Japan's love affair with robots goes back hundreds of years.

Karakuri ningyō (mechanical puppets) were used in theaters across the nation from as early as the 17th century, while Osaka-based biologist Makoto Nishimura designed the country's first humanoid robot, Gakutensoku, in 1928.

This admiration is also reflected in the nation's pop culture, with the population falling in love with robots playing the lead roles in renowned manga series such as Osamu Tezuka's "Tetsuwan Atomu" ("Mighty Atom") manga series in 1952 and Fujiko Fujio's "Doraemon" 17 years later.