Opening of four new Permanent Exhibitions June 22 (Thu), 2017 - IoT, Android, Health Innovation, Venus Exploration

Miraikan - the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation will be opening four new permanent exhibitions starting Thursday, June 22, 2017.

These exhibitions are based on the respective themes of IoT (Internet of Things), android, health innovation, and Venus exploration. They provide an introduction into technologies that are under development and slated for completion in the next few years, as well as cutting-edge science that offers new perspectives, to help each and every individual gain an understanding of our world today.

Launch date

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Four new exhibitions

1. A Hands-On Model of the Internet 2017
2. Alter - A life-like entity
3. <Laboratory for New Media> 18th Exhibition"Activate Yourself - project for lazy athletes"
4. <Laboratory to Explore the Frontiers> Venus Climate Orbiter"Akatsuki" - the challenge of Venus exploration

A Hands-On Model of the Internet 2017

This has been a popular exhibition since the opening of Miraikan in 2001, and has now been updated to reflect the current situation for the Internet in our world today, where it is used widely across many areas of our lives including IoT. In addition to people and information, objects, the environment, and services are also mutually linked through the Internet. As it continues to serve as the foundation of an information society that undergoes dramatic changes from day to day, it is also redefined as the technology that creates our future.

A Hands-On Model of the Internet 2017

A "hands-on model" that comes even closer to actual processing
The sending and delivery of the invisible"0" and "1" signals through an autonomous and decentralized system is visualized using a mechanical system where a message is represented by a sequence of white and black balls. The exhibit has been improved to include the sending of the sender's address, and offers an even more faithful representation of the workings of an actual IP network.

"Encoders" and "decoders" that enable the digital conversion of sound and movement
An ability to handle diverse forms of information, an important feature of digital expression, has now been incorporated into the system. In addition to the conversion of text, new functions have been added allowing encoding and decoding of such forms of information as sound and movement.

Venue: 3F, in the "Create your future" zone
Supervision: Professor Jun Murai (Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University)
Associate Professor Masaaki Sato (Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University)
Creative and design direction: Ichiro Higashiizumi (Higraph Tokyo)

Alter - A life-like entity

"Alter" is a new addition to the permanent exhibition "Android: What is Human?" "Alter" may look like a machine that has been stripped bare, but it is capable of expressing very complex, life-like movements. By comparing "Alter" to the android "Otonaroid" standing next to it, visitors can gain deeper insight into the philosophical question of "What is humanness or life-likeness?"

"Alter" ©Justine Emard

"Alter" is the result of a collaborative project between Professor Ishiguro's research laboratory, which consider life-likeness as something that is a result of the human imagination, and Professor Ikegami's research laboratory, which consider life-likeness as a property emerging from more fundamental principles. Alter's complex movements are created through a program that mimics nerve activity (neural networks), and reflect responses from people around the android. The display also features tests and experiments conducted by the researchers. Will "Alter" be able to "learn" life-like movements from responses provided by Miraikan's visitors?

Venue: 3F, in the "Create Your Future" zone
Supervision: "Alter" Production Team
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro (Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University)
Professor Takashi Ikegami (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
Special Lecturer Kohei Ogawa (Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University)
Itsuki Doi, Atsushi Masumori (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo) Hiroki Kojima (Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo)

The 20th Japan Media Arts Festival, Art Division, Excellence Award (March 2017)
*"Alter" was also on display for a limited time period from July to October, 2016, at a special space allocated on the 7F at Miraikan.

<Laboratory for New Media> 18th Exhibition "Activate Yourself - project for lazy athletes"

Even though we understand that exercise is beneficial to our health, we often neglect it, making such excuses as having no time, or having no opportunity. Arranging technology in a way that would motivate us to exercise in the course of our everyday lives may provide a solution.
In a society of the future where "health innovation by daily exercise" becomes reality, anyone can become an active athlete!

KOKOROMO (illustration)

The following technology will be introduced in the exhibit

KOKOROMO - sensors equipped undergarments that collect biological data such as electrocardiogram and posture data;
OTODAMA, ONSEN, OTOMATO - a system of ultrasonic speakers used to deliver localized sound that can be heard only at a certain location
OEKAKINDEN - a new and enjoyable team exercise experience where pictures and music are created based on information from muscles of arms of exercising participants.

Venue: 3F, in the "Create Your Future" zone
Exhibitor: Professor Tadao Isaka
(College of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University)

<Laboratory to Explore the Frontiers> Venus Climate Orbiter "Akatsuki" - the challenge of Venus exploration

The Japan's first planetary orbiter "Akatsuki" was inserted into orbit around Venus in December 2015: five years after its first, unsuccessful attempt. This exhibit discusses the importance of planetary research and delves into the mysteries of Venus through the latest research results. Understanding the true aspects of Venus, which is also described as a "sister planet" to Earth, can help us to look at our planet Earth from a new perspective.

Venus Climate Orbiter "Akatsuki" (illustration)

The challenge of planetary exploration
Through interview videos, this section conveys the thoughts of researchers who have directly participated in the "Akatsuki" project, taken up the challenge of planetary exploration.

The Technology and Teamwork behind the Akatsuki Project, Japan's First Planetary Exploration
Through a 1/5-scale model of the "Akatsuki" and equipment that is the same as that mounted in the actual probe, the exhibit uncovers the secrets that led to the success of this difficult mission.

Seeing the Earth differently - research frontier opened by Akatsuki
This section introduces the latest results obtained by the Akatsuki team. The section will be updated regularly to reflect the progress of the Akatsuki mission.

Venue: 5F, in the "Explore the Frontiers" zone
Supervision and cooperation: "Akatsuki" Project Team
Professor Takeshi Imamura (Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
Assistant Professor Hiroyuki Toyota (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, JAXA)


Miraikan has established two Laboratories to introduce cutting-edge research to visitors. These are the "Laboratory for New Media" located in the "Create your future" zone on the 3F, and the "Laboratory to Explore the Frontiers" located in the "Explore the frontiers" zone on the 5F. Exhibitions in the Laboratories are refreshed regularly.

For more information contact

Miraikan-The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation