November 22, 2006

Robot gets job as cell phone retailer

ubiko.gif "Ubiko," a robot-on-wheels with a catlike face, is joining the crew of temporary workers that a Japanese job-referral company hopes will be used at stores, events and even weddings. The Age reports.

Next month, the 113 centimetre-tall (44 inch-tall) robot will be selling mobile phones at a store, said Akiko Sakurai, a spokeswoman at the company, Ubiquitous Exchange.

Ubiko can be hired as a temporary worker for two hours for 105,000 yen (US$890; euro690).

Ubiko, which comes mounted with a camera and infared sensors, greets customers with a nasal electronic voice, shows DVDs with the projector in its head and hands out balloons and other goods with wireless remote-controllable metallic arms".

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