Gunma Pref. City Eyes Robots To Help Short-staffed Day Care Facilities

Gunma Pref. city eyes robots to help short-staffed day care facilities

OTA, Gunma -- To battle a day care worker shortage and lighten the burden on those working in the field, this city is taking a unique approach -- leading the development of a system to watch over children using "nursery robots."

The robots are being developed by Gunma University in collaboration with a private tech company. According to the Ota Municipal Government and other project participants, the nursery robot "VIVO" would be able to take attendance, measure the temperatures of children and also check on their vital signs during nap times. Field experiments in the city's day care centers are scheduled to begin in October, with the group aiming to introduce the finished product in April 2018. It is envisaged the system would initially be priced at 4 to 5 million yen, with demand for 10,000 units required in the future to make it commercially viable.

Underwater Robot Probe Inside Fukushima Plant's No. 3 Reactor Begins

Underwater robot probe inside Fukushima plant's No. 3 reactor begins

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant began on Wednesday probing inside a contaminated water-filled reactor containment vessel at one of its units using an underwater robot.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the plant operator, is hoping to discover the precise location and condition of melted fuel debris inside the No. 3 reactor, one of the three units which suffered meltdowns in the 2011 nuclear crisis following a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Upskilled Robots Move Closer To Replacing Expert Factory Workers

Upskilled robots move closer to replacing expert factory workers

KITA-KYUSHU--Robots can accurately mimic skilled factory workers' painstaking craftsmanship faster and in greater detail than ever before with new technology developed by a major industrial machinery company here.

If the technology is put into practical use, it could help robotization at "monozukuri" (conscientious manufacturing) sites in Japan where technical experts are in scarce supply.

Kewpie Egg-breaker Cracks 10 Per Second

Kewpie egg-breaker cracks 10 per second

By Seiya Arakawa / Yomiuri Shimbun Senior WriterEggs are being cracked so fast it's impossible to follow, with yolks and whites separated in an instant. "Six hundred eggs are cracked every minute," a tour guide at Kewpie Corp.'s Koromo Factory said, explaining the process as she held one of the devices that can crack 10 eggs a second.

"The egg is placed on its side, then a crack in the belly is made by two blades pressed against each other. The blades separate to the left and right to open the shell, and the inside drops down onto a dish. The dish's V-shaped design causes the egg white to flow out," she explained.

'jisa Biz' Work Style Campaign Kicks Off

'Jisa Biz' work style campaign kicks off

The Yomiuri Shimbun The "Jisa Biz" campaign kicked off Tuesday in the Tokyo area, in an effort to promote work style reform and ease commuter congestion.

Initiated by the Tokyo metropolitan government, the campaign promotes work styles such as teleworking and flextime in cooperation with private companies and railway operators.

Swimming Robot To Probe Damage At Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Swimming robot to probe damage at Fukushima nuclear plant

YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa Prefecture--A Japanese industrial group unveiled Thursday a swimming robot designed for underwater probes of damage from meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Remote controlled robots are key to the decades-long decommissioning process for the plant. But super-high radiation and structural damage inside the reactors hampered earlier attempts to inspect areas close to the reactors' cores.

Robots To Be Our 'representatives On Earth' Using Touch Technology

Robots to be our 'representatives on Earth' using touch technology

Robots could soon negate the need for humans to leave the home to sightsee or shop, thanks to new technology that allows them to experience things on their behalf, even including the sense of touch.

Tokyo-based start-up Telexistence Inc. unveiled the technology in the capital on June 12. The system enables robots to remotely provide services for humans, such as seeing exhibitions in museums or shopping for clothes in department stores.

Team Develops Snake-like Robot To Help In Disasters

Team develops snake-like robot to help in disasters

Jiji Press SENDAI (Jiji Press) — A Japanese research team said Monday that it has developed a snake-like robot that climbs over debris and rubble by shooting out air to lift its front end off the ground.

It is the first snake-shaped robot in the world that can move with its front tip off the ground using an air-expelling mechanism, according to the team, including members from Tohoku University.

Robots Have Positive Effect On Seniors At Nursing Care Facilities: Study

Robots have positive effect on seniors at nursing care facilities: study

Robots that can interact with humans were found to be effective in increasing the autonomy and activity of 34 percent of seniors at care facilities, a research team with the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development announced on May 30.

The results come from a nationwide survey of seniors interacting with robots that take the form of animals or children. Robots can assist care staff by responding to human movements, providing suggestions like "Should we move around a bit?" and giving quizzes and offering other stimuli. There had been reports that these kinds of robots made the seniors in facilities smile more, but up until now, there has been almost no objective data to confirm their effectiveness.

Miami Student Earns Visit From Honda’s Humanoid Robot

Miami Student Earns Visit From Honda’s Humanoid RobotSamantha Shestack's vision of the future earned her and her Miami North Beach Elementary School classmates a chance to experience the future of robotics, including Honda's state-of-the-art humanoid robot ASIMO.
The fourth-grader wrote an engaging essay discussing the importance of robots in the future and illustrated the many ways they would help society.

Robot For Rent: Toyota Helps Paralysed People Walk

Robot for Rent: Toyota Helps Paralysed People WalkToyota is making a robot commercially available for the first time to help people overcome mobility issues and lead independent lives.
A motorised mechanical frame can be attached to the legs of patients who have suffered lower body paralysis due to a stroke or other ailments.

Japan's Volleyball Team Is Training With Robots

Japan's Volleyball Team Is Training With Robots

While robots don't necessarily have the same kind of instincts or intuition that humans do, they do most faster and they don't tire, which means that in some situations robots might be more ideal than humans. Over in Japan, it seems that the country's volleyball team thinks so as well which is why they're practicing their spikes against robot blockers.

In this instance, the robots used are pretty straightforward. They moved in predetermined directions and have huge outstretched arms that will be used to block any spikes. The goal is to train the volleyball players to time their spikes so that they won't get blocked, but like we said the predetermined movements mean that it isn't quite like playing against a human.

Asimo Humanoid Robot Inspires Students To Become Tech Innovators

ASIMO Humanoid Robot Inspires Students to Become Tech InnovatorsAs Honda's ASIMO robot emerged waving from behind a sliding door, an audible gasp of surprise and excitement arose from the packed room of middle school students who had gathered at Honda Silicon Valley Lab for a special demonstration. While Honda's long-term plans for ASIMO are focused on helping humans with daily tasks, in the near-term Honda is hoping that ASIMO can inspire young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively referred to as STEM. Watch the video of ASIMO's visit to Silicon Valley.