The robots are coming
Nao robots: helping out at banksIt’s 58cm tall, can speak 19 languages – and could soon be helping you open a new bank account, reports The Guardian. Nao, a humanoid robot, has been recruited by Japan’s biggest bank to help greet customers at its high street branches on a trial basis. Equipped with two cameras on its forehead, and directional microphones instead of ears, it can read, and assess emotions by analysing people’s facial features and tones of voice. In a presentation last week, Nao welcomed customers to the bank, and asked them which service they required. “I can tell you about money exchange, ATMs, opening a bank account, or overseas remittance. Which one would you like?” Nao is designed by the French firm Aldebaran Robotics, which also produces Pepper robots. Nescafé has hired 1,000 Peppers to help customers at its stores in Japan buy coffee machines. According to its manufacturer, Peppers – which cost around £1,200 each – can understand 80% of conversations, and have the ability to learn from them.