HUMANOID by Max Aguilera-Hellweg
Foreword by David Levy
Hardcover, paper-over-board · 9 × 11″ · 96 pages
Photography/Robotic Science · 61 color photographs · $39.95
ISBN: 978-0-922233-47-2
Publication date: March 24, 2017

“These intimate photos will make you rethink your fear of robots.”
—Dyllan Furness, Vice
“Max Aguilera-Hellweg is both a doctor and a photographer and has brought his unique sensibility to explore the point at which robots become more like humans. His new book of portraits of humanoids and androids displays the range created, from the geminoids designed to look and act like humans, to a scary robot created to understand how they learn.”
The Guardian
“Meet the robots who are scarily close to being human.”
—Evan Dashevsky, PCMag
Max Aguilera-Hellweg
Foreword by David Levy

More than 12 million viewers have watched “The Most Awesome Robots” on YouTube; more than 1.7 million viewers tune in to AMC’s Humans TV series; Bill Gates has predicted there will be a robot in every home in the United States by 2025. Awe-inspiring, frightening, life-saving, threatening: humanoid robots are nothing if not controversial—and they are on the cusp of changing our lives in countless ways.

Humanoid is author and photographer Max Aguilera-Hellweg’s fascinating journey through the United States and Japan to explore the evolution of robot science—the turning point where robots are crossing the great divide between data processing and sentience.

As David Levy writes in his introduction to this first book of portraits of android and humanoid robots, “We are at the dawn of discovery of another new type of ‘person’—an artificial type of person who can be made in our likeness, given a humanlike appearance. . . . They can be given artificial voices that sound so much like human voices that we are unable to tell the difference. They can perform all sorts of physical and cognitive tasks as we do: walking, dancing, driving cars, climbing stairs, playing musical instruments, painting in the style of van Gogh or other famous artists, composing music in the style of Mozart or Scott Joplin, playing Chess or Go better than the human world champion, and much more.”

In Aguilera-Hellweg’s riveting photographs, the humanoid robots portrayed in this intriguing book run the gamut from robots that resemble with extreme accuracy an actual human being to those devoid of such surface attributes. Bina48 and Joey Chaos are endowed with humanlike skin and hair; the full-body Geminoid-F is accurate even down to her fingernails. Other humanoids, such as Atlas, a search-and-rescue humanoid created in response to the Fukushima disaster, and Valkyrie, NASA’s humanoid robot developed for a future unmanned mission to Mars to build a base for eventual human astronauts, replicate the anatomy of a human—arms, legs, torso, a head, and eyes. All are astonishing, ingenious, and capable of inestimable impact on our future.

See a trailer for the book and the forthcoming documentary film.

Max Aguilera-Hellweg is the author of The Sacred Heart: An Atlas of the Body Seen Through Invasive Surgery. He is also a nonpracticing MD. His work as a photojournalist for 40 years has appeared in Life, NYT Magazine, Rolling Stone, Discover, Scientific American, Time, and National Geographic and is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.