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ChihiraJunco, a trilingual android, is all set to start work at a tourist information center opening on December 17

Offering tourist information at AQUA CiTY ODAIBA on Tokyo Waterfront City
9 Dec, 2015

On December 17, 2015, world’s first*1 tourist information center with a communication android on hand to offer  help will open at AQUA CiTY ODAIBA, on Tokyo Waterfront City.

The android, ChihiraJunco, developed by Toshiba in an industry-academia collaboration*2, will work at the tourist information center, helping visitors with advice. ChihiraJunco,  an android robot that looks like a human being, is an attractive young lady. She has as smooth arm and hand movements, and as she incorporates Toshiba’s unique speech synthesis technology, she can speak Japanese, English and Chinese fluently.

When visitors use the trilingual terminal installed in the tourist information center to seek help, ChihiraJunco will provide sightseeing information, gesturing as she speaks.

AQUA CiTY ODAIBA is the world’s only tourist information center with an android on-staff, and ChihiraJunco is ready to extend a warm welcome to visitors.

*From now on, the spelling of her name is “ChihiraJunco”, not "Junko Chihira ".

image of information center
image of ChihiraJunco
 ChihiraJunco in Halloween Costume(On her first appearance on October 23)
1. Opening day and time

December 17, 2015, Thursday, at 11 am

2. Location

AQUA CiTY ODAIBA, 3rd floor (1-7-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Near the West Gate of Yurikamome’s Daiba Station side
*One-minute walk from Daiba Station, Yurikamome Line
 Six-minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station, Rinkai Line

3. Opening hours

11 am to 9 pm, seven days a week*3
*The tourist information center will be closed on December 22, 2015, Tuesday.
*Closed on AQUA CiTY ODAIBA’s holidays

4. Services offered

(1) Sightseeing information
Visitor selects a language (Japanese, English or Chinese) and desired information on a terminal installed in the tourist information center, and ChihiraJunco offers information.

The input terminal has an “airborne display” that incorporates leading-edge technology to project a touch panel into the air.

Available information:
Floor guide and store directory for AQUA CiTY ODAIBA
Sightseeing spots, facilities and transportation on Tokyo  waterfront City
Major sightseeing spots in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan

Airborne Display(Artist's impression)
 Airbone  Display(Artist's Impression)

(2) Entertainment
ApriPetit, a Toshiba-developed palm-sized robot, and ChihiraJunco present entertainment programs*3, such as a joint music performance, three times or so a day.

ApriPetit
 ApriPetit

(3) Advertising
In between helping visitors, ChihiraJunco uses her spare time to provide advertisements for shops and to introduce special events being held.

5. Remarks

This project is sponsored as a project in the Tokyo Waterfront Omotenashi (Hospitality) Promotion program, introduced by Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Port and Harbor to develop Tokyo Waterfront City as a center for meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) and an international tourist attraction. Projects selected for the program were announced in a Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s press release on September 16, 2015.)

The project/program on this press release falls into the following category of the Long-term Vision for Tokyo.

・Strategy 6: Leading Global City
・Approach16: Enhance the city center for greater urban strength

Notes:
*1:  For androids permanently installed at a tourist information center that provide oral assistance in response to visitors’ questions (as surveyed by Toshiba)*2:  Collaboration with aLab Inc., Osaka University, ATR, Shonan Institute of Technology, and Shibaura Institute of Technology
*3:  Details of entertainment cancellations and service downtime are announced on Toshiba’s Facebook page.
*4:  ASUKANET’s AI plate using aerial imaging (AI) technology is utilized.

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