Okay, if this picture doesn’t freak you out, then you are obviously too used to robots. Honestly, this is looks like a brand of Terminator robot that John Conner’s band of human rebels would open fire at. That, or the last thing you would see before the machines put you in the Matrix for the rest of your artificial life.
Yet the Robovie is a project under development by the Advance Telecommunications Research Instituted (ATR) in Japan, and it has the ability to spot people in a crowd who are lost. It is then programmed to go up to them, and give them directions to their location.
The Robovie uses 16 cameras, six laser-range finders, and nine RFID tag readers in order to watch 20 people at a time. All those sensors can somehow determine who is lost and who isn’t, and then does its mobile mall directory action.
It is slated to work in shopping malls in Osaka, but I don’t know what is going to happen when Robovie is available everywhere. What happens when a child gets lost in a mall? If that kid has been told by his parents not to go anywhere with a stranger, then he or she will be running the other way when Robovie tries to help him or her.
Let’s hope this technology will not be as scary-looking by the time it is fully developed.