Rethink Robotics, maker of the Baxter industrial & manufacturing robot, has signed an exclusive deal with Nihon Binary to distribute the machine here in Japan. For now it’s just the research version, but it clearly opens the door for more.
In addition to our exclusive close-up footage of Team Skeletonics' human-powered exoskeleton, luckily we also collected a few wide angle and close-up stills. Yeah, we've kinda been fawning over Skeletonics of late. But for good reason: you won't believe what they're working on.
The Japan Robot Association (JARA) and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun will open the 20th bi-ennial iREX International Robot Exhibition here in Tokyo tomorrow morning. This is Japan’s, perhaps the entire planet's premier robotics extravaganza.
We’ve been in love with Team Skeletonics’ human-powered exoskeleton for years, and all throughout, it's pretty much been the same mechanical and aesthetic configuration. But it now looks like they’ve been refining in the background, and might be bringing something new out to play.
Honda bills ASIMO as the world's most advanced humanoid robot, and taken as a whole, it’s probably accurate to say. But an American robot is catching up, and unless Honda’s got some new tricks (ASIMO X?), ATLAS is going to shove ASIMO aside and take his cookies.
Instant noodles, Top Ramen in particular, are perhaps best known as a symbol of the struggling college student, the underemployed and/or lazy bachelor, or simply the food of last resort - but not in Japan. Here there’s a clear, unabashed romance between Cup Noodles and robots.
Silly question. Even if you’ve got two fleshy ones that work, who doesn’t want a robotic, 3D printed, open-source, crowd-funded, sub-$1000 prosthetic hand? British roboticist Joel Gibbard’s Open Hand Project has a working prototype, a plan, and plenty of motivation. Sayonara, hook hand prosthetic thingy!
What with the card dealing, cooking, and golfing, Yaskawa Electric’s heavily YouTubed Motoman industrial robots have plenty of name, and now, with a pair of robo-rehab machines, the company’s taking its Human Assist agenda public; another player joins Japan’s assistive robotics gold rush.
Gymnast robot celebrates Tokyo’s successful 2020 Olympic bid with a triple backflip off the bar, and back onto the bar, industrial robots play with racecars, and a monolingual mini-humanoid speaks the first robotic words from the International Space Station. Three J-robots in under 4 minutes!
Robot toys are important, and our weekly Japanese Robots feature can’t always be super serious; occasionally it’s robot art, or giant J-robots' impact on the movies, and sometimes it’s a plastic puppet bringing thumb wars into the modern age. Diverse are budding roboticists’ inspirations!
Drone "pilots." That's an important word here. And an excellent segue into starting a nomenclatural geekfight. Here goes:
Drones, while they have some autonomous robotic features, are not in and of themselves robots. No more than like, you know, commercialy available cars - complete with cruise control and automatic windshield wipers and auto-dimming headlights. If current military drones, those in use - not the U.S. Air Force's & U.S. Navy's research platforms, if those are robots with pilots, then so is a Toyota Corolla.
So where's the distinction?
"Killer Robots Watching and Raining Death from Above" [click, click, click, click, click..., reshare, click, Like, Tweet]
Disingenuous hyperbole sure does get the pageviews, and the ajournalistic bandwaggony rhetoric is likely to continue, but it's irresponsible, misleading, and inaccurate - and should be called out and made fun of at every possible juncture.
The Japan Robot Association (JARA) and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun are gearing up to host the 20th bi-ennial iREX International Robot Exhibition here in Tokyo. This is Japan’s Big Show, and naturally, AkihabaraNews is going to be all over it - here’s a bit of what to expect:
A brief compilation of six industrial robots getting their demo on yesterday at iREX. They're all amazing, but the precision and power of the big ones - when you're stanging right next to them - it's just awesome.
Getting in/on, Demoing, and Getting out of a Team Skeletonics Exoskeletal Suit(in a pretty small room)Over the weekend we visited a conceptual capital, a Mecca of sorts, of super-powered, executive-level Japanese geekdom: Maker Faire: Tokyo 2013.
There’s no shortage of attention for the horizontal bar gymnastics robot videos from YouTube user "hinamitetu," and yesterday, a new milestone: once again, in what looks like mom’s cluttered basement or garage, the gymnast-bot impresses with a super difficult Kovacs to triple backflip - stuck the landing, of course.
With robots and mechs Japanese designers would love, and hints of a good story, Keloid is a cruel tease of a trailer. British newscasters, robots speaking Russian, all made by a Spanish effects studio; look, can someone, somewhere just go ahead and give these guys movie money already?
In its 18 public months, Honda’s semi-robotic UNI-CUB personal mobility device hasn’t seen a lot of the spotlight, but that might be changing; last week, here in Tokyo, we managed to capture some raw footage of a UNI-CUB test ride, smartphone control, and a rolling departure (VIDEO).
“Yes hello, this is Yaskawa again - Konnichiwa! Yeah so, our assistive robotics stuff already got coverage this month, but we also just sealed a deal to finance, further develop, and distribute life-changing robotic prosthetics from Israel, so like, you know, just sharing news and stuff.” You’ve been busy, Yaskawa. #JAPAN #ROBOTS #YASKAWA #REWALK #EXOSKELETON
Ohhh boy, an unboxing video that’s not just filler, but 500% justifiable. The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) trials are still 3.5 months away, but Japan’s SCHAFT, and every other Track A team, have to be wondering if they can hope to compete with the contents of that shiny bag.