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Japan

Robotics

Bio-likeness: Getting the feel of our robotic future

Robots will form a big part of our lives in the future, but despite the imagination and foresight of the best science fiction writers and filmmakers, it's still not exactly clear how will we accept and interact with them. Researchers at the Yamanaka Laboratory at the University of Tokyo have been investigating the field of robot-human interaction since 2007 by adding different kinds of biological behavior to a series of robotic sculptures. Recently almost all of these sculptures were gathered together for the Bio-likeness prototype exhibition. Gizmag went along to get a feel of their work.Read More

Wearables

Fove head mounted display expands possibilities with eye-tracking technology

Back in 2011, Google filed a patent for an unlock system for Google Glass that would use eye-tracking technology. Tokyo-based startup Fove believes the combination of a head mounted display (HMD) and eye-tracking technology has far wider applications and is working on just such a device aimed at the consumer market. Microsoft apparently agrees, having accepted the company into its Ventures Accelerator in London earlier this month.Read More

Architecture

BioSkin defies urban heat island effect to help keep buildings cool

The urban heat island effect, whereby the high concentration of heat-retaining concrete and bitumen causes metropolitan centers to be significantly warmer than the rural areas surrounding them, is a common problem around the world. The phenomenon is particularly prevalent in Tokyo, Japan, but among the sea of towering structures stands one beacon of hope. The BioSkin that coats the NBF Osaki Building integrates evaporative cooling to keep its surface temperature down and could inspire new solutions to rising city temperatures across the globe. Read More

Automotive

Nissan takes the wraps off Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

“Cor, I’d like to take that for a spin.” It's what most of us think when looking at concept cars, but the chances of that ever happening are usually less than slim. The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is an exception to the rule – at least, it's a virtual exception. That’s because next month, the just revealed supercar concept becomes available for download for Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 6 video game for the Playstation console. Read More

Robotics

Emotion-reading Pepper personal robot set for 2015 release

One thing that allows human beings to live together is their ability to read one another’s emotions before the frying pans start to fly. If personal robots are to join the household, they’ll have to learn how to deal with emotions as well. Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot designed to do just that, with the ability to gauge human emotions and alter its behavior accordingly as a way to better fit into family life.Read More

Urban Transport

The Walking Bicycle strolls along at 15 mph

If you enjoy the simple pleasure of walking but wish it got you from A to B as quickly as cycling then the Walking Bicycle may be your dream machine. The Walking Bicycle combines the two activities into one electric-assisted whole, allowing you to propel yourself forward at speed simply by putting one foot in front of the other. Read More

Good Thinking

Gizmag checks out Survival Capsules' tsunami survival pods

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the tsunami that followed count as one of the worst disasters of the 21st century. When it struck off the southern coast of Japan with a force of magnitude 9, it was the most powerful ever to hit Japan, and the tsunami with a maximum height of 40.5 m (133 ft) resulted in 15,885 deaths, 6,148 injured, and 2,623 people missing. In anticipation of a similar disaster, Survival Capsules LCC of Mukilteo, Washington has developed a steel and aircraft-grade aluminum sphere designed to protect against both fire and flood. Gizmag paid a visit to the company to learn more about it.Read More

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