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Japanese bank Mitsubishi to introduce robot employee in Tokyo branches

Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is set to introduce an all-talking and all-walking robot employee in one or two of its branches in Tokyo.


Developed by Japanese telecom and internet company SoftBank Nao’s subsidiary Aldebaran Robotics in France, the 58cm tall humanoid Nao will begin work on a trial basis from April this year.

If the trial turns out to be successful, the 5.4kg-weighing robots are likely to be introduced in Mitsubishi’s other branches soon.

The robot, called Nao, has been programmed to speak 19 languages, and is equipped with a camera on its forehead, and comes with an in-built technology to analyze the facial expressions and tone of voice of banking customers.

Mitsubishi claimed that the robot can handle even the ‘trickiest’ of customers.

The initial version of Nao was created in 2006 in Paris. In this version, the robot could handle basic banking tasks such as greeting customers, calculating currency and explaining products of the bank.

The project of developing an autonomous, programmable humanoid robot Nao began in 2004.

Nestle’s Japan unit recently announced its plans to introduce 1,000 robots to help sell coffee machines in department stores, reports The Independent.

Japanese President called for more investments in artificial intelligence and the latest move of the Japanese bank is seen as a step in that direction.

Image: The 2011 version of Nao robot. Photo: courtesy of Aldebaran Robotics/Wikipedia