Flower Robotics, a startup company led by Japanese designer Tetsuya Matsui, and SGI Japan, the local unit of Silicon Graphics, the firm that made the Cray supercomputer, has unveiled its own humanoid robot.

Named 'Posy', the new robot is the product of a year and a half of design work, based on the flower girls that present bunches of flowers to participants at various ceremonies in Japan.

The concept came from Matsui, who is also a member of the Japanese government-backed Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project and is well known for designing 'Pino', a robot that has a somewhat similar appearance and was also at the Robodex 2002 exhibition here.

SGI Japan helped Matsui work on digital mockups of Posy which were used to simulate the robot's movements and overall control, said Dai Akimoto, robot business promoter at SGI Japan's graphics business promotion unit.

Software from SGI's Alias/Wavefront unit was the main base for development. "More so than things like cars, robots have precise movements that need to be worked on and checked so software is even more useful for simulation," said Akimoto.

Going forward, SGI Japan is now considering applications for the robot. It has already appeared in a Japanese promotion for a Guerlain perfume and SGI is considering employing Posy in its Japanese headquarters building to welcome visitors.

Posy was one of 72 different robots on display at Robodex, which finished on Sunday in Japan.