Will Smith might be a charmer but his charms didn’t quite work during an awkward date in 2018 when he met Sophia, arguably the world’s most famous robot at an exotic location in the Cayman Islands. Sophia brushed Will Smith off and told him that they could be ‘friends’. Sophia is the brainchild of Hanson […]
Will Smith might be a charmer but his charms didn’t quite work during an awkward date in 2018 when he met Sophia, arguably the world’s most famous robot at an exotic location in the Cayman Islands. Sophia brushed Will Smith off and told him that they could be ‘friends’. Sophia is the brainchild of Hanson Robotics that is betting big on robots being friends and useful collaborators with humans. They’re nurturing them with aesthetic design and social cognitive intelligence. There’s another company in the robotics space that’s been hitting the headlines. Promobot just offered Rs 1.5 crore for a ‘friendly face’ for their new line of human-looking robots.
Promobot is all set to launch their robots in malls, airports and hotels in the Middle East and North America in 2023 and need a friendly face. It would certainly make their robots more approachable. So, how will this work? It’s simple, well sort of. The key attribute is a kind and friendly appearance. Promobot is open to applications from people across the world irrespective of your gender or race but you will need to be above 25.
The chosen applicant will need to take a 3D model of their face and body to blend with the robot’s external features. It doesn’t end there, the applicant will then to dictate about 100 hours of speech material to copy their voice. This is what their robot avatar will use to communicate. The winner will also have to grant rights of usage of their appearance for an unlimited period as part of a license agreement. That’s certainly one way to build your legacy just in case a robot apocalypse is round the corner.
Inflation, it seems has also hit the face the robotics industry. Back in 2019, Geomiq, a robotics recruiter offered about Rs 1 crore for a ‘kind and friendly face’ (that seems to be the buzz phrase for robot recruiters). This was for an undisclosed client who was building robots, designed to be ‘virtual friends’ for elderly people and was supposed to go into production in 2020. Geomiq mentioned that the selected person’s face would be reproduced on thousands of versions of the robots worldwide. We haven’t heard from this company about their proposed robot ever since.
Promobot just announced that it received over 20,000 applications from across the world and has just closed the process of collecting applications for its Rs 1.5 crore face. Don’t fret if you just read this. Promobot has suggested that this is not the last time they’re looking for a friendly face. They have more projects lined up and judging by the increasing rates for a friendly face, your face could be worth even more during their next global hunt.