Japan has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing new technologies and the country’s advancements will soon include the use of robots to help passengers using its subway network.
Beginning in November, robots will go into service at six stations for a preliminary period of three months, with a view to testing their suitability and performance in a number of areas, including security and customer service.
Some units will patrol stations and notify human staff if any suspicious objects are encountered while others will help passengers find their next train or even locate the nearest bathroom.
Security firms and researchers are already in the process of developing robots able to perform numerous duties and they have been invited to participate in the trial by Tokyo authorities, with prospective trialists given a deadline of October 16th for applications.
Robots are also being tested in other areas of the Japanese railway system. A bilingual AI robot was recently put to work at the JR-West station in Osaka, and the device, which is able to dispense travel advice and directions in both Japanese and English, will be joined by 4 others in the coming months.
Authorities believe that the use of new technology will help keep the stations safer and ensure that they’re run more efficiently, not to mention making them a more fun place to pass through for travellers – though it remains to be seen how the robots will cope with the legendary hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s subway system!