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Cardiff Met humanoid robots greet guests at National Museum Cardiff’s new  Japan Exhibition


​Keith Dunn OBE (Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales); First Minister Carwyn Jones AM, Simon Thorne (Senior Lecturer at Cardiff School of Technologies) and Robot Dewey from Cardiff School of Technologies.

Cardiff Met's brand new Cardiff School of Technologies provided two humanoid robots to entertain guests as part of the official launch of the major exhibition Kizuna at National Museum Cardiff last night.

The Kizuna exhibition explores how Japanese culture and design has captivated both Wales and the rest of the world, and opens to the public at National Museum Cardiff on Saturday 16th June. 

Cardiff School of Technologies' robots greeted and interacted with over 200 guests attending the exhibition's opening ceremony (14th June), using both English and Welsh greetings. Guests included the First Minister of Wales and Mr Tsuruoka, Ambassador for Japan in the UK.

Eureka Robotics Lab Founder and Senior Lecturer at Cardiff School of Technologies, Dr Esyin Chew said: "It was a fantastic experience for us to showcase our humanoid robotic programs in the centre of National Museum Cardiff. I would like to thank the excellent team - Dr Simon Thorne, David Shuyang Hu, Carol Zhou, and the staff at National Museum Wales for making this happen.

"It is the first time our humanoid robots are speaking Welsh and it was great to see them dancing and interacting with the guests and creating a real sense of fun at the event.  This is indeed a milestone for EUREKA Robotics Lab and we are delighted that we were invited to take part in the exhibition.

"Our robots will also be a key part of the Tanabata family event on 7th & 8th July as part of the wider exhibition and we hope that families and children attending will be suitably entertained by Robot Dewey from Cardiff Met."

David Shuyang is a postgraduate intern student at Cardiff Met's robotics lab. He said: "I have gained a good understanding of Japan's Kizuna culture through my involvement in this project. It has been an excellent opportunity to learn and practise robotic programming, and seeing the enthusiasm of guests and their reaction to the robots at last night's event has given me a great incentive to research and develop further robotics at Cardiff Met."

The trilingual exhibition, Kizuna, which means bonds of friendship in Japanese, opens on Saturday 16 June and runs until 9 September. Entry is free.

The exhibition has been organised jointly by National Museum Cardiff, the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese Government and the National Museum of Japanese History, with special cooperation from the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. International air transport has been provided by All Nippon Airways.

In the exhibition, visitors can learn about the history between Europe and Japan, explore wonders of contemporary Japanese design and objects which are familiar to everyday life. Enjoy the calm in the Zen garden and experience beautiful examples of historic art and design.

Many of the works of art on display have come from national museums in Japan especially for the exhibition, including:

  • A 400-year-old handscroll painted with monsters is a forerunner of modern animation.
  • Magnificent painted screens, measuring more than 1.6m high by 3.6m long, offering panoramic views of Edo (modern Tokyo) in the 18th century.
  • Beautiful costumes, ceramic jars and lacquer ware which show off Japan's highly developed craft skills and love of beautiful materials.

A full learning and events programme will complement the exhibition. One of the key events is a free weekend of family activities, performances and demonstrations celebrating Tanabata (the Japanese Star Festival) from 7 until 8 July, 10 - 4pm, funded by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. For more information on events:  https://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/10055/KIZUNA-Japan--Wales--Design/