24th Japan Media Arts Festival Entertainment Division Social Impact Award

  • ©Ory Laboratory inc.

    The café is designed with a barrier-free environment to welcome people using wheelchairs and stretchers.

  • ©Ory Laboratory inc.

    People with intractable diseases or family caregivers who are unable to go out are hired and trained as OriHime pilots, and they serve customers by taking orders, serving drinks and talking with customers while remotely controlling the avatar robot OriHime.

  • ©Ory Laboratory inc.

    The table-top OriHime explains the menu and takes orders, while the 120cm OriHime-D serves drinks and engages in conversation with customers.

  • ©Ory Laboratory inc.

    The tele-barista, developed in collaboration with Kawada Robotics Corporation, is a large robot remotely piloted by an OriHime pilot riding on its shoulders, who selects coffee according to the customer's preference. The coffee is paired with chocolate and served together.

​​​​While a university student, YOSHIFUJI Ory designed OriHime, an avatar robot that can be controlled remotely by people who have difficulty going out due to ALS or other intractable diseases or severe disabilities. OriHime is designed to accommodate a wide range of physical disabilities and includes eye, mouse and smartphone inputs, and is easy to operate.

YOSHIFUJI founded the Avatar Robot Cafe, an experimental café supporting people with disabilities so they can work as service staff using OriHime. With corporate sponsorships and crowdfunding, a three-week-long café opened in Tokyo in 2019. Thirty people with disabilities and/or people with mobility difficulties were able to serve customers using Avatar Robots. In June 2021, the permanent experimental café DAWN opened in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. The employment rate for people with disabilities in Japan is about 5%, and many people have given up on finding employment in companies. While there are high expectations for robots to solve the labor shortage, we are presenting questions and solutions for a society in which employment of the disabled is insufficient.

We will demonstrate how OriHime works and give tours of our café at Ars Electronica Festival.

  • Organization and Management: Ory Laboratories Inc.

On-site demonstration: AVATAR ROBOT CAFE DAWN ver.β

The Avatar Robot Cafe is open to everyone, even those who cannot visit the café in person for various reasons, such as living abroad or physical reasons. There will be a demonstration booth at the Ars Electronica Festival so everyone can experience the operation of OriHime and visit the café in Tokyo remotely from Linz. Visitors will not be able to eat or drink in real life, but they will be able to enjoy a conversation with the OriHime pilot in the seating area. (No reservations required.)

Open Hours
  • 11:00 – 11:15, 11:15 – 11:30, 11:30 – 11:45, 11:45 – 12:00 (CEST)

    Sept. 9 – 12, 2021

  • Kepler Hall at Johannes Kepler University

Director’s comment

​​YOSHIFUJI Ory is a robot communicator who thoroughly interrogates things we take for granted to achieve his goals, designing and demonstrating everything he needs to. His improvements never stop. He goes beyond experimentation to find solutions to solitariness and the problems of people who cannot meet others face to face or cannot communicate well for some reasons. One such project is Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver. β, in which the Avatar Robot OriHime becomes the social body of ALS patients and people who have difficulty going out, and entertains their guests. It’s a place where they can behave as they’d like and share their joy with their guests. After several short-term demonstrations, Café DAWN finally opened in Nihonbashi, the center of Tokyo, in June 2021. You, too, can become an OriHime pilot, by joining us at the Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN from Linz! (TOMURA Asako)



Inventor/Robot communicator

Co-founder and CEO of Ory Laboratories Inc.

​​Born in 1987. While in high school, he participated in the invention of an equalization mechanism for electric wheelchairs. He graduated from the School of Creative Science and Engineering at Waseda University, where he developed OriHime, an avatar communication robot to combat loneliness. In the same year, he was awarded the Human Power Award (now the TOYP Award), and in 2016, he was selected as one of the “30 Under 30 Asia” by Forbes magazine. Based on his own experience of not attending school, he aims to develop a future in which people can meet whomever they want; a future in which everyone can participate in society from the comfort of their own bed. Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver. β won the Social Impact Award in the Entertainment Division of the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival.



​​Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN is an experimental café where people who have limited mobility can work using the remote-controlled avatar robot OriHime. The café opened in Nihonbashi (Tokyo) in June 2021, and customers are able to talk with the pilot of OriHime, working remotely, and to order food. The café is designed to be barrier-free, with an entrance accessible by electric wheelchairs and stretchers, restrooms equipped with beds and ostomates, as well as large monitors and fixed-point cameras to optimize the facility for experiments.

1F Nihonbashi Life Sciences Building 3, 3-8-3 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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