Toshiba’s ChihiraAico Robotic Receptionist is a Spooky Singer


Story by Dean Takahashi

Toshiba greeted visitors to its 2015 International CES booth with a humanoid communications robot named ChihiraAico. She could speak in English or Japanese, and even sing.

Toshiba’s engineers created her to “achieve real heart-warming communications with human-like facial expression and with any possible body language.”

She took advantage of natural and realistic facial expression based on joint research with Osaka University. She also used quick, silent, and smooth body movement thanks to a pneumatic drive system created with the Shibaura Institute of Technology and the Shonan Institute of Technology. Toshiba described her as a “robot for tomorrow’s service industry and homes.”

She was so lifelike, though her fingers needed work. It was spooky.

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