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Mike Hanlon

The Suzuki Recursion prototype (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)

Suzuki's Recursion concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday looks very much like it has taken a leaf from the Erik Buell book of motorcycle design – light weight, mass centralization, broad usable power, and minimalism. While the underslung muffler is reminiscent, you might be excused in missing other similarities, as the forced induction 600cc parallel-twin engine is at first glance quite different to the big 1200cc V-twin of a Buell. In actual fact, it's not. Read the figures and you get a very similar powerband to the Buell of yore with its Harley Davidson motor.  Read More

Yamaha's exciting new Motiv.e two-seater may find many different forms, but no firm date h...

Yamaha Motor Corporation moved into the automotive business this afternoon in one of the shock announcements of the Tokyo Motor Show. Yamaha’s partner in the four-wheeled endeavor is none other than Gordon Murray Design. The new four-wheeled Yamaha MOTIV.e range of four-wheelers will be based on Gordon Murray’s much-vaunted City Car design, and will include a range of bodies, and a range of engines, including a 25 kW electric vehicle, and a one liter, three-cylinder engine likely to produce well over 100 bhp.  Read More

From left: the 2011 NWR 002 prototype, the 2013 commercially-ready LIGHBOT and the prototy...

There is no better example of the rapid rate of product development than NSK's move into the area of robotics. At IREX 2011, NSK showed a prototype robot designed to safely guide the visually-impaired, with a footprint of 520 x 660 mm (20 x 26 in) and weight of 40 kg (88 lb). This week, just two years later, NSK showed two versions its Lighbot guide robot that represent a 75 percent weight reduction and an 83 percent footprint reduction. The ingenious right-or-left-hand-drive interface has been both replaced and improved, and all other aspects of the latest bots are equal to or better than the original.  Read More

The UNI-CUB β and the UNI-CUB. The family was first seen four years ago at the Tokyo Motor...

Honda has announced that yet another version of the UNI-CUB personal mobility device will be shown at next week's Tokyo Motor Show. The UNI-CUB β is smaller, lighter, lower and can be used as a seat, making it a potential alternative to the office chair.  Read More

The Zepp system offers the type of analysis that simply wasn't available anywhere a decade...

Zepp Labs' training systems for Baseball, Golf and Tennis go on sale this week, offering sophisticated scientific analysis in three of the most commonly played and universally loved sports. A small bat/racket/glove-mounted unit containing a powerful ARM processor and multiple sensors, captures data at 1,000 data points per second on the athlete's swing, then transfers that data via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet for immediate analysis and feedback.  Read More

The UNiMO Grace is a stylish Apple-esque armchair-on-wheels, while the Adventure model is ...

The tracked UNiMO 400 W EV drive-train debuted at IREX last week, promising new levels of personal mobility for wheelchair users. Both models of the Unimo wheelchair will be in production by the end of this month: the US$18,000 Unimo Grace and the US$10,000 Unimo Adventure, one a stylish armchair on wheels, the other a sport model for going places you cannot normally go in a wheelchair.  Read More

As you can see, Shovelhead creates insects, fish and animals that look like they are alive...

If you are a geek-at-heart, there's likely no more loved artist than Yasuhito Udagawa (AKA Shovelhead). I photographed one of his exhibitions two years ago and it caused an avalanche of interest in his techno-mutant life-forms, so when he emailed me to let me know there was another exhibition on the last day of the International Robotics Expo, I was there!  Read More

Nissan's Bladeglider Concept is not your traditional sportscar - for starters, it has thre...

"Revolutionary" is not too strong a word for the Nissan BladeGlider concept, and it just might be a landmark in automotive history. Ben Bowlby conceived the vehicle in December 2008, and since then, it has gone from idea to racetrack to concept car and now mass production and a Nissan sub-brand look certain. Why? Read on ...  Read More

Gizmag's Mike Hanlon trying out the ARM-1 Osaka-based Kubota Corporation has built a robust brand for its agricultural machinery over the last three decades, and hence it was no surprise to see the company showing an unpowered exoskeleton at the International Robotics Exhibition.  Read More

The HX-1 Rescue Helicopter (Photo: Mike Hanlon/Gizmag)

The Hirobo stand at the International Robotics Exhibition in Tokyo this week was full of surprises. The first was the appearance of the HX-1 unmanned electric helicopter, due to go into production before the end of the year, but an even bigger surprise was in store when you opened the brochure – details of the company's planned personal (manned) BIT electric micro helicopter.  Read More

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