- Title: JAPAN-DESIGNER ROBOTS Robots under spotlight at Tokyo design expo
- Date: 27th October 2014
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 27, 2014) (REUTERS) ROBOTIC LUNG BEING INFLATED DEMONSTRATION OF SINGING ROBOT "SEAMOONS" ROBOTIC VOCAL CORDS HUMMING MORE OF SINGING ROBOT "SEAMOONS" DEMONSTRATION VARIOUS OF ROBOT PLAYING GUITAR (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) UNIDENTIFIED VISITOR SAYING: "You look scary" ANDROID ASUNA" SAYING "You look cute" (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) ANDROID ASUNA SAYING "You guys look cool" VARIOUS DEMONSTRATION OF THE ANDROID ASUNA (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 27-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSMAN, KAZUNARI SATO, SAYING: "At first, I thought she was human, but I soon figured out she was a doll. (PERSON OFF CAMERA CORRECTS SATO) "Oh, sorry, an android." VISITOR TAKING PHOTO OF ANDROID ASUNA WITH CELL PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 27-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSWOMAN, YUKI ARIGA, SAYING: "She moves like a human and the texture is very like real skin. She looks like a real one." DEMONSTRATION OF CLAPPING ROBOT "MMI" FINGER TOUCHING BUTTONS ON SCREEN ROBOTIC HANDS CLAPPING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 33-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSWOMAN, RUMIKO KUDO, SAYING: "I don't understand the artistic concept. I guess the one who made it has a talent that I don't have." VARIOUS OF MANNEQUINS DECORATED WITH CELLPHONE KEY PADS ROBOT KICKING BALL VARIOUS OF MERRY-GO-ROUND DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHAIRMAN OF DESIGN ASSOCIATION, KENJI KAWASAKI, SAYING: "From architecture to entertainment, a great number of artists are participating in this event, so we had to call it a 'genius' expo rather than a design, art, or music expo in order to embrace their diversity." VARIOUS OF MOCK CELLPHONES MOVING ON CONVEYER BELT IN NTT DOCOMO'S "KATACHI-TO-NARITACHI" DISPLAY VARIOUS OF OBJECTS ON DISPLAY PEOPLE IN ARCHITECTURE EXHIBITION MINIATURE HOUSE ON DISPLAY KIMONO GRAPHICS ON SCREEN KIMONO GRAPHICS BEING PROJECTED ON DARK WALL VARIOUS OF ARTISTIC FURNITURE ON DISPLAY VARIOUS OF GOLD-COLOURED BOOTS ON DISPLAY PEOPLE WALKING AT TOKYO DESIGN EXPO
- Embargoed: 11th November 2014 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVABZASBI78J7UTI582IQGX65LUW
- Story Text: Robots took centre stage of a Tokyo design expo on Monday (October 27) as they sang, clapped, kicked, played guitar and even wooed visitors.
More than 1,300 individuals or teams of designers, architects, musicians and artists participated in the Tokyo Designers Week 2014 with their the latest avant garde art and design works.
Robots ranged from a choir of robot singers, Seamoons, performing their very mechanical harmony using artificial lungs and vocal cords to MMI, a guitar playing automaton.
But the highlight of the show was Asuna, a humanoid android capable of delicate facial expression.
Creator A-Lab, a robot developing company, called her "an everlasting girl".
"At first, I thought she was human, but I soon figured out she was a doll," said 27-year-old visitor Kazunari Sato said, only to be corrected by Asuna. "Oh, sorry, an android," Sato said.
Another 27-year-old visitor Yuki Ariga said the robot resembled a real woman.
"She moves like a human and the texture is very like a real skin. She looks like a real one," Ariga said.
Not everyone understood some of the artistic themes behind the robots.
"I don't understand the artistic concept. I guess the one who made it has a talent that I don't have," said 33-year-old visitor Rumiko Kudo about a display called "Clapping Men."
Kenji Kawasaki, chairman of the Design Association non-profit organisation, who first started the exhibition 29 years ago as small tents of affiliated shops, said the exhibition was given a new name this year to reflect its size and diversity - Tokyo Genius Expo.
"From architecture to entertainment, a great number of artists are participating in this event, so we had to call it a 'genius' expo rather than a design, art, or music expo in order to embrace their diversity," Kawasaki said.
Organizers expect about 120,000 visitors to visit the expo's 10 indoor and outdoor pavilions, in central Tokyo's Gaien Park from October 25 to November 3.
The 10-day event was also held overseas in exhibitions in Milan and London and organisers are hoping to expand to New York next year.
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