AVATAR ROBOT CAFE

Short List
TitleAVATAR ROBOT CAFE
BrandORY LABORATORY
Product / ServiceORIHIME / ORIHIME-D
CategoryG03. Single-market Campaign
EntrantADK CREATIVE ONE Tokyo, JAPAN
Idea Creation ADK CREATIVE ONE Tokyo, JAPAN
PR SUNNY SIDE UP Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company ZYX INTERNATIONAL Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company 2 ADK MARKETING & SOLUTIONS INC. TOKYO, JAPAN
Additional Company 3 PYGMALION Tokyo, JAPAN

Credits

Name Company Position
Kenshiro Sadaka ADK Creative One Creative Director / Creative Technologist
Yoshihiro Kozuka ADK Creative One Creative Technologist / Creative Futurist
Satoshi Innami ADK Creative One PR Director
Masami Shimamura SUNNY SIDE UP PR Manager
Masaya Uchida SUNNY SIDE UP Media Relations
Taku Kasahara ADK Creative One Art Director
Kei Takimoto ADK Creative One Designer
Mutsumi Hayashida ADK Creative One Creative Producer
Kenta Terada ADK Creative One Production Manager
Sakura Egami ADK Creative One Production Manager
Sho Matsuki Freelance Director
Sho Sato Freelance Photographer
Sho Tominaga Freelance Editor
Chihiro Kato ADK Creative One Activation Producer
Miho Fujioka ADK Creative One Merchandiser
Shodai Kako ADK Creative One Merchandiser
Kosuke Aono ZYX INTERNATIONAL Event Planner
Akihiko Kiyomiya ADK Marketing Solutions Account Executive
Atsushi Hayashi ADK Marketing Solutions Account Executive
Masaru Kataoka Pygmalion Retoucher

Background

There is a potential demand for creating a system where people with disabilities can work permanently and linking it to the societal implementation of the employment of people with disabilities in Japan. Because the employment rate for physically disabled people remains at about 5%, and amidst an outcry about labor shortages, the employment rate of disabled people has not progressed. At the same time, many disabled people have given up on getting a job with a company. We found that there is a glass ceiling for disabled people to participate in society , and decided to challenge for breaking the glass ceiling with technology and innovation. Out objectives of this project are that we pay attention to the insights of people with disabilities that "want the opportunity to contribute to society", and create a system where people with disabilities can work.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Orihime, a robot avatar that can be controlled remotely has been developed. An AVATAR ROBOT CAFE where people with disabilities remotely controlled robot avatars to wait on tables, opened for three weeks in TOKYO, in order to draw on the insight that disabled people desire opportunities to contribute to society on their own rather than having someone help them. A total of 30 people with disabilities were employed. The robot avatars utilized, have unique interfaces such as eye tracker operation, mouse operation and smartphone input, which can be used by people with any kind of disability. In addition, as a experience design innovation, we conducted process design for 30 pilots in different locations to demonstrate their teamwork. In order to handle the complex customer service, we worked on the placement of the two types of the avatar robots that fulfill the different roles of getting orders and serving the food.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Our strategy of this project is to have companies realize that there are opportunities to hire disabled people and to create chances for the wider hiring of said people. Through the unique campaign, this project intends to widely show the public that, with the use of technology, the disabled can perform work duties just the same as anyone else. Right now, the “Avatar Robot Cafe” is one social experiment, but it was designed to scale as a work style of the future where people with disabilities and the elderly can work remotely. In the long term, it is an idea that can provide job opportunities for all people, including the elderly and people with disabilities. It is important for Japan, which is the number one aging country in the world, to have an idea for a future where the elderly and people with disabilities can work using technology.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Bringing positive behavior changes to people with disabilities, large corporations, and the public awareness for diversity is needed in Japanese society. Hiring a disabled person is big step for a company. There are also cases of said disabled people giving up work after they have been hired by a company. No environment has been put in place for the employment of disabled people, and this issue has not received much attention from society. Under the current law, severely disabled people who require constant care are eligible for long-duration visiting care services. 90 % of the associated costs are covered by public funds, but this does not apply to disabled people when they work. This is why, by showing disabled people in the course of their work, we have aimed to make positive changes to society, including through legal reform. The biggest challenge is to create a system where people with disabilities can work permanently, and to link it to the societal implementation of the employment of people with disabilities. The system where people with disabilities can show what is possible to anyone who may become bedridden in the future. First, we recruited people with disabilities who were willing to work and trained a total of 30 disabled persons. The training involved teaching them about cafe service hospitality, as well as how to operate the Avatar Robot. And then, we called on various companies to support this project and raised 750,000 USD in funding from nine major companies. We also raised 100,000 USD from 554 people via crowdfunding. Following the previous steps we opened the Avatar Robot Cafe in Tokyo, a place where disabled people could work as cafe clerks using their Avatar Robots. This cafe was able to gather approximately 1,200 people in three weeks. In our survey, 98.9% of the visitors answered that they enjoyed their time in the cafe. 88.3% of the respondents also said that they would like to work with an Avatar Robot if they would start having trouble going out in the future.

List the results (30% of vote)

This project was covered in more than 500 articles/stories. Media exposure was equivalent of 7.6 million USD.Most important of all, more than 5 handicapped people who participated have been successfully hired by a company after this project. Three weeks of work experience at AVATAR ROBOT CAFE led to my employment with their company. 0.75 million USD in funding from five major companies has been raised for running this project. 0.1 million USD has been raised from 554 people through crowdfunding. The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, the Deputy Minister of the Cabinet Office, and the opposition leader visited the cafe and mentioned the avatar robots in the media, which led to major movement for the revision of the law. Kanagawa Prefecture and the Ory Laboratory have signed an agreement to realize the vision of a symbiotic society. Due to the great response, we conducted two additional operations in Shibuya.

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