CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — When customers arrive at Sterling Bank & Trust in Cupertino, they are welcomed by a couple of robots who will greet them by name, hand out business cards, and even dance for them. Although they can’t approve a loan, the folks at Sterling hope these humanoids will put a smile on their customers’ faces.
Bank owner, Scott Seligman told San Francisco Business Times he got the idea after hearing how robots improved customer relations at a bank in Tokyo. They have made appearances at the San Francisco branch and others are “working” at a branch in Southern California.
Each humanoid stands about 2 feet tall, and can move, recognize faces, blink, talk, hear, dance, even catch small objects. They are autonomous and communicate with each other via WLAN. Teams of these robots have competed in European soccer, rescue and dance competitions.
The NAO model costs about $8000, but Aldebaran Robotics makes other models, as well.
Senior VP Steve Adams said these robots have been a huge hit with kids, especially when they do Kung Fu moves and dance to Psy’s “Gangman Style.” He assures they are purely for marketing and entertainment, so the humans at the bank needn’t worry about losing their jobs.