Could robots be poised to take over the world? The aundience who had visited Toshiba's booth at CEATEC 2014 was greeted by Aiko Chihira, who communicates in sign languages and just happens to be an android! In the future Toshiba Corp. foresees its humanoid communication robot not only handling front-desk reception but also assisting with nursing care.
The lifelike robot, which has smooth silicone-based skin, was jointly created by aLab Inc., Osaka University, Shibaura Institute of Technology and Shonan Institute of Technology.
"We made her like a human being because true communication is also based on facial expressions and gestures," said Toshiba's Taihei Yamaguchi.
Chihira's unique talent is rather outstanding, she has the ability to sign. Hitoshi Tokuda, manager of Toshiba's marketing group in the new business development division, said while the robot's hardware was provided by aLab Inc. and Osaka University, meanwhile Toshiba developed the algorithm that coordinates the 43 servomotors that move her arms and hands. The technology was derived from the firm's extensive experience in the production of industrial robots.
While Toshiba's primary target and aim is the healthcare and welfare fields, Tokuda said that Toshiba also hopes business customers will be interested in hiring Chihira for events or communicating with customers.
"It can move by itself," said Future Robot's Si-Hyeon Kim, who adds that the humanoid robot can recognise and speak to a person who approaches.
Toshiba predicts that by the year of 2020, Tokyo Summer Olympics, the quality of this robot will have evolved enough that she can act as a guide for foreign visitors.
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