Now, this is truly cute. Look at this darling child! My heart, it's melting. This is a "mannequin robot". For the past couple of years, a South Korean company called Showbo has been producing robots like this — which, I guess, makes sense! Bowing is a sign of respect in Korea and much of Asia.
Robotics is an industry in South Korea, and there is a culture of hiring "assistants" (도우미) or "narrators" (나레이터) to do in-store product or service promotions. Often, they bow or dance about.
These "mannequin robots" are designed for the same PR purposes. They come pre-programmed with messages. When a passerby gets about two metres from the robot, the bot will began talking up the store's service. Businesses can even type in whatever they want the mannequin robot to say.
While they're certainly not mainstream in South Korea, Showbo told South Korean newspaper Joongang Daily that customers report the robots attract more attention than living flesh salespeople. Well, yeah.
While there's nothing as adorable as the child practicing her bowing, let's have a look at some of the other mannequin bots:
Here's a woman explaining the robot which is used to... explain things. Meta!
In front of a Family Mart.
Dressed as a fairy.
Looking for people to bow to.