Tea Server Robot Kit

Robotics and Japan seem synonymous. Today, Japan continues to push the envelope of robotics, which happens to be a rich part of the country?Äôs history and culture.

An example of Japan’s first robot is the fascinating Karakuri: Tea Server, designed almost four centuries ago and today remains a remarkable example of Japan’s keen sense of robotics. What does it do? This Kabuki-styled doll approaches surprised guests with a full teacup on a tray; it stops walking when the teacup is taken, waits quietly, bows, then slowly turns around, smoothly scooting away with the empty teacup on its tray.

Originally designed as a luxury toy of feudal lords and successful merchants in the Edo Period between 1603 and 1867. It was often used more as a social ploy to break the ice and get the conversation going between businessmen rather than to actually serve tea.

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From BoingBoing:

Boing Boing: 400 year old tea-serving robot kit