Humanoid Robot ARISA Starts Second Trial Run at Tokyo Subway Stations

ARISA on her first trial run at Tokyo subway stations in December 2018 5 photos
Photo: YouTube / Kazumichi Moriyama
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Fly to Tokyo this time of the year or next year in the summer, when the Olympic Games kick off, and you will get to “meet” the 6-foot humanoid robot ARISA, which was designed especially to offer assistance to subway riders.
ARISA first made her debut in 2017 but it was just last month that she started her first trial run at 2 subway stations in Tokyo. It is the brainchild of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and a creation of Aruze Gaming and THK, and will soon start the second trial: this time, at 5 stations, U.S. News reports.

ARISA is a 6-foot tall humanoid that comes with a touch-screen monitor and that will offer tourists directions and information, pose for selfies or even dance for them. She can speak English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean and, as you can see from the footage at the bottom of the page, her fashion is on fleek.

The goal behind the project is to anticipate and cater for an increasing number of tourists that will arrive in the capital with the Summer Games. As of this moment, Japan is dealing with a serious shortage of workforce, so authorities are either looking to hire workers from other countries or turn to technology for help.

ARISA falls under the latter category, obviously, and response to her in the first trial has been very positive. Takayuki Saito of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of General Affairs hopes that the future of urban operations will be AI-based.

“In the future, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, through public-private partnerships, will promote the use of this type of cutting-edge ICT (information communications technology),” Saito tells the media outlet. “In Tokyo, the full-fledged declining birthrate and aging society, as well as the intensification of international competition, require continued response. We must appropriately respond to challenges like increased threats to safety and security, natural disasters, and terrorism.”

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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