Otaku USA Magazine
Japan Tries Out Its First Café with Maid Robots

Japanese pop culture has an obsession with both maids and robots, so why not combine them? A pop-up maid café in Akihabara tried exactly that by using maid robots.

It’s called the “Maid Apprentice Substantializing Ideal Robot” Project or MaSiRo Project. It was created by someone who goes by A_say and sponsored through funds from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan plus money made through crowdfunding.

The café was only open for a few days as a trial run. Three robot maid “sisters” named MaSiRo, CiRo and CiYa were on staff, with MaSiRo doing the serving while CiRo and CiYA interacted with customers by reacting to them.

Check out these videos for a better idea. Keep in mind these robots are not being controlled by people off the scene using remotes. These robots have actually been programmed to do these things on their own.

A_say had these comments for the experience:

“Four years have passed since the project was launched. MaSiRo has finally made it to the starting line as a maid robot. Going forward, she will continue to develop, becoming smarter and cuter along the way as I strive to realize the maid robot café of my dreams.

More than 100 people came to see MaSiRo this time, so it really sunk in that many people really love her.

This is only the first step towards achieving my dreams. My ultimate goal is to ensure that MaSiRo and her friends will continue to be loved and needed in the future.

Hopefully, when I am gone, MaSiRo and her friends will not be just robots or just equipment in a café. They will be recognized as characters who actually live there. I will continue development in the MaSiRo project to realize such a world.”

Source: grape Japan


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.