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EVOLTA Traveler Begins His Epic Odyssey

This is going to be a long journey.  Panasonic’s latest PR stunt got underway today, and you can watch the whole adventure play out live via Ustream, which gives you a street-level account of all the trials and tribulations the team is experiencing even this early on.  There have already been a few problems with the robot which they’ve had to sort out immediately on the side of the road.  It doesn’t have much trouble keeping up with a steady walking pace, but they have to stop regularly at intersections and for people who want to snap a photo or two.  I fear the incessant clickety-clack that the robot makes as it moves will drive the team insane before long…

Although it seems like a crazy marathon today, the route known as the 53 Stations of Tōkaidō was the main artery of Old Japan.  Travelers and merchants would have made the journey while also tugging heavy cartloads less than 200 years ago.  The EVOLTA website has a new desktop wallpaper marking each of the 53 Stations with one of Utagawa Hiroshige‘s ukiyo-e woodblock prints (made circa 1830).  His beautiful landscapes took advantage of Western-style perspective, and became the best-selling woodblock prints ever made, both in Japan and abroad.  The celebrated route has appeared in various formats, including video games.

[source: EVOLTA @ Ustream]