For centuries, Japan has developed humanoid robots to interact with people in their daily lives.
During both the Edo and contemporary periods, Japan has been culturally and economically self-contained. This seclusion has encouraged craftspeople to adapt technology for everyday use in innovative ways.
The connection between people and humanoid robots was first explored in Japan more than 300 years ago.
European clocks had been introduced as luxury items for the upper classes in Japan before the Edo period. However, rather than using clocks only for telling time, Japanese craftspeople adapted clockwork mechanisms to make mechanical figures with human features and abilities. These are known as karakuri ningyō.
Japan is a world leader in robotic technologies.
After first developing robots to assist human workers on industrial production lines, companies began exploring the potential of complex humanoid robots. Designers are now developing robots for specific consumer markets, including health care, entertainment, retail, domestic chores, and child and elder care.