Robots to fill in for absent staff

A 5ft robot that can fill in for an absent worker in the office sounds like the ultimate employee benefit for staff wishing to be elsewhere.

The QB robot, which has been developed by US firm Antybots and is due to go on sale this autumn, can be operated by an absent worker over the internet, who can see where it is in the office via a camera in its head.

Parked at the employee’s desk, staff members can customise their electronic stand-in to represent themselves. It also enables them to join in real time with human colleagues, meaning the human staff member, who wears a head set, will not miss any important gossip at the water cooler or important meetings.

QB’s eyes will glow red when the employee is logged on to let other colleagues know they are there.

However, problems may arise if managers think the electronic worker called QB is more efficient and charismatic than its human counterpart.

The robot might also help employers to minimise the impact of ‘sickness absence’ during the World Cup. Although its eyes might not light up at work during a major match.