Unveiled in 2002, Posy is a humanoid robot designed to look like a three-year-old flower-maiden at a wedding. She was conceived by Tatsuya Matsui as a peaceful bridge connecting humans and robots. Both human beings and technology have their limits, and Matsui-san sees a complementary relationship between man and machine through this shared “weakness”. Flowers, in their weakness and beauty, embody this theme which is central to the robots of Flower Robotics.
Posy’s haunting gaze and delicate, wraith-like form is fragile, gently sweeping across a room on a set of wheels hidden beneath her dress. Matsui-san hopes she will someday pose as a UNICEF ambassador. She has appeared in a number of art galleries, and was used in promotional material for ANA (All Nippon Airways), standing in traditional Japanese shrines as the perfect means to highlight the country’s unique contrast of old and new.
In October 2009, Posy served as a representative for Tokyo in its bid for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. She traveled to Copenhagen and appeared before the IOC judges to promote the kind of beauty and vision Tokyo would bring to the games. Unfortunately, her efforts weren’t enough to sway the judges.
“When I say I’m a ‘robot designer’, I’m not talking about the stereotypical social misfit who sketches robot manga. This isn’t about science fiction. I’m trying to show the merits of a broader, practical use of robots. I want my designs to help launch a fledgling industry, the way Apple Computer’s (AAPL) PCs gave life to chip makers and other components makers. Our daily lives are already touched by some robotics. What’s needed is better design and marketing. Both are crucial to make robots into a successful business.
“Before anyone will buy into this idea, I have to come up with prototypes that will demonstrate how robots can be used. Nobody believed Steve Jobs 30 years ago when he said that [personal computers] had the potential of becoming a powerful tool. Scientists might have thought so, but ordinary people probably didn’t.
“Posy is a work-in-progress. By the time I’m 60 (2029), my dream is to have Posy dance on the same stage as a ballerina at the opera house in Paris. If that happens, it will represent a true convergence of art and science.” – Tatsuya Matsui
- Flower Robotics (official site JP/EN)
- SGI’s Posy press release (JP)
- SGI Posy demonstration report (JP)
- Tatsuya Matsui interview @ Business Week (EN)
- Posy @ Impress Watch (JP)
Flower Robotics | Impress Robot Watch | SGI | Generation5