Video: Schoolgirl robot dances to J-pop song

Robots might be replacing humans in a lot of things, but one thing they still can’t do is dance. At the Robo-One international exhibition this past weekend at Tokyo Big Sight, this schoolgirl bot danced to a Japanese pop song. I love how the people in the back are keeping a straight face. I think the guy on her left might be the exhibitor.

via Raw Feed

Polaris, a new cell phone x robot that acts as a desktop secretary


This is Polaris, a robot designed by KDDI and Flower Robotics that monitors your behavior via your cell phone and then communicates to you via your TV. Basically what it does is function as an intelligent dock for your cell phone — when you put the phone on it, it extracts information from the handset and then gives you recommendations and reminders. Kinda like a miniature personal secretary! It also has the ability to self-navigate on flat surfaces. We should be seeing this in the consumer market soon — so far it’s just a prototype.

via Impress Watch (Japanese)

Picture from a Gundam-themed wedding


Shibuya246 has some great photos of the Gundam-themed wedding that just took place in Odaiba, under the life-sized Gundam statue. The groom dressed up as the protagonist Amuro, and the director of the anime series even showed up to give them a special plaque.

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60-foot Gigantor monument being built in Kobe

Picture 1

This month, construction begins on the giant Gigantor statue in Kobe. This non-profit project aims to educate and entertain the public and to create a sense of community around the celebration of ths world-famous robot anime. The original Japanese name for Gigantor is Tetsujin 28-Go. When completed at the end of September, Gigantor will stand 60 feet tall. A must-see if you’re in the Kobe area this fall!

Kobe Tetsujin Project main page (Japanese)

Dancing Hatsune Miku robot with iPhone 3GS for a head

From my BBG post:

The face displayed on the 3GS screen is actually that of Hatsune Miku, the anime girl depiction of a vocaloid software created by Yamaha that continues to be a huge hit among Japanese web geeks. The music she’s singing is Levan Polkka, a Finnish folk song. Videos of Hatsune Miku singing Levan Polkka became a huge meme on the web video site Nico Nico Douga, which I wrote an article about in Wired Magazine last year. The scallion-twirling, someone explained to me, is a symbol of dumbness — only a really brainless person would stand there and twirl scallions all day.

via BBG via Pink Tentacle

Bandai to release real Doraemon robot toy in September


Great news. On September 3, Bandai is releasing a new toy called My Doraemon &mdash it’s a real Doraemon-shaped robot that has motion, light, heat, and sound sensors that let it react to its environment and say Doraemon-esque phrases according to the situation it’s in. The toy does not have a real four-dimensional pocket that can spew out toys that will let you travel through time and space, make people fall in love with you, or chase bullies away, but just having this wonderful legendary companion bot in your house is just pure awesomeness.

via Impress Watch (Japanese)

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Buy a desktop robot that resembles a diapered baby


The cam baby is a cute child robot that resembles a 1-year old human baby in diapers. It has just learned to walk, so it waddles towards you when you clap your hands and say, here baby baby. It makes cute little bot noises while it walks, and its LED eyes flash and go piko piko piko! When it falls, it starts crying. You can own one for $26.

Buy yours here.

Life-sized, moving Gundam on display in Odaiba this summer


This summer marks the 30th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam. To celebrate, a full-sized Gundam &mdash yes, all 18 meters and 35 tons of him &mdash is being built in a park in Odaiba. Yes, this means that if you go to Tokyo this summer between July 11 and August 31, you’ll probably see him towering over the city as you drive across the Rainbow Bridge on your way to the city from Narita.

This Gundam’s not just a stationary statue, either. He’s going to be able to move his head and emit light and mist from different parts of his body. Awesome.


Robot teaches elementary school class in Tokyo

20090509p2a00m0na012000p_size5The robot craze that Fred Schodt predicted in 1988 reached new heights in Tokyo last week, when a pretty humanoid went to an elementary school in Chiyoda-ku to guest teach a class. Saya—a speaking robot with 30 moving parts and a slew of facial expressions created by Tokyo University of Science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi—was there to inspire students to consider a career in science and robotics. The students thought she was pretty and that she looked just like a nice human lady.