Press release

Mercari R4D Showcases Inflatable Personal Mobility Device Poimo at Miraikan

Workshops, Test Drive Sessions to Be Held This Summer

Mercari, Inc.’s research team Mercari R4D (“R4D”) announces its plans to feature the company’s inflatable electric mobility solution Poimo at “Mirai can NOW,” an event that will examine and imagine our future alongside robots. The event, which runs from July 8 to August 31, 2022, will be hosted by The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), located in Tokyo’s Koto Ward.
Note: Poimo is a registered trademark of Mercari, Inc. For more information about Poimo, see here: :https://r4d.mercari.com/mobility

Poimo is a new type of electric mobility solution that uses an inflatable design. It started as a joint research project between R4D and the Japan Science and Technology Agency’s (JST) ERATO Kawahara Universal Information Network Project, which is overseen by Professor Yoshihiro Kawahara from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering.

In addition to allowing people to test drive the sofa-shaped Poimo device at the event, R4D organizers of the Poimo project are also slated to host workshops that focus on the device. The workshops will be delivered in two parts: One will focus on Poimo, and another on the device’s interface. The Poimo workshops will be brainstorming sessions that look at possible new shapes and features for the device, while the interface workshop will be a learning session on how to operate the device controls.

R4D has worked on research and development to make Poimo publicly available as a short-distance transportation method. In this chapter of the Poimo project, R4D will gauge the demand for Poimo’s use in society by having museum guests actually try the device over an extended period of time, with the goal of uncovering further points for improvement.

Event Overview

In hosting this event, the goal of Miraikan is to allow people to preview a future world where robots are a part of everyday life.
Through workshops and panel exhibits that feature Poimo as a futuristic vehicle that incorporates new technologies, museum guests will get to learn about the device’s technology and have a chance to test drive it as well. A total of four Poimo models will also be exhibited in a static display, including a box-shaped model for shipping and the first Poimo prototype.
Special event website: https://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/events/202207082532.html

Poimo test drive sessions

  • When: Friday, July 8, to Wednesday, August 31, 2022
  • Where: 1st floor, Symbol Zone, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Format: On each day of the event, organizers will pass out same-day test drive tickets from 10:00 a.m. at the Symbol Zone on the 1st floor.

Note: Children who are not at least elementary school age must be accompanied by a guardian during the test drive.

Poimo workshops

Content (subject to change): Museum guests will brainstorm with members from R4D about the future shapes and features of Poimo devices they would like to see. This workshop will be designed for children in elementary school and above, so they can use it as their summer break research project.

Interface workshops

Content (subject to change): Museum guests will learn about the device’s operation interface, which uses a soft sensor, and then brainstorm with members from R4D and researchers from the University of Tokyo Yasuaki Kakehi Lab to sketch and create models of an interface that they would like to use themselves. Organizers also plan to 3D print a number of the designs for another event, to be held at a later date, that will feature the printed objects.

Note: Further details will be posted on the official Miraikan website at a future date.


About Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

A place located in Odaiba, Tokyo, a short walk from the tourist spots, visitors can easily come into contact with science and technology. Through a variety of events including exhibitions, talk sessions, and workshops, visitors will experience ongoing technology and science on various scales, from simple questions to the latest technologies, global environment, exploration of the universe, and the mystery of life.

Opening hours: 10:00〜17:00 (Admission accepted until 16:30)
Closed days: Tuesdays (Open on Jul-26 and every Tuesdays in Aug)
〒135-0064 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
TEL: +81-3-3570-9151 FAX:+81-3-3570-9150

About Mercari R4D

Mercari R4D was established in December 2017 as a research and development organization that aims to implement its findings practically, as part of the world at large. R4D stands for Research and 4 Ds: Design, Development, Deployment, and Disruption.
R4D conducts research and development in such areas as AI (artificial intelligence), blockchain technologies, HCI (human-computer interaction), quantum computing, and mobility.
For inquiries regarding R4D’s research, please contact us through R4D’s website ( https://r4d.mercari.com/contact/ )