Tech giant unveils human-like 'communication android'

Not quite human, but uncannily close, Japanese technology giant Toshiba have developed a 'human-looking' robot with the ability to communicate via sign language.

The company unveiled the "communication android" Aiko Chihira - who's name means 'looks beyond world horizons and wants world peace'- at the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition in Japan.

Ms Chihira has been created to have maxiumum movement in her hands and arms and can speak to humankind in Japanese sign language.

For now, the eerily human-like creation can only mimic simple greetings and gestures. But Toshiba has plans to turn Chihira into a full-on communications robot by 2020 - complete with speech synthesis, recognition and a full array of sensors and robotic control.

The company hopes to turn the android into a "companion for the elderly and people with dementia, to offer telecounseling in natural speech, communicate through sign language and allow healthcare workers or family members to keep an eye on elderly people."

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