05 August 2006

Japanese giant squid robot

Pink tentacle reports: "In squid-crazy Hakodate, squid fishing is big business, the local specialties include shio ramen (squid-topped ramen) and ikasomen (raw squid cut into the shape of somen noodles), the summer festivals have residents busting squid-like moves in a dance called ika-odori (a squirmy version of the traditional bon dance performed at summer festivals throughout Japan), and the city fish is the squid. It is therefore unlikely that anyone was surprised when, on July 18, a group of Hakodate residents made an official announcement regarding plans to create a giant robotic squid for the city.

The citizens’ group, called “Robot Festival in Hakodate,” aims to create a new symbol for Hakodate, one of the leading tourist destinations in Hokkaido — and what better symbol than a giant robotic version of the city’s favorite creature?

Members of the group include university professors specializing in robotic engineering, who will work to incorporate cutting-edge technology that will allow the robot to be controlled remotely via the Internet. Development will be led by Hitoshi Matsubara and Hidekatsu Yanagi, information architecture professors at the School of System Information Science at Future University-Hakodate (FUN). Matsubara will handle the robotics research and development, while Yanagi will handle design. Students from the university, along with Hakodate high school teachers and students and others in the local manufacturing industry, will contribute ideas in brainstorming sessions."

(via pinktentacle)

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