Freedom Folks

Friday, January 27, 2006

Robot receptionists to debut

TOKYO (Reuters) - Need temporary help on your company's reception desk? One Japanese employment agency is suggesting you try recruiting a robot.

For just under 50,000 yen ($430) a month, a fraction of the cost of a human temp, the PeopleStaff agency will dispatch Hello Kitty Robo, a robotic receptionist capable of sensing a visitor's presence, greeting him or her and holding simple conversations.

The Nagoya-based agency is also offering the services of Ifbot, an elderly-care robot that chats and poses riddles and arithmetical problems to train the brain and help avoid dementia. Spaceman-like Ifbot, which also quizzes people about their health, is aimed at hospitals and old peoples' homes.

A spokeswoman for PeopleStaff said it would cost more than 300,000 yen a month to employ a person for this type of work, but warned that the robots were not capable of doing everything human employees can do.

Yeah, this can only end well!

Hello Kitty Robo?



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