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Avatar Robot Cafe

Award: Wood Pencil

Wood Pencil / Design Transformation / Digital Transformation / 2020

Award: Future Impact Pencil

Future Impact Pencil / Future Impact / Initiative

At Avatar Robot Cafe, people with disabilities remotely controlled robot avatars - such as Orihime, which is controlled by via eye tracker - to wait on tables. The cafe opened for three weeks in Tokyo to create more employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The project was covered in more than 500 articles, with media exposure worth 7.6m USD. Most importantly, more than five handicapped people who participated were successfully hired by a company after the project.

What did the judges have to say?

Disarmingly futuristic, The Robot Café offers a literal out of body experience to the severely disabled. Harnessing human, not artificial, intelligence and unlocking potential for those with limited mobility. It made me uncomfortable, it made me think, it challenged my preconceptions and it made me feel. The stuff of science fiction becoming science fact and inspiring hope for a fulfilling life beyond the boundaries of the human body.

Sarah Moffat, CCO, Turner Duckworth

The tech itself is mind-blowing, and in Covid-19 this could be expanded further, for example for elderly people who can’t go out.

Des Tapaki, Digital Experience Director, Honest Digital

Are you credited on this winning entry?

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