With the recent opening of the Tokyo Sky Tree, it’s older little brother, Tokyo Tower has its work cut out for it to gather tourists. In an effort to break out of the shadow of the tallest tower in the world, Tokyo Tower plans to add “Japan’s first autonomously moving robot with a signboard.”
The robot is all dressed up in the image of Tokyo Tower with an antenna on its head, rivets all over, right down to the colors of the tower itself; international orange and white.
It’s built like an adult gorilla standing at 160cm and weighing in at 200kg but gently patrols the Main Observatory offering information about things in the visitor’s eyesight like famous buildings and places when approached. The robot is fluent in 4 languages; Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean and also uses a little scoreboard style ticker on its head to teach you fun facts about Tokyo.
There’s just one detail to iron out before this robot goes to work on 1 August – it doesn’t have a name. Its maker, ALSOK calls it “An9-PR” which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue nor does it have that warm, welcoming ring suitable for the service and tourism industry.
And so until 22 July, a box is set out in Tokyo Tower inviting visitors to submit their ideas for this fridge-sized cutie’s name. Fingers are crossed that my entry of Killbot-Sexmachine-9000 gets considered.