© YouTube / Rory Cellan-Jones / Peter Page

Customer service robots on show in Paris

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Rory Cellan-Jones, a BBC journalist, took a look at the Innorobo Show in Paris, a great robotic exhibition, to discover the latest trends in this field. The most disturbing, perhaps, is the robot that looks like “Terminator”, which responds to things green and is able to follow them. But it is customer service robots that are the order of the day. For example, Ubo is a robot that can detect when an older person needs help, and can supervise activities as a home nurse. Cellan-Jones is a ticket vending machine, with a robotic interface that provides 30 times more user interactivity than a regular ATM; a small Chinese robot can advise customers at the grocery store and is designed to be small in size so that consumers are not frightened. An autonomous tractor capable of replacing a tractor driver perhaps represents the widespread fear that robots will replace employees. However, the industry insists that its interest is to separate the human value added from the burden of repetitive work. The journalist concludes that in the future we will have robots in the most unexpected places, such as the amazing robots that swim autonomously, displayed in the exhibit hall.