Receptionist Robot Converses With People, Makes Weird Faces
Once again, the Japanese have developed a robot that's smart, creepy, and designed to replace human workers. This time, it's Saya -- a mechanical receptionist that can converse with humans using a vocabulary of 300 words and 700 phrases, and even express emotions via facial expressions.
The idea behind Saya is that she is designed for companies that would like to cut costs without totally sacrificing human interaction. She, or 'it,' depending on your view of robots, is able to guide visitors into an office and talk to them as if she were somewhat real. Why this can't be done with some sort of interactive map is unknown, but hey, it's certainly a step forward.
Saya's main shortcoming, aside from not being able to answer phones and take messages, lies in her creepy facial expressions, which are created by the movement of 18 plates under her synthetic skin. The Daily Mail says "disgust" looks just like "sadness," and her "anger" face "makes her look like she's having digestive issues." Gross.
It's a long ways off, but we're sure some slimeball executives will someday weigh the pros and cons of having to get their own coffee, but never having to worry about a sexual harassment lawsuit. [From: The Daily Mail]