Say What?!: Tokyo Department Store Hires Realistic Robot Receptionist

TOKYO, Japan – A Japanese department store introduced the public to its new receptionist — a lifelike robot programmed to help customers find their way around the store.

The Mitsukoshi Nihombashi department store in Tokyo said the robot, dubbed Aiko Chihira, will serve as a receptionist on the seventh floor of the store from Monday until May 5.

The robot, created by Toshiba in collaboration with Osaka University Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, uses pre-programmed scripts to give directions to customers and contains 43 motors to allow her to gesture, blink, move her lips, create facial expressions and make other movements while speaking.

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