Thursday, 10 November 2011

Number 5 Is Alive

If there was a Jeopardy game show question about a word that comes into your head when you think of Japan or Tokyo, I'm sure one of the top answers would be "robots".

And so it is, when the International Robot Exhibition rolls into town, you better have a good excuse not to go, right? I first saw a poster with a gorilla with it's robot equivalent, when we were in Yokohama for the Music Fair last week, and decided then and there that I had to go.

I was ably informed that it would run from today till Saturday only, so I had little choice but to go today. This year it's being held at Big Sight, a suitably futuristic venue if there ever was one.

It's open from 10-5 every day. I didn't leave my apartment till around 1ish so I had to rule out my usual Rainbow Bridge walk, instead catching my trains to link up with the nearby Rinkai line.

As soon as I walked in, I was surrounded by salarymen in suits. I was tragically underdressed, but revelled in my individualism.

I was quite disappointed at first to see the "robots" were merely mechanical arms performing menial tasks. In the most cases quite yawn inducing. There were few booth babes, but even if there were it would've felt truly perverted to ask any of the girls for a photo.

The first exhibit to catch my interest was an air driving demonstration. It used the wii concept without a controller like kinect. Myself, and all the other geek boys wanted to have a go, but I didn't bother to wait.

After all the industrial machinery I finally found what I had been looking for.. *real* robots!

They were cute, voice responsive, and in some cases freakingly life life. A few gave me the flashback from "Short Circuit". I can't watch that movie again. It'd totally destroy my childhood memory.

I took a long time to see everything. Even once they played the closing song ("Auld Lang Syne *natch*) a lot of people were still milling around the exhibits.

Before I went back I decided to look around Venus Fort. I vaugely remembered the Lego shop, and decided to get a ¥500 Buzz Lightyear keyring.

Yeah they had cool Darth Vader, Jack Sparrow, Spongebob, and Indiana Jones that I also wanted, but being a "robot day" Buzz seemed the right choice for this occasion.