Science-Technology, asia - pacific

Japan city experiments with robots to help residents

If successful, Ogaki will be first local government in Japan to use robots

  | 16.01.2019
Japan city experiments with robots to help residents

By Riyaz ul Khaliq


A local government in central Japan is experimenting with robots to aid residents with government help.

Authorities in Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture showcased robots that can independently guide people to the “right information” window or “teach” them how to fill out government forms, the Japan Times reported. Five different kinds of robots will assist residents.

If successful, Ogaki city will be first local government in Japan to use robots and decrease dependency on humans.

Japan aging population is increasingly looking to robots to replace people in the workforce.

Authorities are mulling ways to integrate robots into services by 2020 when a new government office will open and they are developing an “electronic city hall” that uses robots and artificial intelligence.

“I would like to use robots to increase our services to our residents, and make our municipal office a gathering place where we can have fun,” Ogaki Mayor Bin Ogawa told the newspaper.

Ogawa was guided Tuesday by a robot to an information counter and then to the elevator.

Robots will verbally explain to those who intend to apply for certificates issued by authorities and also how to fill out appropriate form. A few robots will also engage children in conversations and read picture books for the kindergarteners.

With unprecedented development in technology, Japan is credited with more patents in artificial intelligence than any other country in the world.

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