Osaka, Japan-based Eager Co. is developing recyclable cardboard robots to work as mannequins that show off clothing in retail display spaces.
Eager showed off the female D+ropop mannequins at the recent 2009 International Robot Exhibition (iRex) here in Tokyo. They're billed as the world's most environmentally friendly robots because they're made of corrugated cardboard.
The mannequin bots only have a few servomotors but can still move their arms and heads gracefully. Each weighs about 13 pounds and is nearly 6 feet tall. They can also be painted and printed with logos for other advertising purposes.
The dummy bots will go on sale this month in Japan, priced at $5,400 and up. They can be rented for about $1,800 per week.
Eager envisions them being used in storefronts, and at events and other venues to attract attention. The company apparently aims to capture 1 percent of the global retail mannequin market, not easy for an obscure start-up in this economy.
But who knows? If Old Navy can cause a stir with its SuperModelquin mannequins, there's hope for the D+ropop gals.