Post Thumbnail

Canon has announced that it'll ditch human production line employees and rely entirely on robots to build its cameras. Several Japanese companies have felt the pinch thanks to the soaring value of the yen and have acted quickly to move production overseas, but Canon has resisted doing the same. Co...

2 years ago 0 Comments
May 14, 2012 at 2:57PM
Post Thumbnail

We tend to avoid scooping up sushi whenever there's no chef in sight -- at, say, a grocery store, or a gas station -- but we've always assumed there was a human cranking out maki somewhere behind the scenes. If Suzumo's SushiBot makes it to the production line, that may no longer be the case. The c...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Robotic pets are kind of kid stuff here in the US, but they're a big deal over in Japan, and here's one that takes advantage of the iPhone's popularity. The Smartpet is a robotic dog that "borrows" the iPhone as head unit. The body is mechanical, of course, but the head uses the iPhone's touchs...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Does the Uncanny Valley extend to re-creations of our four-legged friends? We'll find out soon enough if Yasunori Yamada and his University of Tokyo engineering team manage to get their PIGORASS quadruped bot beyond its first unsteady hops, and into a full-on gallop. Developed as a means of analy...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Most robotic hands are built with a series of individual motors in each joint, making them heavy, expensive and prone to gripping everything with the subtlety of a vice. Japan's ITK thinks it's solved those problems with Handroid -- designed with cords that mimic the muscles in our meat-paws. N...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

After a brief hiatus, that giant Gundam statue we spotted a couple years ago has once again returned home to Tokyo -- though he clearly didn't make the voyage in one piece. Rather than reconstruct the 60-foot robot in its entirety, Bandai, the company behind the Gundam franchise, has decided to...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Japan's Ministry of Defense is pretty good at its hovering drones, but we're not entirely convinced that this one will be fit for purpose. The RC reconnaissance scout reminds us of a spherical Iain M. Banks Culture drone, which is neat, except that this one's more conspicuous, dies after just eig...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

How does a self-driving car know where it's going? By using a map, of course -- preferably a self-generated one. In yet another video exemplifying breakneck golf-cart-like speeds, the ZMP RoboCar shows us that it doesn't need a driver to know where it's going. At least, not the second time i...

3 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Joining the extended family of robots assisting with the relief effort in Japan, the Texas-based Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) has sent its SARbot to Rikuzentakata. Like some of the other bots, this guy can shoot video as it swims under houses and other crippled structures, b...

4 years ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

We'd love to head on down to Fukushima with a DSLR and some iodide pills, but that's obviously not going to happen. Sending in a flying robot seems to be the next best thing, though, and that's exactly what Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has done. T-Hawk, a US-made MAV (Micro Air Vehicle) commonly u...

4 years ago 0 Comments