The NHK "What's on Japan" program broadcast a 5 minute segment exploring the current boom in hobby humanoid robotics early this morning (see screen shots below). The program was extremely well done and covered a surprising amount of ground in a very short time.
In addition to providing some historical background, the program gave viewers a taste of the Akihabara robot scene, including a visit to Tsukumo Robot Kingdom with customer interviews, an introduction to the training and customers at RT, and and some insightful comments from Takahashi-san.
One of the most memorable moments during the program came when Takahashi-san explained that, "I don't want them to be regarded as convenient machines. Rather, I hope that people will treat them as members of the family."
What was the absolute 'best' moment on the program?
Well, just take a look at the smile on Hamaguchi-san's face in the lower right hand corner of the images above. He had just finished the assembly of his MANOI AT01 and was putting it through it's paces performing motions. Total satisfaction and a sense of real accomplishment.