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[8 Nov 2011 | No Comment | ]
Japan Creates a Robotic Guide Dog for the Blind

Now human beings shouldn’t be the only ones worried about robots taking our jobs. Noble guide dogs may have to watch out for these robo-dogs being developed to be assistance dogs for the blind. Robot parts manufacturer NSK has been working on this robot since 2005 and with each model they move closer to their goal. Below is a video showing a side by side comparison of the 2nd prototype vs the 3rd and current prototype.

As you can see the current prototype is a huge improvement over the previous in …

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[26 Oct 2011 | One Comment | ]
Diamond Vision OLED [Video]

At CEATEC 2011 Mitsubishi Electric showcased their “Diamond Vision OLED” technology which we’ve previously seen with the impressive gigantic globe screen: Geo Cosmos. This time they showed off a scaled down version, a group of OLED panels arranged a semi-spherical shape.

This screen is made up of 696 OLED panels 32mm x 32mm, one third the size of the ones used on Geo Cosmos. They each display a brightness of 1,200cd/m2 and consume 11.2kW of power. Mitsubishi has expressed plans to make them commercially available for digital signage.
Mitsubishi Electric TechCrunch

Featured, Gadgets »

[24 Oct 2011 | One Comment | ]
Dynamic 3D Structures [Video]

The University of Tokyo’s Naemura Lab displayed an interesting prototype designed for dynamically expressing 3D shapes. These KineReels are extentable rods which when put together can be used to form a variety of shapes. What sets the KineReels apart from other 3D shape displays is their incredibly tall extended height compared to their retracted height. When in storage the rods are 120 mm and can reach a whopping 3000mm when fully extended. What makes this even more impressive is that this is achieved using commercially available tape measures as rods. …

Featured, Robots »

[23 Oct 2011 | 10 Comments | ]
Creepy Robotic Clapping Hands [Video]

Attendees at Tokyo’s DC Expo 2011 were treated to an eerie musical performance by a pair of disembodied arms. These “Ondz” robotic clappers where developed by Masato Takahashi, a researcher at Keio University who crafted them from molds of his own arms.

The arms are made of an aluminium skeleton coated with urethane flesh and were specially designed to make a natural sounding clap. Takashi is well aware of how creepy his creation is and believes this adds an enjoyable surreal feeling to Ondz performances. He believes that they can be …

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[14 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
Voice Controlled Air Conditioner

You’ll never have to worry about loosing the remote for your air conditioner again with this line of voice controlled ACs by Toshiba.
The voice command system works using a voice controller unit that detects commands and transmits them to the AC unit via infra-red. By using one of 26 preregistered words the user can access a variety of functions for example “start”, “stop”, “timer” and “heating”. After the receiving a command the unit repeats it using a synthesized voice as it transits to the AC. The voice controller unit …

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[2 Sep 2011 | One Comment | ]
Skin that Glows in the dark, Implantable Glucose Meter being Researched.

For diabetics, testing their blood sugar levels is an extremely important and yet unpleasant task. The traditional method of testing blood sugar levels involves a person pricking his finger with a small needle, putting a drop of blood on a test strip, then inserting the strip into a meter that shows the reading. For many this is something they must do several times a day, so you can imagine that diabetics are always looking out for less painful and more convenient methods. But I bet no one imagined glowing skin …

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[17 Aug 2011 | No Comment | ]
Tokyo Tower to be Powered by Bikes

These days Tokyoites are very energy conscious due to the power storage caused by the disaster on March 11th. We are constantly reminded by posters to conserve electricity, the weather forecast also includes the city’s current energy capacity and even companies have drastically changed their work schedules to minimize their energy consumption. What else can the public do to help the city through it’s energy crisis? How about getting on a bike and using your legs to power the city?
On August 23rd there will be an event that will …

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[14 Jul 2011 | One Comment | ]
Cooling Foam that Hardens Helps Battle Japanese Summer.

Summers in Tokyo are notorious for being brutally hot and humid. This summer in particular there is an effort being made to conserve electricity due to the current energy crisis. The use of air conditioners has been reduced in favor of less energy hungry methods. As a result convenience store shelves are packed with a wide variety of products to keep you cool; facial and body wipes, ice gels and cooling sprays. These product have been extremely popular.
One particularly interesting spray is “Hokkyoku Monogatari” (Tales of the North Pole). After …

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[11 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Device to Trace Radio Waves Could Help Find Lost Cellphones

Japanese telecommunications company KDDI recently displayed a system capable of displaying the direction of incoming radio waves.
The system consist of a GPS, 8 cameras, an electronic gyroscope and a 9-element array antenna. The direction of the radio waves is represented as a graphic overlayed on a display showing an image of the surroundings. In the demo below a red line pin points the origin of the the radio signal and traces the source to the receiver. Researcher Masayuki Nakano says that in theory, this system could be used to locate …

Featured, Gadgets »

[7 Jul 2011 | One Comment | ]
Immersive VR System, Shooting Girls with a Heart Gun?

Check out the Immersive Digital Entertainment system, a setup with a head mounted display (HMD) that allows users to experience a full 360 degree interactive experience. The HMD imagine is rendered in real-time and corresponds to the user’s movement by using high definition motion capture cameras. System makers Crescent hope that their creation will be used in the entertainment industry, giving users a chance to experience technology usually used in Hollywood and in the fields of medicine and industrial design. Below is a cool video of it in action. But …