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Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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Meet Miss Aiko Chihira, Toshiba's Lifelike Android

Toshiba's Aiko Chihira Communication Android

(Photo : pcworld.com)

Toshiba Corporation announced Tuesday it had built a lifelike communication android that will be showcased at CEATEC JAPAN 2014 from October 7 to 11.

The communication android can move its arms and hands effortlessly and perform Japanese sign language for visitors.

The android prototype is the company's effort to develop a service robot that can assist people in the fields of welfare and healthcare.

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The android is a "woman" named Aiko Chihira. She's friendly; has blinking eyes and wears a warm smile.

Currently, Miss Aiko can only imitate simple movements like exchanging greetings and Japanese sign language. Her face and skin look realistic.

Toshiba plans to incorporate its wide-ranging technologies in areas like speech recognition, sensing, speech synthesis, and robotic control to realize a more sophisticated social robot by 2020.

The Japanese electronics company aims to design a companion for elders and people with dementia. The android will also communicate using sign language, telecounsel in natural speech, and let healthcare workers or family members watch over on their elders.

Toshiba partnered with aLab Inc., Osaka University, Shibaura Institute of Technology and Shonan Institute of Technology to develop Miss Aiko.

They developed an algorithm to coordinate the movements of 43 actuators in the android's joints, using technologies and expertise from developed for industrial robots.

aLab Inc. and Osaka University used the required technologies to build the android's body and to give the android a human-like resemblance and mimic human expressions.

On the other hand, Shonan Institute of Technology and Shibaura Institute of Technology provided robot driving and sensor-based motion teaching technologies.

Toshiba's goal is to make the android useful so it can work as a receptionist or an attendant in the near future.

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