The narrator on The Discovery Channel show on robotics called them "a hybrid between a smartphone and a smart machine."
And the new Future Robots, or FUROs, from Korean robotics startup Future Robot are an interesting hybrid indeed, of robotics and interactive kiosk and digital signage technologies — one rife with potential for possible digital signage or self-service kiosk applications in retail, hospitality or maybe even food service. (Imagine a mobile robot that can roll up to a restaurant table, let patrons order via a touchscreen interface and then let them pay via their smartphone or a card swipe...)
According to Korea IT Times, the FURO interactive robot can provide a variety of services "by reading users' intentions in different situations" by observing users' movement, face and voice, and then conveying the "matched dialogue, facial expression, movement and necessary information." The robots can move around freely on wheels hidden beneath their skirts, and they have anime-style faces on smaller screen "heads" that will show changing facial expressions in response to different stimuli, like smiling to new people or tearing up when someone walks away.
The robots were shown at this year's CeBIT show in March, and Future Robot CEO Se-kyong Song told the Times that the show "was very exciting for us to show our technologies and also gain more innovative ideas from them. One buyer from Brazil who ordered over 100 FUROs came up with new business model – mobile (moving) advertisements. As FURO moves around in airports or exhibitions, they said, the back screens which are remotely operated can be utilized for advertisements while the front screen performs ordinary information services."
The company loaded this segment of a Discovery Channel show focusing on its robots onto its YouTube channel:
The company's YouTube channel also features this video, from the Robot World show in 2010:
And one from CEBIT this year:
Read more about kiosk display technology.
This story originally posted on DigitalSignageToday.com.