Humanoid Robo-Clerk Not Fooling Shoppers Just Yet – An unusual employee started last week at the upscale Mitsukoshi department store here.
Her name is Aiko Chihira and she hails from Kawasaki, Japan, just south of the city. Chihira is a life-size, lifelike but nonconversational humanoid robot, stationed at the store through May 5. She currently chirps out information only in Japanese but she can also speak—and sing—in other languages.
This Toshiba creation made her public debut at CEATEC Japan in late 2014 but her appearance at the Mitsukoshi marks her first direct “work” with customers. A week earlier, a smaller bot, Nao, started working full time at the Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi UFJ’s headquarters. But this one looks like a cartoon character and not a human.
Chihira is not yet poised to take over the jobs of the bio-units around her. On the contrary, Chihira and her like are still job creators for human programmers, engineers, designers and in-person minders.
Category: Useful Cool Fun