Monday, February 19, 2007

Robot Museum

Trotted down last Friday to the Robot Museum in Sakae opposite the Mitsukoshi Department Store.Its located in a showroom building formerly occupied by a foreign car firm.
After paying admission you turn left into a display area highlighting new robotic innovations.Currently one can test ride a two wheeled Segway scooter.Provided you first sign a form at the entrance waiving the Museum from any liability should you crash through one of the floor to ceiling windows and bleed to death outside on the footpath trapped under the scooter.

Up the stairs on the second floor you walk through a time-line tracing the development of robots from past to present.Although all the signs and labels are in Japanese you are given a folder which is in English and is very helpful.
As well as a colorful display of old metal wind-up Japanese robot toys there are drawers full of old comics and life size replicas of robots such as Atom Boy and Iron Man 28.Early model Apple Macs and Commodore computers also feature.

The last section on the second floor is a hands on section where various robots and machines are on display.Theres a Hello Kitty toy which speaks in a girlish Japanese accent while you can pick up and hold a robotic seal which makes coo-ing and soothing noises when you pat it.

Leaving this section via the elevator or stairs you exit the museum through the shop on the ground floor which seems to occupy the same total area as the rest of the museum.The shop is filled with robot related goods and toys.Apart from the merchandise of the Museums resident robots Nico and Laugh Rough there is nothing really outstanding or unavailable at other shops.There are tables for children to make their own robots from various Lego and construction kits and a group of them and Mums were busily and noisily engaged in building their creations while I was there.
Admission is a fairly steep 1,300 yen an adult and given whats on display I wonder how the Museum will attract repeat customers.Hopefully the Segways and later features will entice customers.
The Museum website is its in Japanese click on the English download section for more information and interior shots of the Museums displays.

No comments: