Rather than pay someone to shake a sign about pizza deals, one pizza franchise location has made a more futuristic choice: Giving the job to a humanoid “robot.”
A short YouTube video showing what appears to be a mannequin propped up on an automatically tilting Little Caesars sign is quickly going viral. The guy recording the video laughs and in says in a weird voice, “The robots are taking our jobs…”
While the video doesn’t provide details, it was likely recorded somewhere in Washington State. The robot is actually just a mannequin standing behind the moving sign, dressed up in a Little Caesar’s hat and T-shirt over a long sleeve shirt. He’s been made to look like someone’s idea of a typical teenage guy, from the One Direction wig to the skateboard-ready sneakers.
The only “robotic” part appears to be a constant tilting mechanism that moves the pizza sign around on its own.
I’d never seen a “sign shaker” until moving out West, where people are paid to stand on street corners and twirl signs advertising local businesses. They’re all over the place during the warmer months, sometimes in costume. I invariably remember the gorilla costume and ignore the sign
Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman saw the video and despaired over what it meant for human sign shakers, including the talented sign twirler and skateboarder Michael Perez (video). But I doubt even real humanoid robots will replace human sign twirlers in the near future. For one, those expensive robots have better things to do.
In the meantime, if a business needs a cheap moving sign advertising pizza on a dreary day, putting a mannequin behind it isn’t a bad plan. No bathroom breaks required.