The biannual International Robot Exhibition kicked off Wednesday in Tokyo, showcasing the latest advances in robotics — including technology for use in disaster scenarios and in the nursing-care field.

With a record 446 firms attending the event at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward, numerous robots are on display through Saturday, when the event wraps up. These include the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization's (NEDO) disaster prevention robots, which were drawing huge crowds at their demonstrations.

During the demonstrations by NEDO, one of the country's largest public research organizations, visitors were awed as the HRP-2 Kai life-size humanoid robot walked along on a narrow path and opened a door to check for a fire while another life-size robot, Jaxon, walked and turned a sprinkler valve to extinguish the blaze.