Have you, like Andrew McCarthy in Mannequin, ever looked up at a lifeless department store mannequin and wished it would come to life? Well, cue Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” because your dream has come true.
Tokyo department store Takashimiya installed a lifelike fembot in its display window to attract shoppers for Valentine’s Day. The robot, designed by Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, is capable of 60 different facial expressions. It’s also hooked up to a Kinect sensor and equipped with facial recognition software so it can interact with passing pedestrians — even yawning if nobody walks by for awhile.
Dr. Ishiguro is the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, and is the foremost expert on making totally creepy robots that belong in the movie Blade Runner. He even calls his robots “Geminoids,” which you have to admit is just setting yourself up for a robot uprising.
According to CScout Japan, this is the first time one of Ishiguro’s Geminoids have been used in a commercial setting, and he “imagines his androids as the future of visual merchandising.” Shopping at the mall of the future will be a truly terrifying experience.