The Uncanny Valley posits that robots get exponentially creepier the closer they look to humans -- take Nadine the social robot, RealDoll and the Geminoids (please). However, a company called Akin Robotics in Turkey has proved that robots don't need to look like humans at all to evoke the "ugh" factor. It recently unveiled a new factory that will produce an Eyes Without a Face-like model that will surprise, delight and terrify visitors at airports and elsewhere.
The company recently unveiled two new models including the GH5 (not the camera) and ADA Mini, above. With its, er, friendly face, it's designed to serve drinks, take orders, walk, speak, detect obstacles and move its head across two axes.
The robots can work in shopping malls, hospitals, airports and other businesses to help tourists, patients, visitors and others. The ADA Mini, for instance, will be deployed at an Instanbul airport to provide visitors with check-in information, directions, and more. The ADA GH5 can perform similar chores and even dance, but with a decidedly more Cylon vibe.
A video below features one of Akin's robots distributing brochures (reluctantly) to amused passersby, while another shows a robotic server distributing drinks to very patient restaurant patrons.
Akin's robots look more like the kind that would fall down than bring about the downfall of humanity. At the same time, they do fulfill their purpose of providing amusement to human visitors, especially kids. Perhaps more importantly, Akin plans to mass produce the robots in a new factory in Konya, Turkey, so there's a decent chance that -- ready or not -- you might actually see one somewhere.
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