March 12, 2005 There can be little doubt that the Japanese lead the world in robotics, and the 2005 World Expo to be held in Aichi Prefecture later this year will be the country’s first real opportunity to showcase its advanced robotics capabilities to the rest of the world. Toyota will lead the way with several distinct robotics projects on display such as partner robots, the i-unit mobility system and its robot buses, but a new robotic display has come to light that will be one of the hit features of the Expo – two giant robotic dinosaurs
One of the most fascinating displays to be featured at the Toyota Group Pavilionwill be the further evolution of the Toyota Personal Mobility (PM-01) concept called the "i-unit" will at EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan, beginning March, 2005. Toyota is launching the "i-unit" and other concept vehicles and the helper robots with a "Mobility Performance Show" to dramatise the future of mobile technology and its potential role in society under the theme of "the dreams, pleasure and excitement of mobility in the 21st century."
There’s also an intelligent transport system, which could also be seen as robot buses.
So while Toyota’s contribution to the Expo will be immense, there are many other robotic exhibitions planned, some of them not necessarily aimed at being seen as robots. Two dinosaurs, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Parasaurolophus will walk to floors of the expo, for example, thanks to some very clever robotics. Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has built the robotic dinosaurs with assistance from a number of robotics manufacturers.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is 3.5 metres long and can walk on its two legs at about 1 kmh. Both dinosaurs are very advanced in their architecture, using synthetics skins stretched over metal endoskeletons, and with T-Rex having 27 degrees of freedom and the Parasaurolophus having 26.