Robot Town Sagami

But can it aerate jaywalkers with retractable butt guns?

Here's a traffic signal with a much more inspiring message than "Walk": It wants you to fly, fly! across the street on the power of your flaming foot jets.

Yes, that boldly striding green figure is Astro Boy, the iconic manga character created in the 1950s by Osamu Tezuka. And yes, it is real and hanging in a southwest ward of Yokohama. Consider it one more indication that all Japan's traffic will one day be controlled by robots (including these creepy, flag-waving automatons).

The excellent culture blog Spoon & Tamago gives these details:

In an attempt to promote their robotic industries and rebrand as “Robot Town,” the district of Sagami in Kanagawa prefecture has created a pedestrian traffic light in the likeness of Astro Boy....

The city even turned it into a scavenger hunt by intentionally hiding the location and encouraging residents and visitors to try and find the Astro Boy traffic light. The location has already been leaked thanks to a newspaper that mistakenly revealed the location in their headline.

No word yet if the traffic signal will aerate jay walkers with its retractable butt guns.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    How Boston Got Its ‘T’

    Designers Peter Chermayeff and Tom Geismar talk about how they gave the MBTA an enduring makeover.

  2. Life

    Remembering the ‘Mother of All Pandemics,’ 100 Years Later

    The Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 offers important lessons in balancing truth and panic during public health crises.

  3. Transportation

    Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)

    Streetcar, bus, and metro systems have been ignoring one lesson for 100 years: Service drives demand.

  4. A Fifties-style diner with blue booths and chairs and pink walls.
    Design

    Why a ‘Memory Town’ Is Coming to Your Local Strip Mall

    Weeks after opening near San Diego, a model town for treating dementia is set to be replicated around the U.S.

  5. A large tank truck parked in front of new apartment buildings.
    Life

    The Divides Within, and Between, Urban and Rural America

    Economic growth is not only uneven between urban and rural places—it is uneven within them, too.