A tech company in Russia has launched the mass production of human-like robots that can be made to order with any appearance.
The robots can copy human expressions with the ability to move their eyes, eyebrows, mouths and other muscles. They 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 over 600 facial expressions.
"Everyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance - for professional or personal use," Aleksei Iuzhakov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Promobot, said in a statement. "Imagine a replica of Michael Jordan selling basketball uniforms and William Shakespeare reading his own texts in a museum?'
"We 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 using a certain context of knowledge of this person."
The company is currently on the lookout for a face for its humanoid robot assistant to work in hotels, shopping malls and other crowded places. Promobot are searching for a 'kind and friendly' face - of any gender or race over the age of 25 - to be reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide. The company is ready to pay £150,000 ($200,000) to anybody willing to transfer the rights to their face and voice forever. "Since 2019, we have been actively manufacturing and supplying humanoid robots to the market,' say Promobot, which claims to be the largest service robotics manufacturer in Northern and Eastern Europe. "Our new clients want to launch a large-scale project, and as for this, they need to license a new robot appearance to avoid legal delays." The winning applicant will first have to take a 3D model of their face and body for the robot's external features. They will then 'have to dictate at least 100 hours of speech material to copy your voice', which will be used by the machine to communicate with customers. After that, the winning applicant will have to 'sign a license agreement' that allows 'the use of your appearance for an unlimited period'. The company claims it has already had several private orders and it is currently in talks with other businesses looking to use robots for customer services. Oleg Kivokurtsev, Promobot co-founder, told Russian state news agency TASS that they are planning to create 10 of these robots per month "with any appearance, for home and professional use," he said.