Tokyobling's Blog

Tsukuba Robots – Cyberdyne Studios

Posted in Places, Shops by tokyobling on November 17, 2014

If you find yourself in the neighborhood of the Ias Tsukuba shopping center in Ibaraki prefecture north east of Tokyo you could consider visiting the Cyberdyne Studios gallery on the second floor of the center. It is a gallery showcasing the robot and exoskeleton technology currently being developed at Tsukuba University as well as a selection of other man and machine cultural artifacts: Iron Man, a Terminator, something from the Evangelion series and some historic robots including Elektro and his dog Sparky that were showed to the public on the 1939 New York World Fair. There are also a whole bunch of robots and vehicles from the 1985 Tsukuba World Fair. The addition of a robotic design studio to a shopping center is no coincidence, as the nearby Tsukuba University has ambitions to become one of the world leaders in robotics and are already prototyping several kinds of exoskeletons for farm and field workers, some of which are seeing commercial use starting this year.

The most famous Cyberdyne products are the HAL line of exoskeleton for medical and therapeutic use that allows disabled people greater mobility and strength.

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Future Tehnology

Posted in Stuff by tokyobling on December 22, 2010

The march of technology brings us ever forward, but I often get the feeling that we are not much better than lemmings, blindly marching towards the cliff and an uncertain future. However, some of all this science seems pretty interesting and might just be able to steer us towards a better future, like these two items displayed at the famous Tokyo EcoPro trade fair for ecological products, held every year in December in Tokyo’s Odaiba district. The first one is an electric bicycle charging station. If you are like you have probably never tried one of these out but they are pretty big in Japan. The idea is that you use the pedals on flat surfaces while letting the electric engine kick in during uphill slopes or if you get tired before you reach your destination. They are very popular with the elderly of Japan and I see one or two around almost every day even here in Tokyo. As the world’s population ages and more and more of us come to rely on bicycles (still the most economical form of transportation known to man) these electricl bicycles and charging stations might prove common.

The second product is the first time I have seen the much talked about electrical paper, e-paper or e-ink. It’s a plastic, flexible sheet of paper that functions just like a newspaper. So far they are only black and white and what we see here is an early prototype. In the near future we might be reading on these instead of the bulky iPads! Check out the poor quality video at the end of this post to see how the electronic paper changes content quickly and smoothly.

Nikon D3 Cut In Half

Posted in Stuff by tokyobling on December 17, 2008

 

I visited the Tokyo Eco Products convention the other day (2008/12/12) to be exact and naturally I headed straight for the Nikon booth where my gaze immediately fell upon this beauty: a Nikon D3 cut in half for all of our camera porn pleasures! For a technophile camera lover as myself, I was for once happy to be a foreigner in Japan: the staff politely ignored my feeble attempts to take a decent photo through the counter glass. I felt slightly incestous: a Nikon D60 photographing a crippled D3. Behold all the beauty that is Nikon technology! And pray that you never see anything like this again.

AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm

AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm

 

 

Nikon D3 cut in half

Nikon D3 cut in half

 

The inside of a Nikon D3

The inside of a Nikon D3

A lot of glass in that lens

A lot of glass in that lens

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