Would you reasonably be frightened or misplaced? You’ll in all probability have to choose one.
No fewer than 16 prepare and subway traces run by Tokyo Station, together with half a dozen Shinkansen bullet prepare traces. That makes it one of the handy rail hubs in Japan, but additionally one of the probably complicated ones too.
The concern of getting on the flawed prepare solely grows for those who’re an abroad customer who doesn’t communicate Japanese, however fortunately Tokyo Station now has a steering robotic, named Semi, who’ standing by within the Gransta subterranean purchasing middle, which connects on to Tokyo Station’s ticket gates. Semi can information you to your vacation spot in seven totally different languages, Japanese, English, Chinese language, Korean, German, Spanish, and French, and the robotic is designed to reply to spoken questions, which, in principle, ought to make the trade really feel reassuringly pure and pleasant.
In follow, although, Semi is fairly unnerving to speak to. Fairly than a human-shaped android or techno-cute robo buddy, the German-designed Semi appears like a head springing from a properly, like one thing out of a Japanese horror story. Certain, the conductor’s hat is form of jaunty, however the spooky expression on the face it fairly terrifying…particularly after Semi begins speaking, like within the video under the place we tried the system out by asking for instructions to Shinjuku Station, on the opposite aspect of downtown.
Semi’s head is constructed from translucent plastic, with projected photographs creating its eyes, mouth, and different facial options. There’s an odd stiffness to the way in which they transfer, although, and so the blinking, eyebrow elevating, and different mannerisms find yourself wanting extra like troubling AI glitches than organically involuntary actions.
Nonetheless, for those who’ve obtained the backbone to not run away when Semi begins speaking, the robotic can really be fairly useful, because it gave us clear, concise instructions on get to Shinjuku. “Please use the Chuo Line trains, which depart from Platforms 1 and a couple of,” Semi advised us, in a voice that additional startled us by sounding way more female than we’d anticipated from the robotic’s look.
Should you’re prepared to check your braveness/discover you approach with Semi, the robotic is situated in Gransta’s Sweets Space, close to Tokyo Station’s well-known Silver Bell assembly level. Nonetheless, because the robotic is at the moment present process discipline testing, it’ll solely be there for a restricted time, which is both a great or a foul factor, relying on how scary you discover that face.
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[ Read in Japanese ]
[ Read in Japanese ]