In a highly questionable move aimed at carving a niche for themselves as a local brick-and-mortar bank, and at marketing themselves to tech people (?), Sterling Bank & Trust has "hired" two robots to serve as greeters in two of their new branches in the South Bay and near L.A. As the Business Times reports, the robots have also made brief appearances at the bank's SF branches, after bank owner Scott Seligman got the idea from a Wall Street Journal article earlier this year about a bank doing the same thing in Japan.
The robots, developed by the French firm Aldebaran Robotics, talk, dance, hand out business cards, and blink their eyes. According to Seligman, they've been quite popular with Asian customers and with children.
The robot greeters, he hopes, will differentiate the bank from the rest in the new markets they're moving into. "And," he adds, "it's fun."
Maybe they could dance to something that's not three years old and overplayed? Oh, apparently "Gangnam Style" is just a song that robots like.