Robotland Bookstore

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Great Robot Exhibition

Japan continues to promote robotics with a great retrospective on Japanese robot culture at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo. The exhibiton entitled "Dai Robotto Haku" (The Great Robot Exhibition) shows karakuri, anime and many of the best Japanese robots out there today. Highlights include a wall of one hundred "Master Grade" Gundam plastic models, an original 19th-century karakuri archer doll by Tanaka Hisashige and a new stage show by Honda's Asimo.

After the closure of the Robot Museum in Nagoya this fall, sales stop of consumer robots like Aibo and Wakamaru has raised questions about the state of Japanese robotics. Despite huge national robotics research program and impressing marketing events to promote next generation robotics the practical market outcome is still disappointing. Retrospective praising of Japanese robotics may enjoy historians, robot fans and developers of the past, but will it also stimulate a debate about market failiures and business blind spots?

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