One of Tokyo’s largest shopping malls has introduced an android that can give tourists sightseeing information in 3 different languages.
The android resembles a young woman. It went into operation on Thursday at the information desk near the West Gate of the Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall on Tokyo Bay.
The robot can explain in English, Chinese, or Japanese about tourist sites selected by a visitor from a touch screen. The screen uses new technology that makes it appear to float in the air. The robot can also gesture and give access information to the tourist sites.
Aqua City officials say this is the world’s first android guide to work around the clock at an information desk.
A visitor from Indonesia called the service very interesting. She said it provides useful information.
The android was developed by Japanese electronics firm Toshiba. The company says it plans to upgrade the robot in 2 years with artificial intelligence technology so that it can answer spoken questions.
Toshiba officials say the advantage of a robot is that it can offer a consistently high level of service to anyone.
They say they hope the android will entertain foreign visitors to Japan, and will also serve to demonstrate Japan’s technological prowess.
The new service is part of Tokyo’s effort to prepare for an increase in the number of foreign visitors in the years leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Source and image: NHK