Robot encouraging to keep visitors and staffs at city hall safe and healthy



December, 2020 – March, 2021






Incubion supported design of trial testing for communication robot “Sota” provided by NTT East. The test was conducted at the city hall in Nasukarasuyama City, Tochigi Prefecture, as part of the Tochigi IoT Promotion Lab’s initiative.

This robot experiment aims to improve counter operations at the city hall by using the reception solution RoboConnect, which assists verbal interaction of robots via cloud-connected AI.

The testing design required us to review current operations, as well as environmental limitations that cognitively affect experience of visitors. After conducting hearings and field research, we worked with NTT East to improve layout design, guidance methods, and information contents so that the robot could maximize visitors’ experience. Based on what we found in our research, we proposed additional application that can increase safety and security of visitors and staffs under pandemic.

When we design service model for robot working among us, we believe it important to identify the unique value of the robot, and assess ‘what services are better to be done by robot or human‘. This case became an example of coordinating environment design, human behavior, and robot functionality.

The best value of robot’s physicality is it catches attentions. We placed the robot at entrance of the building close to digital thermometer and hand sanitizer, and alert visitors to check their health before going to counters.