The world of robotics technology has already come a long way. Japan, as one of the world’s leaders in humanoid robotics, has shown that robots are not only meant to be used as tools to help us people in our daily lives but can also be used to entertain us. Evolving from a simple tool into a human’s companion, I’m pleased to introduce to you three of Japan’s most famous celebrity robots!
Developed by Honda Motors in 2000 ASIMO was initially created to be used in living spaces, but ASIMO’s range of capabilities has evolved continuously since its introduction. Starting out as a robot that can use furniture and tools while remaining non-intimidating in size (130 cm in height), the 2011 model of this robot is now capable of independent motion sans human intervention via input sensors that decide where and when it will move. ASIMO can now walk through crowded areas, and can avoid bumping into the people it encounters. The robot is usually seen in places such as Suzuka Circuit Land, Twin, Ring Motegi, Welcome Plaza of Honda Aoyama Headquarter, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and Disneyland US.
You might think that the robot named HRP-4C is a human at first glance until you pay close attention to her details. HRP-4C is a singing and dancing robot built by the engineers of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Her measurements are based on the average measurements of an average young Japanese female.
With the hope to develop a robot that could be used in fashion shows and other events, engineers of AIST launched the HRP-4C in 2009 to showcase its singing and dancing on stage in one show. The engineers used data motion capture to simulate the motion of a real human in the robot. Other capabilities of the robot include human voice recognition and engaging in conversation. Unlike ASIMO, HRP-4C can only be met when you’re invited to an event that features her.
The cycling sibling robots Murata Boy and Murata Girl were developed by Murata Manufacturing, their tagline being “letting our dreams ride on the possibilities of electronics”. Murata Boy was first created and released in 2005. After Murata Boy’s debut, the public was asking why there wasn’t a Murata Girl. In response to the inquiries Murata Girl, the first unicycle-riding female robot, was introduced in 2008.
Now these cycling sibling robots became the face of the company’s PR management. Both robots are able to ride on a balance beam, and they can balance themselves without using their legs when they stop. These robots are frequently seen at the CEATEC Japan Electronics Exhibition in Chiba Prefecture and the Consumer Electronics Show in LA, Nevada, USA. They also do guest appearances in various scientific events that have robotics as their theme.