If you're a fan of Japanese games, manga and anime, chances are you've seen robot maids before. Multi in To Heart, Mahoro in Mahoromatic, Cyberdoll May in Hand Maid May are a few who come to mind. But what if you could have a robot maid in real life? This is the question and current passion fueling the creative efforts of Japanese robot hobbyist A_say.

MaSiRo Project

At the most recent Niconico Chokaigi festival, A_say demoed the latest iteration of his MaSiRo Project, which stands for: "Maid Apprentice Substantializing Ideal Robot."

According to his website, he dreams of a world where each household would have its own robot maid. However, as it would be very difficult to develop a robot maid which could actually move around and perform tasks in an entirely new and unknown place, he wants to set up a limited environment where robot maids can fully operate. In practice, this would take the form of a cafe entirely staffed by robot maids who have unique and individual personalities.

MaSiRo at Niconico Chokaigi

Those who were reviewing the information online for the Niconico Chokaigi's booths were probably intrigued by the following entry entitled: "I made a beautiful robot girl who you can hold hands with":

"Why don't you hold hands and walk with a beautiful robot girl at Chokaigi?
Hand-holding robot MaSiRo is an independently built robot who will follow you if you hold her hand.
With her warm hand clasping yours in return, her liquid crystal eyes returning your gaze and her surprisingly smooth locomotion, it's an emotional experience you can't understand unless you take her by the hand. You'll definitely want to experience it for yourself!"

Hands-on with MaSiRo

Whether they had read the announcement or heard the staff calling out: "Come and hold hands with a robot," many curious attendees stopped by to spend time with MaSiRo (pronounced mashiro) during the two days she attended the festival.

Here she is interacting with a Hatsune Miku cosplayer:

Just checking to see if she's really a robot?

Popular Vtuber NoraCat also seemed to show a keen interest in MaSiRo.

They hit it off so well that they even "synced up directly"...

MaSiRo also interacted with KeroKerobot...

And she was even popular with the muscular performance group ALL OUT, who, as we reported last month, are making themselves available to lend a strong hand at summer festivals this year:

MaSiRo not only appealed to the participants' sense of sight and touch, but also their sense of smell, thanks to perfume specially developed by Hiroko Ashiyama:

She was just as popular with boys as she was with girls. Everyone was eager to take MaSiRo for a walk around the exhibition halls.

Technical Details

Photo by A_say (@A_says)

For more details, you can visit A_say's project page, but here are MaSiRo's specifications in a nutshell:


  • When you hold her right hand, she'll follow you in a smooth motion.
  • She recognizes your face through the camera on her headband, and she looks at you by moving her neck and her eyes displayed on LED screens. Depth camera feature now installed (see below)
  • The right hand is warm thanks to an embedded heater and she'll clasp your hand in return when you clasp hers.
  • She can crouch when you touch a sensor on her shoulder and stand straight from a crouching position when you hold her hand (see below)
  • Other features include posing, hugging, and reacting to patting on the head.
  • More features planned


  • Born: Feb. 18th, 2018 (the day she was first plugged in)
  • Height: 140 cm
  • Motors: 18 (Feet [wheels]: 2, Neck: 3, Right arm: 2, Left arm: 6)


  • 3D printable hand by inmoov
  • Kigurumi head created in collaboration with the CREATO! project at Keio University Graduate School of Media Design (Prof. Kazunori Sugiura)

Feature demonstration videos

Natural movement while following

MaSiRo could already swing her arm while walking, but now she has a more subtle head movement as well.


Depth camera system


Head patting


Here are a few cute pictures of MaSiRo reproduced here with permission from A_say:

Photo by A_say (@A_says)

Photo by A_say (@A_says)


If you'd like to follow the latest developments of the MaSiRo project, you can follow A_say on Twitter or check his project page for updates.

Collaborators and supporters wanted

A_say has been running the MaSiRo project by himself thus far, but if you have any experience in control systems, machines, costume design or modeling and are interested in collaborating with him, if you'd like to support MaSiRo with a financial donation, or if you have any inquiries about his work, please contact him at the following email address:

Contact: masiro.project@gmail.com

By - Ben K.