Highlights From the International Robot Exhibition 2013

Check out some of the coolest things we saw at IREX 2013

2 min read
Highlights From the International Robot Exhibition 2013

The theme for this year's International Robot Exhibition (IREX) in Tokyo was "Making a Future with Robot." We're not exactly sure what that means, but we're definitely in favor of it, and here are some of the coolest things that we saw.

There's one caveat with our IREX coverage, and that's the fact that there was a bit of a language barrier going on most of the time. With the exception of some big international robotics companies, there simply wasn't a lot of information available on many of the robots that we saw. We're following up as best we can, but in the meantime, enjoy this highlight video and gallery that we've put together for you.



Fanuc's gigantic M-2000iA robot arm, which can lift 1,200 kilograms.


KUKA, meanwhile, was busy doing something else.


Need a car assembled on the show floor? Kawasaki's got it covered.


Robot arms don't get much more blinged out that being entirely chrome-plated.


High-speed dice sorting.


This robot has been set up to autonomously (and flawlessly) decorate nails.


Pig robot?


Cup Noodles on the attack.


Toyota giving a demo of their Human Support Robot.


Japan gets kids started early on powered exoskeletons.


Beautiful linkages in a robot hand.


Toyota's master/slave robot arm system.


HiBot's aquatic robotic snake frolicking in its own swimming pool.


Robotis' gigantic walking humanoid robot, grown out of their high-end hobby servos.


DARWINs dancing in traditional Korean outfits.


Everybody loves Paro. Everybody.

[ IREX 2013 ]

The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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