You know RoboThespian, the robot that performs stand-up for British audiences? If you’ve ever wanted to own your own version of him, then you’re in luck — you can get the SociBot instead. All you need is about $16,000 and an iron constitution that can withstand any foreboding sense of dread brought on by face-stealing robots.
The SociBot Mini has a transparent face-shaped display that can project any kind of image, from a computer generated face to a totally real one. And yes, that includes people you know — SociBot can display the faces of friends and family members when you’re receiving phone calls from one of them. You know, kind of like how your personal assistant sometimes turns into your aunt when she’s leaving you a voicemail? It’s the same thing. Then again, my personal assistant is Mystique, so maybe it’s different for everyone else.
In addition, the SociBot uses a depth-perception capable camera (sort of like the Kinect, because everyone loves those), which allows it to recognize faces and track the positions of more than 12 people at a time. Supposedly it’s also able to determine your age by reading the lines on your face, and can “accurately” judge your mood by detecting facial expressions. Also, its eyes follow you around the room. You know, to make sure you feel perfectly safe at all times, always. All the time. Forever.
Not creeped out by the mere thought of robots that can borrow your friends’ faces and follow your movements with its glassy, 2-dimensional eye sockets? Here, have some video to further bolster your neuroses.
At least they programmed the robot to blink every once in a while. That’s a little more comforting. And she’s British, which certainly helps. But you can change the language settings on your SociBot if you so choose, kind of like how those people on Doctor Who could change the voices on their Oods just before they were all justifiably murdered to strike back against centuries of Ood oppression. Boy, we’re just full of Who references today, huh? I wonder why that is? Is it because everything about this new invention makes us feel weird and we would like Peter Capaldi to come over and say nice things to us until we’re better? Yeah, that’s probably it.
- But can Soci-Bot tell jokes?
- This is definitely not as cute as the oreo robot
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