Mitsubishi Hiring Out Robots as Receptionists

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Robots have long been a mainstay on high-end factory floors, but now they're getting a lot more socially adept, and are even interacting with humans in the workplace. These Mitsubishi robots, named Wakamaru, are being hired out in Japan as receptionists for $1000 a day or $25,000 a year. It turns out these goofy-looking yellow droids are pretty good at the job, recognizing faces and even chatting it up with the customers, using their 10,000-word vocabulary to amaze and entertain, and possibly annoy.

Standing a childlike 3'3" tall and weighing 66 pounds, the robots cut a decidedly non-imposing figure, flashing a dorky-looking expression and generally doing nonthreatening things. They are at able to perform a few manual tasks, however, and we're thinking that bringing us a beer might not be too challenging for these little droids. While we see opportunities for employing nonjudgmental servants, others may sense the beginning of the end for humanity. It might be a little of both. [Pink Tentacle, via Ubergizmo]