Tokyo: the humanoid robot ChihiraAico guides customers in the shopping center

A robot designed by Toshiba with many future prospects, such as care for the elderly

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ChihiraAiko, humanoid robot, Credits: Reuters
©Reuters

From April 20, customers who visit a shopping center in Tokyo will be greeted by a particular receptionist . It is a humanoid robot with traits of a Japanese woman of about 32 years.

His name is ChihiraAico, and it is a realistic android robot built by Toshiba and it is able to talk, sing, gesture and cry.

When visitors enter the Mitsukoshi department store in Nihonbashi, the robot is ready to greet in Japanese and guide them to the different floors of the building to find the products they want to buy.

So far, ChihiraAico is programmed to communicate in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, English and Japanese sign language and is designed to promote “effective communication between humans and non-human.”

As explained by Toshiba, the robot has 43 motors that allow it to move and also features technology developed by the robotics Japanese expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor of the Department of Systems Innovation of Osaka University that develops robots for over 20 years.

Ishiguro is a pioneer in his field and, in June of 2014, presented Otonaroid and Kodomoroid -two androids: an adult and a child- at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo.

Toshiba has worked so hard to technology that allows to synchronize the movements of the body of ChihiraAico (lips, jaw and gestures) with his voice. With Ishiguro’s research and technology  will be possible to make further great strides in the field of humanoid robotics.

We chose very realistic appearance and movements, which can be used for the service sector, explains Hitoshi Tokuda, head of marketing for the business development division of Toshiba-. We plan also to extend our technology so that the robot can automatically respond to customer requests. A future application will be to care for older people with dementia.

 

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