Unusual but true: Kung fu girl stuns TV show judges

Updated: 2015-04-24 08:51


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'i ra sha i ma se' from robot usher

Unusual but true: <EM>Kung fu</EM> girl stuns TV show judges

A reception employee of Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store (R) poses for a photo with a kimono-clad android robot named Aiko Chihira, developed by Toshiba Corp., during its unveiling at the reception desk of the store in Tokyo April 20, 2015.  [Photo/Agencies]

Dressed in a kimono and smiling, Aiko Chihira greets shoppers at the entrance to Tokyo's Mitsukoshi department store. But Chihira is no regular employee - she is a humanoid robot.

Developed by Toshiba, the robot made its debut at the store on Monday interacting with customers.

Speaking Japanese, Chihira, with blinks and expressions much like a human's, can also speak other languages, such as Chinese.

Toshiba said Chihira has 43 motors which allow it to move. The robot is also programmed to do Japanese sign language.

At Monday's unveiling, Chihira accompanied Japanese opera singer Shoko Iwashita in a performance.

After the show, in which it appeared as though Chihira had lip-synched, the robot asked for applause for Iwashita.

Currently not programmed to respond to customer complaints or questions, Chihira is not the only robot to work in retail. Last year, Nestle said it would enlist SoftBank Corp's humanoid robot, Pepper to help sell its coffee makers at home appliances stores across Japan.

i ra sha i ma se = how are you doing in Japanese

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