Wellington, Dec 3 : Sick and tired of your incompetent personal assistant who often forgets one thing or the other? Well, then Nicole, the virtual PA, might just turn out to be your ultimate saviour.
Brainchild of Dr Tom Moir from Massey University's School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Nicole is a glamorous personal assistant on your desktop, who can help with tasks around the office.
Besides the usual workplace chores, Nicole can also play music, turn on the lights, tell the time, read news headlines and search for files on your computer.
Moir said that Nicole's skills mean she can help disabled people, while her "look", designed by Brazilian company Guile 3D Studio, and is like science fiction meeting reality.
Nicole is being showcased at the 15th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice this week.
Mechatronics is the blending of mechanics, electronics and computer control to create new products.
The conference has attracted delegates from 23 countries, including China, South Africa, Taiwan, Japan and the United Kingdom to Massey's Albany campus.
Other projects on display include the use of robots in surgery and rehabilitation, a chewing machine that can check texture of food and a device to recognise lettuces ready to be harvested in a field full of hundreds.
"Many of these have culminated in practical applications that can change the way we live and work," The NZPA quoted Moir as saying.