the drama takes place in the home of a married couple who share a house with two robots.
The robots, which were made by Mitsubishi, are programmed to deliver their lines and hit their marks – although the writer, Hirata Orisa , admitted it was frustrating waiting for the robots to be reprogrammed any time the director wanted to change an aspect of their performance.
The robot actors have yet to throw any artistic tantrums or start scene-stealing like a normal actor would – and one of their fellow human actors admitted to growing fond of them: 'You find yourself developing an affection for the robots. People were saying "they're so cute," particularly the female robot. At first I wondered what the fuss was about but I found myself smiling while I was looking at them.'
The scientists behind the production at Osaka University's Department of Adaptive Machine Systems say they hope to have an all-robot production in theatre within the next two years.
Robots have a long history in the theatre – the word robot was first introduced to the English language by Czech playwright Karel Čapek, in his 1921 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). (Metro.co.uk)