Imagine being greeted by a humanoid robot which answers your queries and tells you directions. Chihira Junco, a robot, does that when it welcomes and meets tourists at a shopping mall in Tokyo.
Chihira, developed by electronics company Toshiba in collaboration with several Japanese universities, stands tall behind a counter in Aqua City Odaiba on Tokyo Bay.
Wearing a blue shirt, white blazer and pinstripe skirt, ‘she’ gives directions to local sites and shops in Japanese, Chinese and English launguages, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Chihira can talk and answer question like “Where are you from”, her robotic arm movements show people way and her eyes blink only halfway.
The robot is one of the androids springing up in Japan. There are also Yumeko, a receptionist at the Hen-na Hotel, a robot-operated boutique in Nagasaki and Matsukoloid, who appears in a popular television show in the country.
Chihira and four other androids cost about $93,000 to produce.
The company said it planned to develop 1,000 more androids in 2017.
By 2020, it hopes to make 10,000 such robots a year.