Roboteer Sylvain Calinon, who dabbles in human-robot interaction, has created a robot specially designed to put an entire class of Frenchman out of business. He’s Swiss, so that makes some sense, but all national rivalries aside he’s made a pretty cool little bot.
This thing has facial recognition built in, and snaps a picture when you sit down in front of it. It then draws you, based on that image, and using on old-fashioned fountain pen that it has to repeatedly dip into an inkwell. I give it two years before its included at every carnival ground in the world – and one year before the gutters of Paris are filled with penniless, mustachioed street portraitists.