Up next: versatile humanoids, androids
Chihira Aico is a humanoid from Japan’s Toshiba Corporation. The words are Japanese for “peace on earth”. It was on display at the 10th Summer Davos Forum in Tianjin last week.
This eerily life-like intelligent interactive robot debuted at Japan’s CEATEC Show in 2014. It was created by Toshiba Corp, Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, A-Lab, and two other institutions. Aico was designed to be a 32-year-old Japanese woman and operates as humanly as possible.
According to Hitoshi Tokuda, chief specialist of Marketing Strategic Office in Research& Development Division of Toshiba Corp, Aico is powered by 43 pneumatic actuators to help “her” express facial expressions and body movements.
Although some criticized Aico as being too human-like that may cause ‘uncanny valley effect’, Toshiba added a fewmore humanoids to the Chihira family, including Chihira Kanae thatwas on display at the ITB travel expo in March and Chihira Junko that provided customer service at the Aqua City Mall in Odaiba, Tokyo.
Toshiba Corp claims Aico to be the most realistic humanoid among all the androids, and envisions that it and its “sisters” could be commercialized and made to undertake jobs such as news reporting, museum audio guidance, healthcare assistance to the elderly and the physically challenged and even cheerleading.