Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) solicited help from NAIST students to conduct an experiment with tourists visiting Iga, Japan.
Iga is a city well known for its magnificent castle, authentic ninja traditions, and famous poet artists such as Basho Matsuo. During summer, ATR teamed up with NAIST to provide tourists with detailed information about Iga using a humanoid robot called Robovie. The aim of the experiment was to analyze language patterns and behaviors in order to enable natural interactions with the robot.
NAIST students in particular were in charge of the safety of both visitors and Robovie. Occasionally, they invited visitors to engage with the robot. To their great surprise, Robovie was able to converse and answer their questions.
The experiment ran over two weeks and attracted a lot of attention. So much that even the local TV station covered the event. Overall, the experiment was a success, especially with children and families.