This year's Robodex not only focuses on robots for entertainment, but robots that can co-exist and work in a human society. These include robots that educate kids, assist people who need medical support and can stand watch and guard the inside of a building at night.
One robot, called Asimo, by Honda Motors, is already working alongside people. It landed a job at Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, works as a guide at IBM Japan's building, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Valentine's Day, and also stars in a series of Honda TV commercials.
Asimo is one of the two hottest robots at Robodex 2002. The other is Sony's SDR-4X. Like Asimo, the SDR-4X is a humanoid robot that can walk, move and even dance.
Sony unveiled a prototype of the 58-centimeter-tall robot a week ago. Equipped with an advanced motion-control system, the robot can balance on a moving platform and walk on carpet or Japanese tatami mat floors - something that is very difficult for a robot.
At preview demonstrations the robots did their best to impress visitors. Four SDR-4X robots sang and danced on a Sony stage along with the company's Aibo entertainment robots, while Honda's Asimo walked around the hall, waved at visitors and climbed up and down stairs.
A total of 27 domestic participants - 13 corporations, 10 universities, three government agencies and one individual - and a single foreign country, the UK, represented by Shadow Robot, will exhibit their robots.
Organisers said they expect 65,000 visitors.