From Mechagodzilla to Astro Boy, nobody does up robots like the Japanese. Tonight the Japan America Society of St. Louis presents Japan Robot Night in the Millennium Student Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road). Taking center stage is PARO, a therapeutic robot baby seal. PARO senses touch, light, sound, temperature and even posture to robotically simulate unconditional love, giving patients the benefits of animal therapy where live pets are impractical. PARO's inventor Dr. Takanori Shibata delivers the lecture "PARO the Seal Robot: Improving and Enriching Human Lives through Robot Technology," and Yasushi Sumitani (the director of technology for the Japan External Trade Organization-Chicago) provides a presentation on Japan's burgeoning "service robot" industry. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the program itself is expected to run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. There is no entry fee, though a parking permit is required. To request a free permit, call 314-516-5754.
Thu., Oct. 15, 2009