Nagoya, Japan, October 12, 2006… Japan’s first ever museum dedicated exclusively to robots, opened in Nagoya, the largest city in Aichi Prefecture (central Honshu), where the 2005 World Exposition, “Aichi Expo” was held. Aichi Expo was the place where many of the Robot Museum’s super-star robots made their international debuts. There are approximately 300 robots at the museum, and a number of them interact with humans by nodding, answering questions, playing games, and provoking the humanoid guests with riddles. “They’ll wheel or strut right up to you – excited to meet, greet, educate and engage you,” explains, Hisataka Hiragochi, Executive Director, the Americas for the Japan National Tourist Organization. Emphasizing, “This is not a museum of do-not-touch displays.”
At the Robot Museum, visitors are actually involved in making the ‘exhibits’ (robots) work. For example, in the area called Robothink, which charts the history of robotics and the interaction between humans and automatons, visitors use remote controls and the museum’s mobile phones to command robots. You can have a conversation (basic question and answers) with the two legged human-like Nuvo or let the seal-shaped Paro “make you feel better” as it rubs its comforting snout against you. In fact, you’ll find Paro in the Guinness Book of World Records for being “the most effective robot for healing people.”
An iPod-instructed second floor audio-tour, allows you to connect with an array of futuristic Robosapiens and Mindstorms, and gives you face time with all the main characters. These include: heavy-duty industrial robots; global icons like Robby-the-Robot; and celebrity robots, such as Honda’s ASIMO -- the world’s most advanced humanoid robot; Sony’s AIBO -- the most advanced robot dog.
The museum complex also includes “Famires”(pronounced Fami-res), a family restaurant “of the next century,” and the Robot Mirai Department Store, the world’s largest robot superstore with 2:more than 2,000 items for sale. Yes, here you can even buy your very own Nuvo robot companion!
Admission: You can enter the Robot Mirai Department store and Famires restaurant free of charge; however, Robothink, 1:the Museum itself costs ¥1,300 (adults); 2:¥1,000 (junior/senior high school, and 65 and older); 2:¥700 (children). It’s open Monday through Friday 11am-7pm; 3:Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays 10am-8pm, and is located in front of the Nagoya Subway, Sakae Station’s Exit #9 (tel. 0120-156-610)
Right now, the plan is for the Robot Museum to be open for three years only. So, get over there while you can! And, when you do, you’ll also enjoy another trio of technology attractions in and around Japan’s fourth largest city: the Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology, the Nagoya City Science Museum, and the Toyota Automobile Museum (less than 20 miles east of Nagoya in Toyota City), home to Japan’s largest corporation, Toyota. For more information on Nagoya attractions or on other regions of Japan where you can explore cutting-edge science and technology, visit the Japan National Tourist Organization’s website at www.japantravelinfo.com.
Note to Editors: high resolution photos available upon request.
Japan National Tourist Organization
Attn: Marian Goldberg
Tel: 212-757-5641 x16