‘Creepy’ new robots that can be made into clones of anyone in the world

Mounted on a tabletop in Russia, an eerily human-looking robot smiles, squints and even frowns when he gets angry.

The bionic man, named Android Robo-C, is the first produced by a manufacturer which boasts it can make robot clones to look like anyone in the world.

He may have to practice his frown though, after the venture was branded "creepy" and questions were raised about the legality.

This week the robot was unveiled by Russian startup company Promobot – which claims one customer has already ordered replicas of their parents to greet guests at their home.

Critics say the project opens the door for clones to be created of anyone without their knowledge.

Promobot chiefs say they can make realistic likenesses of well known figures that can be used to hawk goods.

It said the service robots could replace staff in public-facing roles in places such as post offices, banks and council buildings.

Aleksei Iuzhakov, chairman of the company's board of directors, said in a statement: "Everyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance — for professional or personal use.

"Thus, we open a huge market in service, education and entertainment. Imagine a replica of Michael Jordan selling basketball uniforms and William Shakespeare reading his own texts in a museum?"

And a person's mannerisms and turn of phrase will also be replicated by the bots.

Mr Iuzhakov continued: "We can build a linguistic model based on popular phrases of a particular person – the robot will communicate and answer questions by analyzing frequent expressions of the 'original' and using a certain context of knowledge of this person."

Company founder Oleg Kivokurtsev told CNBC that one family have ordered replicas of their mum and dad to greet guests at their home.

He added: "Now we have more than 10 orders from companies and private clients from around the world.”

But unsurprisingly it has made plenty of people uneasy, with many branding the idea "creepy".

And it could also present legal problems if the person the android is based on finds out.

In a blog post on Hot Air , Jazz Shaw wrote: "It seems to me that if I ordered a robot that looks and sounds exactly like Chuck Schumer, for example, and started posting embarrassing videos of its performances online, he might be able to sue me.

"Of course, we’re talking about a Russian company here, so I’m not sure how much they care about such laws.

"But the customer still might wind up getting in trouble."

The manufacturers say they envisage the androids being used as companion robots, or performing customer service roles.

But it will need to be recharged every eight hours.

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