Robot lawn mover
Got a “kind and friendly” face? Don’t mind the idea of your mechanized doppelganger stiffly trodding the planet? You could be close to $130,000 richer.
A British engineering and manufacturing firm called Geomiq has put out a call for people interested in being the face of a new “state-of-the-art humanoid” it’s developing with an unnamed company.
“The company is searching for a ‘kind and friendly’ face to be the literal face of the robot once it goes into production,” Geomiq says in a blog post about the project. “This will entail the selected person’s face being reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide.”
The robot line has been in the works for five years, Geomiq says, and will result in a companion for seniors.
Geomiq says the company behind the bot that might look like you is privately funded and has gotten investments from independent VCs and a “top fund” based in Shanghai. Beyond that, the whole shebang’s rather mysterious.
The blog post doesn’t share age or gender parameters, only asking people who want to license their face to submit a photo via email for the chance at £100,000 (about $130,000, AU$188,852). Candidates who make it to the “next phase” will apparently get full details on the project. The secrecy, Geomiq says, is due to a non-disclosure agreement it’s signed with the robot’s designer and investors.
ElliQ is a robot helper for the elderly
I’ve reached out to Geomiq to find out more, like how much the person’s face will be modified to fit the robot’s structure and why the designer isn’t employing an artist to create the robo-face given how much is understood about the aesthetics and mechanics of portraying personality through sculpture and visual art.
With the number of adults over 85 expected to triple by 2050, according to some estimates, robots designed to keep the elderly company are becoming increasingly common. They also serve a practical purpose, doing things like responding to voice commands, offering proactive notifications and advice and letting relatives monitor conditions at home.
And now they might do it looking like you.
Originally published Oct. 21.