Robotic estate agents being developed for house viewings

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Robotic estate agents being developed for house viewings

Boffins at the elite “Personal Robotics Group” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), are working on developing a “highly expressive humanoid” robot which would guide potential house hunters around a property for sale, pointing out its amenities.

The robots would be installed in properties for sale, and then left to interact with - and guide around- visitors, learning from everything that people ask or tell them. Extendable arms would enable the robot to clear up coffee cups that visitors have left behind, and sensors would alert it to replace a burnt-out light bulb or adjust a thermostat says MIT.

The robotic estate agents would free up their human counterparts from hours of house viewings and would be able to recognise the people they are showing around and capture their details by swiping their driving licence or other form of ID card.

The downsides include criminal visitors who want to use the viewing to steal or damage property, to ask difficult questions on things like tax or the neighbours, or just to partake in a bit of good, old-fashioned human interaction, although many may feel that a robotic estate agent is easier to get along with than a human one.

Searching for a property without the help of a robot? Check out our property search pages.


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