TOKYO (Reuters) – Need temporary help on your company’s reception desk? One Japanese employment agency is suggesting you try recruiting a robot.
For just under 50,000 yen ($430) a month, a fraction of the cost of a human temp, the PeopleStaff agency will dispatch Hello Kitty Robo, a robotic receptionist capable of sensing a visitor’s presence, greeting him or her and holding simple conversations.
The Nagoya-based agency is also offering the services of Ifbot, an elderly-care robot that chats and poses riddles and arithmetical problems to train the brain and help avoid dementia. Spaceman-like Ifbot, which also quizzes people about their health, is aimed at hospitals and old peoples’ homes.
A spokeswoman for PeopleStaff said it would cost more than 300,000 yen a month to employ a person for this type of work, but warned that the robots were not capable of doing everything human employees can do.