Robots lending a helping hand certainly isn't a new spectacle, but a determined and forthright mechanical worker is about to hit cellphone stores in Japan (and probably send an actual human back to the job market in the process). While we've seen less intelligent forms of robotic cellphone salesmanship, Tmsuk's Ubiko bot is slated to "join the crew of temporary workers" that a Japanese job-referral company hopes will be used at "stores, events, and even weddings." Formerly known as the RIDC-01, this newly-named 44-inch tall employee on wheels sports a "catlike face," internal DVD player, LCD display to show advertisements / presentations, built-in cameras and infrared sensors, and remote-controllable arms that hand out balloons and other niceties to potential customers. Ubiko can even spark a conversation about how bad you'll need downloadable movie services on your next mobile, and reportedly boasts a "nasal electronic voice" that's sure to grate passerbyers' nerves. While the programmable (and always on call) employee can be snapped up for a hefty ¥30 million ($254,194) one time fee, it'll also be available to handle two-hour shifts for "only" ¥105,000 ($890).

[Via Textually]

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Tmsuk unveils Ubiko: the personable cellphone salesbot