Meet Tawabo: Tokyo Tower's Robot Tour Guide
Created: 2012-08-03 23:11 EST
Tawabo may not fit the typical description of a tour guide, with his bright orange looks, short height, and weighing in at over 200 kilograms.
But the robot has got a special exemption at the Tokyo Tower, one of the city's most famous tourist spots.
Able to speak in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, he was made a full employee of the company on Wednesday.
[Kazuo Osa, Tokyo Tower, Operating Department Manager]:
"Tokyo Tower has over 100,000 foreign visitors a year and is continuing to increase, and so I hope that Tawabo will be able to really be helpful in that sense as well.”
Tawabo, however, was simply looking forward to greeting people in his new post.
[Tawabo, Robot Tour Guide]:
"I want to learn from other employees so that I can be hospitable and greet customers. Please come to Tokyo Tower to see me.”
While Tawabo will be working throughout the day, and during weekdays and weekends, he does have to stop and recharge.
After each charge, Tawabo then picks a language and makes a loop around the observation deck to explain to visitors what they are looking at.
[Akari Nakamura, 12-Year-Old Visitor]:
"It's really cute and I think it's really amazing that it can speak four languages.”
Although it was Tawabo's first day on the job, he had no problem charming children and parents alike.
[Miki Irie, 38-Year-Old Visitor]:
"It's a really charming face, and for kids as well it's also a really easy to get used to used sort of character so I think it's great.”
Tawabo plans to work at Tokyo Tower long-term, but during very crowded periods such as Christmas or New Years will stay at his charging station and greet visitors from there.