Silver Spike

Case Film

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Product / ServiceORIHIME / ORIHIME-D
CategoryD05. Use of Technology
Additional Company ZYX INTERNATIONAL Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company 3 PYGMALION Tokyo, JAPAN


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

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The purpose of this activity was to promote the employment of disabled people by creating opportunities for them to serve customers using a technology called the "avatar robot," which can be controlled remotely by people who have limb disabilities in order to communicate with others without physically facing them. Through attracting wide recognition throughout society that it is wonderful for people with physical disabilities to be able to work, it has demonstrated the success of disabled people who participate in society.


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. The operation of the project was supported by 0.76 million USD in funds collected from nine major companies. Furthermore, 0.1 million USD were raised through crowdfunding from 554 people.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

We have drawn on the insight that disabled people desire opportunities to contribute to society on their own rather than having someone help them. It expressed the key message of "going beyond being bedridden" and demonstrated that disabled people can work in a similar capacity as people without disabilities through this technology called the avatar robot. Under the current law, severely disabled people who require constant care are eligible for long-duration visiting care services. Ninety percent 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.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

First, we recruited disabled people 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. Next, 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. In order to promote the employment of disabled people to businesses, we opened a cafe for three weeks in Otemachi, in the heart of Tokyo's business district. The cafe began its operations through a tape cutting by a disabled person using an avatar robot during the opening ceremony held for the media. This cafe was able to gather approximately 1,200 people in three weeks. The sight of disabled people overcoming their disabilities through technology to thrive provided their partners in communication with great energy.

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. ・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. ・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. ・This project has also received more than 20,000 mentions on social media, including from celebrities and members of parliament. ・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 Lab 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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