Connecting the past and the future

The think-tank of Japan, Mitsubishi Research Institute, is working hand-in-glove with the government to realise Expo 2025 Osaka goals



by

Rhonita Patnaik

Published: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 4:06 PM

Many of us are aware of the fact that the first-ever Expo in Asia was the Expo 1970 Osaka. With a visitor footprint of 64 million out of 100-million population, the expo still holds a world record. Part of this success was Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) that aided showcasing futuristic technologies at the global exposition.

Manabu Ouji at MRI explains how the past expos have predicted the future of our human society.

“When we look at the past expo in 1970, Moon was being featured at the US Pavilion and rockets at the Russia Pavilion (then USSR), and the Switzerland Pavilion was decorated with 30,000 light bulbs and mirrors, thus showcasing their individual technologies and culture. At that expo, Japan exhibited wireless phones and washing machine for human beings (now defunct), all aided by MRI projects. Our technology made people imagine the future way ahead. In this regard, I believe the expos are an opportunity to exemplify and realise the future image of humankind.”

Fast forward 55 years, at Expo 2025 Osaka, Ouji says that aligned with the theme ‘Designing Future Society for Our Lives’, Mitsubishi Research Institute will bring new innovations by collaborating with different sectors.

Elaborating further, he says that the institute has three programmes underlined for the upcoming expo.

- Recognise and designate co-creation partner and co-creation challenge and bid their activities with the Expo 2025 authorities targeting the realisation of future images and solve social problems. Here the MRI aims to:

- Solicit people’s awareness towards problem-solving by triggering the expo and the pre-event participation that will enhance visitor interests.

- Developing humanoids or DJ robots to entertain the visitors at the expo. This will also help humans understand the co-existence with humanoids in the society. At the present, there is insufficient exchange between the human and the robots. Music will be used as a means to enhance co-understanding.

Each project is slated to create a new society with the Expo creating such an opportunity.

PLL Expo talks

MRI has already begun this presentation project using social media channel such as the YouTube with co-creation partners. This is a platform lets listeners interact and understand how the co-creation partners will work for their individual roles at the Expo. Until date, there are 20 clips posted and streaming on YouTube.

People Living Lab

Here the MRI will recruit new ideas from the public. This is the recruitment of new ideas and technologies which will be realised for Expo 2025 Osaka. Until date, MRI has collected more than 1,00 applicants for the initiative and has published all the ideas. This is aimed at knowledge-sharing, explains Ouji.

While working on ideas, one of the new technologies that MRI is fast-tracking for the expo is flying cars. According to empirical studies, Japan is preparing the technology, service and regulation to realise this futuristic vehicle in 2025. And the future is near!

Because of the expo, this move is developing at an accelerated pace.


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