Japanese department store offers robots that look like their buyers


We all knew this day would come and we all knew this would happen first in Japan. And local department store chain operator Sogo & Seibu is ready to make it possible: You can soon buy robots who look exactly like you. Right, life-size humanoids.

The company isn’t that sure about its idea though as it plans to offer just two robots for the time being. Sogo & Seibu says they’ll start accepting orders in all of their department stores in Japan as soon as early next month. But if there are three or more people interested in getting a robotic doppelgänger, buyers will be chosen by lot.

The robots are made of silicone and will be able to move their upper body. In addition, they’ll be able to “speak” to some extent (with your recorded voice, needless to say).

The robots will go on sale for $225,000 each. They’ll be manufactured by Kokoro, a company that caused a minor sensation with their realistic Androids that gave directions to visitors during the Aichi Expo in 2005.

One of their robots appeared in a Japanese TV commercial last year. The picture above shows one of these “Actroids”, but the final design of the department store robos is unknown at this point. Sogo & Seibu’s PR stunt is part of the highly competitive sales promotion campaigns Japanese stores come up with for the winter holidays.

Via Sankei News [JP]