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Robotics company is offering $125K if you’ll let a robot use your face

Ever wonder why all the T-800 model Terminators look like Arnold Schwarzenegger? Presumably at some point, in that fictional world, there was a real person who served as the model for Skynet’s advanced killing machines. In fact, he may have signed over the rights to his physical appearance in something like the deal that U.K.-based additive manufacturing company Geomiq is currently offering.

On the orders of a robotics company client, Geomiq is promising $125,000 to a person willing to submit their face as the model for a new line of humanoid robots. The robots are reportedly intended for some kind of elderly care and will be unveiled next year. While most entrants will not get the $125k prize, the person selected as the face model will scoop up the cash in exchange for waiving all rights to their appearance.

“A few weeks ago we were approached by a robotics company asking if we could help it with the finishing touches of a state-of-the-art humanoid robot it’s been working on,” the company wrote in a recent press release. “Details of the project are scarce due to a non-disclosure agreement we’ve signed with the designer and his investors, but this is what we do know.”

Geomiq noted that the winning face will be a “kind and friendly” one. While everything is pretty mysterious at this stage, it assures would-be entrants that successful candidates who advance through the process will receive additional information about the project. “We know that this is an extremely unique request, and signing over the licenses to your face is potentially an extremely big decision,” Geomiq writes. However, anyone who thinks this could be “one for [them]” is asked to make a submission of relevant face photos to faces@geomiq.com.

This isn’t the only time humans have been the model for a robot. Outside of science-fiction, Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotic’s Sophia humanoid robot was modeled after actress Audrey Hepburn. Sophia wound up generating considerable press back in 2017 when she became the first robot to receive national citizenship, and was later named the United Nations Development Programme’s first-ever Innovation Champion.

Frankly, I’d just be happy to see a robot sporting my face. So long as it’s not sent back through time to murder Sarah Connor, that is!

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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