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An uncanny humanoid robot is working at a government office in Russia — here's how it works

[Aug. 3, 2020: Business Insider]

Photo by Maxim Kimerling\TASS via Getty Images

Promobot's most recent robot sits firmly in uncanny valley, working as a civil servant in Perm, Russia. The humanoid robot can process documents and file requests into the local government information system.

Back in February, the company gained attention after sending its robots around New York City and surveying passersby about possible COVID-19 symptoms. It asked people questions about symptoms, gave advice about avoiding the virus, and handed out face masks, and the company says it performed similar surveys in Mexico in March. Promobot was kicked out of Bryant Park in New York for lacking proper permits.

According to Promobot, the robot's appearance was developed based on several thousand women in the Perm area to generate a robot the resembled the population.

It can show the "full spectrum of human emotions and facial expressions," according to Promobot, thanks to mechanical muscles that allow movement in the eyes, eyebrows, and lips.


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Muscles under the robot's artificial skin allow more than 600 facial expressions.

The robot works in a government facility, answering questions previously handled by a person.

It's connected to hardware that can scan government documents like passports or birth certificates.

To use it, citizens can come up to the service desk and start speaking to the robot as they would a person.

The robot can then react, produce the right documents, and scan signed versions into the government system.

Right now, other workers are testing out the robot and giving feedback to perfect the service..... Read More



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