This particular item, the Arnie one, was made public in late 2019, so bringing it to CES 2020 was somewhat of a logical next step. It was still an unnerving sight, trade journos report.
Robo-C has warm skin and can replicate over 600 facial expressions. It’s static (the Arnold one is only a bust), but it can turn its head and uses over 100,000 speech modules. It can answer questions and more or less carry a conversation, but it can also be fitted with more advanced AI to help you interact with and control smart devices in your home or office.
Promobot says the Robo-C can work as an anthropomorphic personal / office assistant or tour guide. It could be used just as well at home by a private individual or by large companies to handle queries from customers in industries ranging from tourism to public transport and commerce.
However, the most unsettling part about Robo-C is that, according to Promobot, you can make it in whatever likeness you choose: your spouse, a friend or even yourself. Promobot is fielding queries to make it after a late spouse because, apparently, it’s not “ready” for that yet – or so Promobot says.
The goal is to outfit Robo-C with different personalities as well. To that end, it would use open data like information collected off social media to learn about the person it’s supposed to mimic. For the time being, though, Promobot doesn’t use this kind of technology – which is quite obvious if you look at their Schwarzenegger android in action, speaking with what sounds like a very British accent.
Promobot hopes to sell 100 of these creepy robots in 2020, with prices ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, depending on customization. By the looks of their famous Arnold, some tweaks might be in order to be able to charge this kind of money: Robo-C could stand to be less creepy without the random eye-rolling and eye-twitching.