Robots of every conceivable shape and size -- and designed to perform innumerable functions -- will be on display in Tokyo from Wednesday for the biennial International Robot Exhibition.
Robots of every conceivable shape and size - and designed to perform innumerable functions - will be on display in Tokyo from Wednesday for the biennial International Robot Exhibition.
The event, this year known as iREX2009, has been staged in the Japanese capital since 1973 and is the largest robotics trade show in the world.
The last time the event was held, more than 104,000 people attended over three days, and organizers are hoping to top that figure this year.
Under the slogan "Challenge for the next," the event is designed to showcase the latest in robotics technology and related equipment, as well as increasing market awareness of new developments in the field.
Held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, some 189 companies and 63 organizations - including universities and research institutes - will exhibit at the event.
Companies that will be showing off their latest developments include Mitsubishi Electric, Schunk Intec KK, Toshiba Machine Co. and Dassault Systemes KK.
Japan has long been a market leader in robotics technology and has numerous robots already in operation in everyday life, from automated units that assemble cars to Tmsuk Co.'s "robocop" security android and robotic noodle-making machines.
Other robots are being put to work in hospitals, old people's homes and to give directions at information booths at major public events. A school in Tokyo has even tested a humanoid robot called Saya that has taken 15 years to develop, can speak three languages and is able to take the morning roll call and set assignments from textbooks.
The exhibition will include a number of seminars to discuss new developments in the industry, as well as a lecture by Takeshi Uchiyamada, of Toyota Motor Corp., about humans coexisting in harmony with robots.
International Robot Exhibition
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 Tel: +81-3-5770-5581.
Hours of operation: 10 am to 5 pm, but until 4:30 pm on the final day.
Tickets: Y1,000 (€7.50).