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Subway operators in Tokyo to conduct trial using robot guides

11 Comments

To cope with a growing labor shortage, the Tokyo metropolitan government has decided to conduct an experiment with robots that can guide and guard passengers at subway stations. The trial will start at the end of November and run for three months. 

The experiment is to determine whether the introduction of robots can further improve the efficiency of operations at various subway stations, a Tokyo government spokesperson said. Six stations, including Tochomae Station (where the Tokyo metropolitan government is headquartered), will have robots that guide passengers to various station facilities, such as toilets, and the closest exit to their destination. 

In addition, self-moving security robots will patrol the stations and informs station attendants of any suspicious objects.

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11 Comments
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Really? So the ones already doing the jobs are actually people? Wow! You learn something new every day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Old people can’t understand robots.will they understand dialects or languages?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unnecessary.  Bigger signs?  and what happens when these robots become self aware and try to take over the Metro?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@waka. AI is a bigger threat to humans. We can go lion hunting, burn pollution or throw it in the sea, nuke...but robots will take over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I just picture those little robots on the Death Star that guide Storm Troopers.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only time I've talked to the attendants or workers to find my way, was a result of not having sufficient signs or color coded systems or something to make the hallways look different.

One of the best examples is in Osaka in the Umeda-Osaka station area underground. There are signs and all, but they are not organized well at all. One second you're headed towards the Tanimachi Line and then all of a sudden, boom, it's the Midosuji Line? wait a minute.........

0 ( +2 / -2 )

i can just imagine a drunk oyaji punching one because it couldn't understand what he was saying.

but joking aside, i see this as a positive development. and just throw in a translation function so it can help foreigners, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One of the best examples is in Osaka in the Umeda-Osaka station area underground. There are signs and all, but they are not organized well at all. One second you're headed towards the Tanimachi Line and then all of a sudden, boom, it's the Midosuji Line? wait a minute.........

That is not the station's/operators fault. Between tanimachi line and hankyuu line is a depachika which is literally a maze. You have more chance finding the tanimachine line trusting your sense of direction than following the TINY signs that are hanging from the ceiling.

Will these robots have a touch screen interface like Pepper or actually talk? If its the latter I foresee a lot of problems. Miscommunication, leads to stress, especially people that are rushing, which will probably lead to aggression.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

need colour strips on the floor with numbers indicating common areas and connections. You Are Here signs with enough detail to make out stores or landmarks as zoom in-able screens. Use letters and numbers for international recognition in front of any place or street exit names

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great idea! Obviously, as with all technology, there will be initial teething problems, but I hope they persist with these robots and develop them so that they are multilingual and can help tourists - who, after all, are the ones most likely to need assistance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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