Well if you don’t currently have nightmares about robots or artificial intelligence, that may soon change. Unlike other AI assistants, one bot’s face can be changed with the touch of a button.
Furhat Speaks 30 Languages and Can Lip Sync to a User’s Voice
The robot’s name is Furhat and he’s made by Stockholm-based startup Furhat Robotics. The bot kind of reminds us of Jambi the Genie from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse as he’s pretty much just a head. Now Furhat won’t grant all of your wishes but he can be a pretty effective assistant.
Like Alexa and Siri, Furhat can answer questions, tell you the weather or even just listen to your problems. In case you want to brush up on your French, the robot speaks 30 different languages. You can even record your own voice into the unit and Furhat will lip sync to it automatically. Thanks to an onboard camera, the bot will maintain eye contact as he converses and listens.
‘Furhat is a social robot that communicates with us humans as we do with each other – by speaking, listening, showing emotions and maintaining eye contact,‘ the robotics company said.
Built-in Projector Beams Customizable Faces Onto Robot’s Head
What makes Furhat stand out is his face. A wide-angle projection system built inside the robots head can display a variety of animated faces. Each face has its own personality and expressions which can be customized by the user. If Furhat is confused he may raise up his eyebrows. Make him happy and you’ll get a big smile.
If you would rather have a lion or dog as your robot assistant, Furhat can also display animal faces. According to Furhat Robotics, each face has its own personality and quirks just like a real human.
No word on price or release date but the company is currently working with Disney, Intel, Merck, and Honda to help get Furhat into the workplace. They feel the robot would be valuable for interacting with customers or helping to teach employees new skills.