Robot Avatars at DAWN Café in Tokyo Shows How People with Severe Disabilities Can Work

by Dhiram Shah

DAWN Cafe in Akasaka, Tokyo, will be staffed by robot avatars remotely controlled by people with severe disabilities, including patients with ALS. Powered by real intelligence, the robot avatars will be able to take customers order, bring ordered food and drinks, and also respond to any questions or requests. The robots at DAWN Cafe are called OriHime, which are produced by a Tokyo startup called OryLab Inc.

DAWN Cafe will have a trial run open to the public this month. The main aim of using Robots is to show how people with severe disabilities can work from their home, bed etc. Also it can provide employment opportunities for people otherwise unable to work .DAWN Café may open in future a full-time cafe staffed by avatar robots. OriHime can be used not only by hospitalized people but students who are lazy to go to school and even mothers who cannot go to work because they’re taking care of kids.
One of these OriHime robots was used just last April by Takanobu Nagaoka, a 55-year-old high school teacher who was diagnosed with ALS a couple of years ago. He was unable to travel due to his worsening condition, but by using the OriHime robot, he could remotely attend his school’s graduation and congratulate his students.

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