Tokyo Department Store Hires Realistic Robot Receptionist


A Japanese department store introduced the public to its new receptionist — a lifelike robot programmed to help customers find their way around the store. UPI reports:

The Mitsukoshi Nihombashi department store in Tokyo said the robot, dubbed Aiko Chihira, will serve as a receptionist on the seventh floor of the store from Monday until May 5.

The robot, created by Toshiba in collaboration with Osaka University Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, uses pre-programmed scripts to give directions to customers and contains 43 motors to allow her to gesture, blink, move her lips, create facial expressions and make other movements while speaking.

Store officials said they hope the robot will draw in customers. Aiko Chihira currently communicates in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Japanese sign language. Developers said they are working to teach the robot Korean. “We want it to be multilingual so that it can be used during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Mitsukoshi sales director Shintaro Yamamoto told Efe.