Category Archives: Robotics Museums

KIBO and HUBO Robot Show

The “KIBO and HUBO Show” was a live robotics demonstration at the Korea National Science Museum, running for a limited time from August to October. The museum is located next to Expo Park in Daedeok Science Town, Daejeon.

The show featured two robots: there was KIBO v2.0 from KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology) and HUBO2 from the Humanoid Robot Research Center at KAIST. The robots performed scripted motions together with a live actor.

The graduate students and researchers at the HUBO Lab spent a lot of time preparing for the show. A custom version of HUBO2 was built, incorporating a Kinect depth sensor embedded into the chest enclosure (Fig. 2) so that the robot could interact with kids, and a red-colored LED dot matrix behind the face visor (Fig. 4) that can display words or facial expressions.

Fig. 1:
The beginning of the show,
before HUBO turns around.

Fig. 2:
Close-up view of customized
HUBO2, with Kinect sensor.

Video 1:
The presenter makes some
opening remarks (in Korean).

Fig. 3:
HUBO robot on-stage
with the presenter.

Fig. 4:
The dot matrix display in the
robot’s head says “HUBO”.

Video 2:
This highlights the many
accomplishments of HUBO.

I don’t have a high-quality video of the entire show, however video 3 (below) shows four scripted behaviors: HUBO turning and walking towards the front of the stage, making a gesture, demonstrating active balance, and grasping an object.

The most impressive behavior is HUBO dancing to the song “Brand New Day”, by Julia Michaels (Video 4). The dancing motion was created using motion capture and Maya, and PhD candidate Inhyeok Kim developed a motion controller incorporating offline whole-body inverse kinematics and an online balance stabilizer. The video clip is from rehearsals and if you look in the background at 6 seconds in, you can see KIBO doing a “joint homing” sequence.

Video 3:
Various parts of the show.

Video 4:
HUBO “dynamic dance”.


Video 5:
Graduate students from
the HUBO Lab.

On this particular day KIBO was not functioning but I found some videos of the KIBO Show from a researcher who works at KIST. In Video 7, if you look to stage-left at 23 seconds in, you can see HUBO hanging from its stand.

Fig. 5:
KIBO in a powered-off state.

Video 6:
A promotional video
for the KIBO Show.

Neo Park / Robocare
Video 7:
Highlights from
the KIBO show.

Neo Park / Robocare

Visit to the Miraikan science museum in Tokyo

I had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (“Miraikan”) in Tokyo, Japan.
They have a permanent exhibition called “Robots In Your Life” where you can see and interact with various famous robots from Japan.

Fig. 1:
A HRP-1 biped humanoid robot is
hanging inside a display case.

Fig. 2:
A poster of the HRP-4C biped
humanoid robot.

There’s a display showing the history of biped robots, including the WABOT-1 and WABOT-2 from Waseda University.

Fig. 3:
WABOT-1 from 1973.

Fig. 4:
WAP-1, WABOT-1 and WL-9DR
from the 70’s.

Fig. 5:
WABOT-2, WL-10RD and WL-12R
from the 80’s.

There’s a live demonstration of Honda’s ASIMO robot which includes walking forwards, walking sideways, balancing on one leg, dancing and kicking a soccer ball. Since I visited, I heard they have added running to the demo also.

ASIMO demonstration.

Fig. 6:
The demo area has multiple markers placed
on the floor that the robot uses to estimate
its position and how far it needs to walk.
I’m not sure if they use the robot’s on-board
camera or an overhead camera looking down
at the scene.

Fig. 7:
A plush soft toy version of ASIMO
that you can buy in the gift shop.

Fig. 8:
ASIMO appears from behind
this door.

Fig. 9:
After the demo you can see
ASIMO behind the glass door.

Fig. 10:
Paro is an interactive robot that looks like a baby seal.
It was designed for therapeutic purposes, for people
who have Dementia or Alzheimers.