Promobot human-faced robot

The bigger picture: Human-faced robot

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A tech company in Russia has launched the mass production of a human-like robot that can be made to order with any appearance.

The robot, which can copy human expressions, has the ability to move its eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and other muscles. It can also answer questions, serving as a “companion”, the company claims.

Promobot, the company behind ‘Android Robo-C’, claims its human-like bot, which has a specially developed artificial skin, has a range of over 600 facial expressions.

Promobot's chairman of the board of directors, Aleksei Iuzhakov (pictured below, eyeing up his robotic alter ego), says anyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance, for professional or personal use.

Promobot human-faced robot Inline

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Iuzhakov says the company can build a linguistic model based on popular phrases of a particular person – the robot will communicate and answer questions by analysing frequent expressions of the ‘original’ and by using a certain context of knowledge of this person.

The company, which claims it has already had several private orders, is offering to pay £150,000 ($200,000) to a willing applicant who will sign a licence agreement that allows “the use of your appearance for an unlimited period”.

The successful applicant, who will also sign over the use of their voice, will first have to take a 3D model of their face and body for the robot’s external features; they will then “dictate at least 100 hours of speech material to copy your voice”, which will be used by the machine to communicate.
Promobot is searching for a “kind and friendly” face, of any gender or race and over the age of 25, to be reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robot worldwide. They may be used in hotels, shopping malls and other crowded places.

Oleg Kivokurtsev, Promobot co-founder, told Russian state news agency TASS that the firm is planning to create 10 robots per month “with any appearance, for home and professional use”.

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