Robot technology is something we’re seeing more and more, be it testing instructions on the International Space Station, rounding up sheepdogs or even playing rock-paper-scissors.

An interactive robot called ‘Norris’ has been on show at the Flux Innovation Lounge in London.

Norris is robothespian: in his chest is a built-in camera for recording video, while tracking capability enables him to observe human movements before mimicking thanks to air pistons that enable him to move his arms and fingers.

He can be programed to say certain things, do imitations (including an impressive Gollum), interact with an audience and even sing songs.

Check out the video above to see Norris in action.

Robots are currently being used to deliver virtual museum tours, but according to Andy Sasoon Commercial Director at the Flux Innovation Lounge, a robothespian like Norris takes it to the next level.

 “This robot can be pre-programmed to deliver a play, a movie, a whole script and to be able to then articulate with that gestures and characteristics.”

Robots could be used by businesses to engage with customers more by increasing the level of interaction. Interaction brings greater recall and retention rates, and more chance of a commercial message being delivered.

 “That’s the key thing with this, we’re trying to interact, we’re trying to excite – basically the more fun you have the more you remember” Sasoon said.

[Related article: Robots – friend or foe?]

The algorithms and video technology within Norris has real-world use outside of robot form – interestingly, within the car insurance sector. 

Technology developed by 360 Global can be integrated into cars and in the event of an accident videos showing the crash and damage to either car could be sent straight to the insurer, quickly settling insurance claims.

With a price tag well into six figures, Norris is out of most people’s price range, but Sasoon believes in the future robots will be affordable.

“Three years ago the Japanese robots were in the millions and they’ve come down by a factor of 10.  We hope the next iteration will come down by a factor of 10 after that, to get into the range where people can afford them in a consumer environment.”

What do you think of Norris - would you want one in your home? Let us know in the Comments below.