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Visiting Tokyo? Don’t miss Toyota’s Partner Robots!

RoboTimes has a nice article up about two destinations to check out when visiting Tokyo; the MEGA WEB center in Odaiba, and AMLUX in Ikebukuro.  While not exactly theme parks, the exhibits house a variety of Toyota’s robots and personal mobility devices, and the admission is totally free.

MEGA WEB’s Toyota City Showcase features Toyota’s prototype personal mobility devices like the i-swing and i-unit.  These were first introduced in 2005 at the Aichi World Expo and are something of a rare treat to see.  The History Garage displays electric vehicle prototypes and information related to Toyota’s history.  Upon entering the Universal Design Showcase, you’ll be greeted by a single trumpet-playing Partner Robot that gives a performance twice daily at 3pm and 5pm (an extra performance at 1pm on holidays and weekends).  The robot is actually built with an artificial lung and lips designed especially for playing the trumpet, so it is really playing songs – such as those from Disney classics and Lupin the Third.  This type of Partner Robot is also playing at Toyota Kaikan Museum at Toyota’s headquarters in Nagoya.  Other Partner Robots are also on permanent display, though they don’t give performances.

Beginning in October 2010 visitors are able to ride the three models of the Toyota Winglet (Toyota’s answer to the Segway) from 2:15~3:15pm, and the i-REAL, a sleek electric wheelchair, between 3:15~4:15pm (weekend times may vary).  The i-foot, Toyota’s robotic walking chair, is also on display (but don’t expect to ride it).  MEGA WEB is open 11am~9pm (Universal Design Showcase closes at 7pm) Tuesdays to Sundays and admission is free.

AMLUX has more floors and houses a trumpet-playing Partner Robot as well.  That said, AMLUX is more about showcasing Toyota’s latest cars and there’s a permanent display dedicated to their F1 exploits.  Some of the futuristic mobility devices are also on display, and you are allowed to sit in them and take photos.  It’s open 11am~7pm Tuesdays to Sundays and admission is free.  So if you’re visiting Tokyo and have a free afternoon, it sounds like MEGA WEB or AMLUX would both be great places to check out.  You may also want to scope out the NEDO Future Scope Museum.

Photos of some of the attractions can be found at the source link below.

[source: RoboTimes (JP)]

  • http://www.iheartrobotics.com I Heart Robotics

    Great find! I’ll have to add this to my list of places to visit on my next trip.