Have you ever been to Odaiba in Tokyo? If yes, then you must have come across the popular Aqua City which is a large shopping complex located right next to the Odaiba Kaihin Park. There you will meet an interactive android called “Chihira Junco.” She acts as the information desk lady inside a Japanese mall which makes the shopping complex worth visiting.
Chihira Junco was produced by electronics giant Toshiba as a trilingual android capable of speaking Japanese, Chinese, and English (British accent) fluently. She is an ordinary-looking info desk staff who looks well-groomed and primarily functions in guiding tourists around the place. She’s said to be 26 years old and stands at 165 centimeters tall. Most of the time, she gives advice on information such as Odaiba’s wildest or local sights. Her arm and hand movements are smooth and her facial expressions are impressive which allows her to provide gestures while speaking.
Junco is accompanied by a device which allows the users to interact with her. This is done by choosing an icon on the display which can be done by touching the panels or aiming them with your fingers in mid-air. The latter takes quite some time to master. A list of options is available which ranges from transport access, tourist information, to restaurants, and so on. Upon selection, Junco immediately responds by providing guidance coherently with gestures and a smile. She can also perform songs with a fellow robot called ApriPetit which has also been designed to talk to people.
Junco occasionally turns her head from side to side when she’s not answering questions from visitors. You can also see her with different get-ups suitable for certain occasions. The company is hoping to give her an upgrade in the future such as responding to people’s questions directly.
Wouldn’t it be fun to meet her? You may do so by visiting Odaiba’s Aqua City shopping complex’s 3rd floor where the information desk is located. She is always available to help you from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Aqua City’s Website *automatic translation is available