Welfare Ministry Promoting Nursing-care Robots

Welfare ministry promoting nursing-care robots

Japan's welfare ministry has set up new sections to support the development and promotion of robots that can assist in nursing care.

The ministry this month opened six bases to support companies developing such robots, as well as 11 consultation centers for operators of nursing-care businesses across the country.

Disinfectant Robots Tested At Tokyo Train Station

Disinfectant robots tested at Tokyo train station

A railway operator is testing disinfectant robots at a station in Tokyo to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Media personnel were invited to view the test on Monday at Takanawa Gateway Station on the Yamanote Line, which is operated by East Japan Railway Company, or JR East. The station opened in March.

Humanoid Robots Tour Northern Japan

Humanoid robots tour northern Japan

A group of mini-humanoid robots with artificial intelligence took a trip to Japan's northern prefecture of Aomori on their owners' behalf.

A total of 50 RoBoHon robots from across the country started the trip at a train station in Aomori's Mutsu City on Monday. It was organized by electronics firm Sharp, which manufactures and markets the RoBoHon.

Toyota Is Using Virtual Reality To Help Teach Robots

Toyota Is Using Virtual Reality To Help Teach Robots

Unlike humans, robots do not come with the ability to think for themselves. This means that what a robot can do is pretty much what its creator has programmed it to do. While this is useful in factories on the assembly line where a robot might only have a few things to do, it becomes less useful when interacting with the real world.

Robots caretakers is expected to be a thing of the future, and to help that development along, Toyota Research Institute has adopted a unique approach to the problem by using virtual reality (VR) to teach robots skills it would need to be useful around a home. According to TRI’s senior manager Jeremy Ma, the reason for using VR is that because all homes are unique and it would be impossible to create a single set of instructions that would fit all households.

Toyota's Olympic Robots Offer Virtual Attendance And Athlete Assistance - Autoblog

Toyota's Olympic robots offer virtual attendance and athlete assistance - Autoblog

TOKYO — A cart-like robot scuttles across the field to bring back javelins and discuses. A towering screen-on-wheels is designed for "virtual" attendance. The cute ones are, naturally, the likeness of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots. Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp., a major Olympic sponsor, is readying various robots for next year's Tokyo Olympics. The robots were shown to reporters for release Monday. The mascot robots have moving limbs and its eyes change to the image of stars and hearts. It cannot speak at all or walk very well. But the engineer in charge, Tomohisa Moridaira, suggested various possibilities, such as getting the robot to hold the Olympic torch using magnets. The T-TR1, developed by Toyota's robotics institute in the U.S., highlights "virtual mobility," taking the automaker's usual business of transportation to another dimension. It's a moving human-size display designed to represent people who can't be there. Think a faraway grandma at a child's birthday party or a legendary athlete not able to attend but "virtually" taking part in Olympic festivities. Like all the world's major automakers, Toyota uses robotics in production plants. But it has also designed human-like robots, including those that play musical instruments. The Cue 3, which computes a three-dimensional image with sensors and adjusts motors for the right angle and propulsion to accurately throw basketballs, recently got listed in the Guinness World Records for making 2020 free throws without missing, a record for a robot and an homage to the Tokyo Olympics. An earlier Toyota robot that glides around like R2-D2 is devoted to picking things up, to help the sick and elderly. The latest "field support robot," which looks like a cart, will also be picking things up: the javelin, discus or hammer on the Olympic field. Its intelligence helps it avoid obstacles as well as repetitive routes to minimize wear and tear on the grass. The catch is: It can't go find the objects or pick them up on its own. A person has to run in front of it. Once the object is loaded, by the human, the robot will return to its original position.

Robot Hotel In Japan Lays Off Half Of Its Robots

Robot Hotel In Japan Lays Off Half Of Its Robots

Some of you may remember reading about the Henn na hotel in Japan back in 2015. It relied on a lot of robots to handle the jobs that you’d normally find humans doing in a hotel. In what seems like a solid case of irony, the hotel has had to effectively lay off half of its 243 robots, and will most likely be hiring humans to perform the functions.

The hotel did get a lot of publicity when it opened in 2015 for having hundreds of robots that looked bizarre and attempted to perform functions that humans would normally do. The robots were good as a gimmick but struggled to perform the tasks they were meant to.

Japan Lands Robots On Asteroid 180 Million Miles Away

Japan Lands Robots On Asteroid 180 Million Miles Away

Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has landed a couple of robots on the asteroid Ryugu some 180 million miles from Earth. The cylindrical robots are about 18cm wide and 7cm tall. They made their journey on the Hayabusa2 spacecraft which was launched from the Earth back in December 2014.

Japan To Use Robots In Schools For Improving English Skills

Japan To Use Robots In Schools For Improving English Skills

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In a bid to improve the English skills of both teachers and students, Japan is turning to robots and artificial intelligence. Japan’s Ministry of Education will launch a trial and put English-speaking AI robots in almost 500 schools across the country. This initiative will be launched in April next year.

Aibo Robots In Japan Get Their Own 'funeral'

Aibo Robots In Japan Get Their Own 'Funeral'

Sony's Aibo robots are probably one of the more iconic robots around, especially since they were introduced back in the day when consumer robots weren't as common or readily available. However just like with real dogs, Aibo dogs don't "live" forever and over in Japan, it seems that Aibo robots that are "dead" are being given their own funerals.

These funerals are pretty elaborate because they are done in the traditional way, which is that there is incense smoke and a priest who chants a sutra which is usually reserved for deceased humans to help pray for a peaceful transition into the afterworld. In this particular funeral, each Aibo robot comes with a tag to show where they came from and to which family they belonged to.

Sony, Carnegie Mellon Team Up To Research Cooking Robots

Sony, Carnegie Mellon Team Up To Research Cooking Robots

Robots that can cook and make drinks already exist, but could this be the way of the future where more of our F&B outlets will start turning to robots for that? That's why Sony and Carnegie Mellon University want to find out as both organizations have teamed up for research on AI and robotics.

Their initial researcher will be robots in the F&B industry where they will look into robots that can do food prep, cooking, and delivery, with plans to eventually create robots that can be used for specific food types and be used in all kinds of kitchen spaces, big or small. Now food might seem to be a rather specific area of focus, but there's a good reason for that.

Japan Offers Robopets, Target The Elderly, Kids And Hard-working Salarymen Pressed For Time

Japan offers robopets, target the elderly, kids and hard-working salarymen pressed for time

Japan, home of the "kawaii" cult of cute, has always had a soft spot for companion robots, in contrast to the more industrial or mechanical types used for assembly lines, surgeries and military missions. The Associated Press spent some time recently with three relatively affordable home robots from Japanese makers that target the elderly, kids and hard-working salarymen pressed for time. Unlike real children or pets, they have off switches and don't need constant attention, dog food or cat litter.

 

Honda Robots, Vehicles Powered By New Mobile Power Packs

Honda robots, vehicles powered by new Mobile Power Packs

Awhile back, Honda announced it would display a number of helpful robots alongside a new swappable, portable electric power system at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Now, the automaker has loosed its robotic fleet and introduced its Mobile Power Pack, along with vehicles it can power.

The Honda Mobile Power Pack is a swappable battery capable of storing 1 kWh or more, than can be used to power anything from electronic devices to vehicles. In addition, Exchangers can be set up in public places to allow for battery swapping and charging, meanwhile helping to stabilize the grid it's connected to. As examples of uses for the portable energy system, Honda showed its PCX Electric, a scooter powered by the mobile power pack, and the 4W-Vehicle concept, based on the Honda Pioneer 500 side-by-side ATV.

Japan Hospital Will Use Robots For Help During Night Shifts

Japan Hospital Will Use Robots For Help During Night Shifts


A hospital in Nagoya, Japan will soon have robots helping out the staff during night shifts. The robots are developed by Toyota and while they won’t be taking over from the real doctors anytime soon, they will be used for ferrying medicines and test samples between floors. The robots will be used for these tasks for a year at the Nagoya University Hospital.

The robots are basically refrigerators with a 90-liter capacity. They move around using radar and cameras to make their way between floors. The machines have been programmed to avoid running into humans and can even politely say “Excuse me, please let me pass,” if it can’t get past them.

Mitsubishi Electric Develops Fast Force-feedback Control Algorithm For Industrial Robots

Mitsubishi Electric Develops Fast Force-feedback Control Algorithm for Industrial Robots - FareastgizmosMitsubishi Electric has developed a fast force-feedback control algorithm for industrial robots using its Maisart proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology, resulting in low-tolerance precision tasks to be performed with fewer trials and in less time compared to human-supported robot assembly. In company-conducted tests, the algorithm shortened assembly insertion times by about 65 percent without requiring the robots to move violently.