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Robots Greet, Dance For Customers At Cupertino Bank

CUPERTINO (CBS SF) -- When customers arrive at Sterling Bank & Trust in Cupertino, they are welcomed by a couple of robots who will greet them by name, hand out business cards, and even dance for them. Although they can't approve a loan, the folks at Sterling hope these humanoids will put a smile on their customers' faces.

Bank owner, Scott Seligman told San Francisco Business Times he got the idea after hearing how robots improved customer relations at a bank in Tokyo. They have made appearances at the San Francisco branch and others are "working" at a branch in Southern California.

VIDEO: 'NAO' robots at Sterling Bank & Trust

The robots were developed by the French firm Aldebaran Robotics. According to their website, the model whose name is NAO, was designed to be "a friendly companion around the house."

Each humanoid stands about 2 feet tall, and can move, recognize faces, blink, talk, hear, dance, even catch small objects. They are autonomous and communicate with each other via WLAN. Teams of these robots have competed in European soccer, rescue and dance competitions.

The NAO model costs about $8000, but Aldebaran Robotics makes other models, as well.

Senior VP Steve Adams said these robots have been a huge hit with kids, especially when they do Kung Fu moves and dance to Psy's "Gangman Style." He assures they are purely for marketing and entertainment, so the humans at the bank needn't worry about losing their jobs.

Robocup German Open Robots Soccer Tournament 2014
Two teams of NAO robots compete in the 2014 RoboCup German Open tournament. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)
France's President Francois Hollande holds a humanoid robot "NAO" from Aldebaran Robotics. (CHARLES PLATIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

VIDEO: NAO robots at Sterling Bank & Trust

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