An uptown department store in Tokyo, Japan, has a lifelike humanoid robot as its reception. The robot receptionist, which is made to look like a 32-year-old Japanese woman, stands in the foyer of the store and welcomes and interacts with shoppers.
“My name is Aico Chihira. How do you do?” she says in Japanese.
Aico Chihira is not only able to talk, but sing, blink, gesticulate, and even cry if the ‘mood’ hits.
The lifelike robot employee can be found in Japan’s oldest department store chain, Mitsukoshi.
According to the IBT, Aico Chihira is intended to help promote “effective communication between humans and non-humans” — and so far, she can speak in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese sign language.
Underneath Aico Chihira’s lifelike skin, there are 43 motors that enable her to move in a somewhat natural-looking way.
The robot also uses technology developed by android pioneer Hiroshi Ishiguro of the Osaka University Intelligent Robotics Laboratory.
[Image via Chris McGrath / Getty Images, Reuters / Issei Kato]