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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

A Russian startup is selling humanoid robots whose appearance may be that of your choice

On the left, the humanoid robot "Robo-C" from Promobot. On the right, the chairman of the board of directors of the company, having served as a model. | Promobot

A Russian startup named Promobot, founded in 2015, has recently put up for sale one of its most successful creations: a realistic humanoid robot, whose appearance can be that of your choice. It's not quite the autonomous android that you could imagine - it can only move the head and neck and has a fixed bust. But society is still a milestone in consumer robotics.



" Everyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance, for professional or personal use, " Aleksei Iuzhakov, Chairman of Promobot's Board of Directors , said in a press release, encouraging a short time. after the people present to "imagine a replica of Michael Jordan selling basketball uniforms, or William Shakespeare reading his own texts in a museum".


Promobot's Robo-C is not (yet?) Able to walk, but his neck and torso each have three degrees of freedom of movement, reads the website of the StartUp

His face has 18 moving parts, which allow the robot to produce 600 micro-expressions. Its artificial intelligence has 100,000 speech modules. What to give, potentially, realistic expressions to the creation. However, for the moment and according to what we have seen, there is still work to be done on the coherence of the moving parts with the different parts of the face (see video at the end of the article).

Digitization of the personality for a "digital immortality"

" The key moment in [Robo-C's] development is the digitization of the personality and the creation of an individual appearance ," Promobot co-founder Oleg Kivokurtsev told CNBC. " As a result, it would be a kind of digital immortality that we can offer to our customers."

The company also plans to manufacture robots for personal use, as a companion or personal assistant. For example, the robot could control smart home systems (in the same way as existing voice assistants). Credits: Promobot

According to CNBC, Promobot is already manufacturing four Robo-C units for its first customers.

One of the robots ordered will be placed in a government service center, where it will perform several functions (including passport scanning). Another will be a clone of Albert Einstein, for an exhibition on the theme of robotics.


The last two will be clone robots of the father and mother of a family from the Middle East, who wants to use androids to "greet the guests". Rather strange this last case of use ... And you,  what do you think? What would you do with such a robot?

Video presentation of Android Robo-C:


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