The Future Has Begun In Japanese Department Store
The humanoid robot called Aiko Chihira is welcoming and greeting people entering the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo, smiling and wearing a traditional Japanese kimono. The humanoid robot, created by Toshiba in 2014, was presented to the store’s customers on Monday for the first time, making its debut and talking to the customers.
The Aiko Chihire robot naturally speaks Japanese, and completely mimics human features, including facial expression and blinking. The robot can also speak other languages, for example Chinese. Hitoshi Tokuda, manager of the business development division in Toshiba stated that “It would be good if we can have her provide guidance, or recommend various things in Chinese.People can be looking around and think, ‘Oh if Aiko is around, she can speak Chinese’. That’s what I hope will happen.”
The Aiko robot has more than 40 electro motors in its body, which allow the robot to move. It is so advanced, that it can even communicate using the sign language, the Japanese version, off course.
Shoko Iwashita, the famous opera singer, was accompanied by Aiko Chihira at the unveiling on Monday, as the humanoid robot stated that it “would like you to listen to the song that I’ve put a lot of effort into.” Aiko even asked for an applause for the famous singer, after the lip synched performance by the robot.
The robot is still unable to take care of questions or customer complains, and it is not the only of its kind to work in a store. In 2014 Nestle announced that they will be adding SoftBank Corporation humanoid robot, named Pepper, to the Japanese stores selling home appliances. Pepper will be in charge of helping with the Nestle coffee makers sale in Japan.