(Click on thumbnail for enlargement)
Just outside Harajuku station today I saw the craziest/funniest/most dumbfounding thing I've seen in Japan to date. The machine containing this man was fully mobile and powerful enough to get up and down the curbs with ease, not to mention immaculately put together. He rolled right past me in front of the station toward the park, accross the bridge of freaks and over to the crosswalk bridge stairs. Then he waited patiently for a break in traffic and took off down the street away from the crowds. He never once cracked a smile, stopped only when the crowd was too thick to let him by, and seemed at best to not notice all the people staring and trying to talk to him, at worst slightly annoyed that everyone was looking at him and blocking his way (Cripes! You act as thought you've never seen Buzz Lightyear Tetrapodal robot out for a Sunday roll before!).
I'd like to know if anyone knows anything about this...thing...if you've sighted it yourself, or if its been in the news at all (this has foreign media written all over it, a.k.a., stereotype reinforcement)
Here are a couple of other photos of the same robot, with a different passenger.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects