A Japanese firm has developed a mannequin robot that can strike a pose for customers - and spy on who they are and what they're buying. The female robot, code-named Palette, can draw inspiration from the world's most beautiful women, using motion-capture technology to replay the movements of supermodels. But Palette will double up as an industrial spy, with the maker planning to program it to judge the age and sex of shoppers and even identify the bags they are carrying and pass along the information to stores for marketing purposes. Matsui developed Palette with software company SGI Japan Ltd. and aim to start selling it this year for the fashion and service industries. The price has not been set yet but SGI wants to make it "as close as possible to that of conventional mannequins," said Hiroshi Otsuka, who is in charge of new business promotion at SGI Japan. Palette is available in two versions - the whole body without legs or upper torso models for jewellery displays.