Toshiba revealed its new humanoid robot dubbed Aiko Chihira that can communicate using sign language. Displayed at the Cutting Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) in Japan, Chihira has the appearance of a friendly woman, an impression accentuated by blinking eyes and a warm smile.
As of now, the robot can mimic movements, such as greetings in Japanese sign language, but the company has plans to develop its creation, adding voice recognition and speech synthesis in the coming years so that it can serve as a receptionist or even promoter for businesses.
The end goal, Toshiba said, is a robot that can play as a companion for the elderly and people with dementia, to offer tele-counselling in natural speech. Communicate through sign language and allow health care professionals or family members to keep an eye on elderly people.
Osaka University, which is popular for designing humanoid robots supported Toshiba by supplying the required technology to design a robot that resembles a human being. Shibaura Institute of Technology and Shonan Institute of Technology have also helped Toshiba by contributing sensor-based motion-teaching technologies and robot driving technologies. Toshiba created the algorithm that controls and coordinates the robot’s actuators.