She is the best! Yes, she is! She smiles, she giggles, she nods, she sings, she even blinks. She is the best receptionist you could find anywhere. Her name is ChihiraAico. You can call her Chihira. She works in Mitsukoshi, the Japanese department store. But she is a robot! :)
This humanoid robot has real-life looking skin with perfect complexion and it greets the shoppers in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and even Sign language. It is so lifelike that it can give you goosebumps the moment you realize it is a robot. It has been designed by Toshiba and it is installed in Mitsukoshi store located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. This robot is being upgraded to include various hand movements and gestures. Currently, it can do all facial expressions a human can do. It can cry like a middle-aged Japanese woman too. This robot has become a center of attraction to many shoppers and tourists and is becoming more popular since its inception in April 2015 at the store. The robot can listen to shoppers’ complaints and suggestions and respond accordingly.
Toshiba is an advanced electronics company from Japan and is a growing competitor in the robotics industry. ChihiraAico is the first robot developed by Toshiba being used for commercial purposes in the service industry. Although most of the robot’s reactions are programmed, there is still a lot of scopes to develop a more intelligent version of it. In the future, it can be used for assisting patients in hospitals or for serving coffees in restaurants and so on. But however, the near future interest of Toshiba is to develop an advanced version of Chihira which can act as a counselor to people suffering from Dementia. The ultimate aim is to develop a complete intelligent humanoid which can think and act just like a human.