By Toby M, grape Japan /


OriHime is a charming Japanese robot. Like most robots made in Japan, it’s full of circuitry, programming chips, and has an exterior human-like shell. Though in OriHime’s case, it’s more Wall-E than terminator thanks to the soft edges and large babyish eyes.

The interior of OriHime is also intrinsically human in many ways that its robot brethren are not. OriHime’s purpose is to be a vessel that empowers people who have difficulty going outside or moving due to severe disabilities or illnesses such as ALS to connect with everyday society and people within. Practically speaking, the robot can support people who are bed bound to connect with distant family, or work a job for example.

Since 2018, people with disabilities have taken up opportunities to work as cafe staff through OriHime in the pop-up cafe “Avatar Cafe DAWN ver.β”. Avatar Cafe DAWN seeks to eliminate human loneliness by enabling people who are bed or house bound to enjoy working as cafe staff and communicating with customers.




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