Due to a combination of Japan’s declining birthrate and the hectic pace of modern life making it difficult for many people to engage in many of the traditional customs associated with Japanese holidays and festivals, traditional Japanese crafts, such as the kinds of dolls you often see used to celebrate seasonal festivals like Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), have been experiencing a decline in sales in recent years. However, one traditional Japanese doll maker is hoping to revive interest in his craft by embracing the modern and helping create some silly dancing robots.
Check out these comical robots below.
These amusing little robots are the product of a collaboration project between a maker of traditional Japanese dolls from Osaka named Shouju Koide and an industrial manufacturing company called Takenaka Seisakusho (Takenaka Manufacturing), which started a robotics division in 2016. They are called Yoroi Kabuto Robotto or when literally translated to English Armor Helmet Robots.
The bodies of these robots were developed by a Chinese robotics company called Ubtech and the various movements they display in the video above were programmed by Takenaka Seisakusho. As for the armor, it was designed by Koide. The armor is all one piece and hangs from the shoulders of the robots. Koide told Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun that he made the armor all one piece because in contrast to dolls the robots had a more cylindrical shape, which made it difficult to properly attach the armor pieces to their bodies. He also commented that by making the armor all one piece it made it much easier to take off/put on the robot.
Despite the time consuming process of creating the handwoven armor Koide and Takenaka Seisansho had already produced 50 of the robots by the end of last month and as of this month they have begun taking orders.
If you would like to see some of Koide’s other work, you can check out his website here.