Would you rather give money to a beggar or a robot standing in for a beggar? Testing revealed that the Beggar Bot was able to score about $US7 an hour for charity.
The "Beggar Bot" does have a few distinct advantages over its human counterparts. First off, it can often conduct business in areas where begging is not allowed—big money hotspots like shopping malls for example. Plus, it draws a crowd and eliminates the stigma associated with giving money directly to the homeless. In this case, it's almost like putting money in a vending machine.
Although the project has been in development for a number of years, details are scarce. However, it does appear that the robot is made from recycled parts and made available for use by the homeless on a rental basis. Sounds like a decent business venture to me. It would be great for other charity organisations like the Salvation Army, or even for people working menial jobs. Why bust your arse when you can spend a few bucks and have a robot earn a bigger profit for you? [Saso Sedlacek via Botjunkie via Botropolis]