If you're in Japan, maybe. From the curiously named Pink Tentacle blog comes a report of a temporary labor agency buying a small batch of Mitsubishi's Wakamaru semi-humanoid robots. They will apparently be tasked to escort visitors to offices to their destinations, and can play music and carry on some sort of conversation using a 10,000 word vocabulary while wheeling along beside the guest. R. Daneel it's not, but it may chip a few tasks off the usual Office Lady functions in a Japanese office.
The chances of these fine yellow fellows turning up in the U.S. at this point are minimal. Japan is dealing with an increasing labor shortage issue due to a less than replacement birth rate. Here, the native reproduction rate is near equilibrium and the population is still growing due to immigration, legal and illegal. We also seem to be more willing to change business social conventions over time. Being escorted by an OL is still de riguer in Japan. In the Valley an admin only comes down to greet you if you are visited someone rather senior; juniors can fetch their guests themselves.
The packaging might have trouble here as well. Kawaii plays well in Japan, and crosses cultures with anime and other entertainment products, but I'd hazard the style would not be well received in American business. However, both cuteness and anthropomorphism are continuing themes in Japanese robotics, from the original Aibo to Asimo to other bots for routine office tasks. Consciously or not, the Japanese are spending a lot of effort at making bots 'socially acceptable' in every day life. This is a demographic necessity. Unable to cover the need with immigrants, Japan will face a huge eldercare problem in a very few years. If it's to avoid cannibalizing the dwindling pool of workers to care for the elderly, then it must make delivery of a portion of care by bots acceptable to those who had no exposure to them in their previous life.
Japan faces an irreversible forcing function that requires progress in bots that can interact and dwelll alongside humans. The particular packaging that results may or may not work well elsewhere in the world, but the functionality that is developed will certainly be exportable.
Via Global Voices