One of Japan’s biggest banks is preparing to use robots to help customers with various daily banking tasks when they visit. If successful they will roll out the scheme to other banks across the country.
The Guardian reports:
Equipped with a camera on his forehead, Nao is programmed to speak 19 languages. He analyses customers’ emotions from their facial expressions and tone of voice, enabling him to greet customers and ask which services they need.
The 5.4-kg robot, who was “born” in Paris in 2006, lived up to his billing with a faultless interaction with an English-speaking customer, during a presentation in Tokyo this week.
“Hello and welcome,” Nao said. “I can tell you about money exchange, ATMs, opening a bank account, or overseas remittance. Which one would you like?”
Mitsubishi UFJ is one of several Japanese firms that are investing in “non-human resources” amid calls by the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, for the country to embark on a “robot revolution” to counter the country’s shrinking workforce and boost growth.
Nestle Japan has announced plans to employ Pepper, another Aldebaran-SoftBank “emotional” robot, to sell its coffee machines at up to 1,000 outlets by the end of this year.
The 120-centimetre-tall android already works as a shop assistant at SoftBank mobile phone outlets in Tokyo – a move its chief executive, Masayoshi Son, described as a “baby step on our dream to make a robot that can understand a person’s feelings, and then autonomously take action”.