Chris from Customer Services has done us a blog about Japanese robots. Obviously. Over to you, Chris…

“Everybody knows that robots are cool. It’s the name of the game here at IWOOT – gadgets that make you go “whoa!”. Every little human child has wished for a robot friend to smite our foes, be a best mate or just do our maths for us. These wishes come from our influences. Who has seen Rocky IV and not wanted Balboa to be giving that bug eyed robot to them rather than his boozed up, freeloading, brother in law? Or watched Johnny 5 wasted in a life of servitude building mini-mes (procreation metaphor methinks) under the guise of ‘helping a friend’? Don’t we all just want him to laser gun his Guttenberg master with a “kiss my robot ass Mahoney!”?

What is the problem with Japan then? Why are they not building the robots of our fantasies? (Fembots!…) They seem to be hell-bent on providing us with robots of an increasingly horrifying nature.

Behold the work of inventor Hiroki Kunimura:


This bundle of terror is Yotaro, a robot constructed by Dr Kunimura to aid in Japan’s population problem. You see, what you don’t get told in re-runs of Akira and in the narrative of Tokyo Drift is that Japan has real issues with its population in that, much like giant Pandas, they just won’t make babies.

Yotaro, according to Hiroki, is designed to “trigger human emotions so humans will want to have their own baby”. First issue: why is he referring to humans as if he has never seen one outside a lab? Second issue: Yotaro feeds, cries, gurgles and leaks like we are told real babies do and has gone down a storm with the robot-making communities of Japan, many declaring that they felt new emotions rising up in them after making contact with Yotaro (dread and despair, presumably).


Interestingly Kunimura has said that the baby crisis was not in the front of his mind when he developed Yotaro. What was he developing this bed ridden hell-globe for?!”

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