If we’re going to get Skynet up and running, we’ll need more than just breakthroughs in artificial intelligence – we’ll need passable robot clones covered in living tissue, so they’ll be able to travel back in time and mingle without being noticed. That’s just how things have to be.
Luckily, Russian robot company Promobot announced earlier this year that they’re entering the robot clone market, with bots designed to look just like humans. Any humans.
“Everyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance — for professional or personal use,” said Promobot’s Aleksei Iuzhakov in an October press release. “Thus, we open a huge market in service, education and entertainment. Imagine a replica of Michael Jordan selling basketball uniforms and William Shakespeare reading his own texts in a museum?”
It’s called Android Robo-C. While the robot replica can’t walk around (it’s mostly a torso with a screen attached), it is able to move its neck, eyes, eyebrows, and lips to mimic human facial expressions:
“The technology developed by Promobot as well as its own patented design has over 600 facial expressions that allow the robot to mimic a human appearance. Specialists working for the company have created their own component base, and also used the technology to create artificial skin.”
It’s meant to work “both at home and in the workplace,” and in some cases act as a companion that can read you the news or manage home appliances.
In this video, you can see their attempt at replicating Arnold Schwarzenegger, aka the Terminator. Imagine him reading you the news every morning – might liven things up a bit.
The company reportedly already has customers, and according to Futurism, one family is looking to have robot clones made of their deceased parents, who will greet guests at their home.
There are, however, many questions surrounding the legality of using someone else’s likeness to create a robot employee or home assistant. That’ll be a strange bridge to cross.
Promobot also appears to be the same company behind the amazing escaping robot that hit headlines back in 2016. At the time, many questioned whether or not the incident was staged. In January of 2019, another Promobot incident allegedly occurred when the company claimed a “Promobot robot was killed by a self-driving Tesla car.”
In that video, a Tesla drives by a Promobot that just happens to be standing at the side of the road. The robot tips over, and afterward you can just make out the rope being pulled from behind a nearby palm tree.
Neverless, these new robot clones seem to be the real deal. According to Promobot, they’ve got 10 orders “from companies and private clients around the world.” One is a replica of Albert Einstein, which will be used at a robot exhibit. You can see images of it and others at their website.