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Japan

LG's Optimus G Pro is heading to Japanese carrier NTT Docomo

LG's high-end Optimus G has sold over one million units, and LG passed Apple as the number two phone maker (including feature phones) in the U.S. Its next move? If the Japanese market is any indication, it will be an upgraded version of its flagship, the Optimus G Pro.  Read More

The new Ene-Farm home fuel cell (left) and accompanying hot water unit

By relying on a chemical reaction rather than combustion, fuel cells like the Bloom Energy Server are a more environmentally friendly source of electricity than fossil fuel burning power plants – they’re also easier to fit on a residential or commercial block. Unfortunately, their price is still prohibitively expensive for most people. But things are slowly improving as evidenced by Panasonic’s latest “Ene-Farm” home fuel cell, which was jointly developed with Tokyo Gas. Later this year, the unit will be sold in Japan by Tokyo Gas for 1,995,000 yen (approx. US$22,320).  Read More

Artist's impression of the ILC tunnels (Graphic: Fermilab/Sandbox Studio)

According to Nature, Japan is the frontrunner for the planned International Linear Collider (ILC), for which Europe and the United States are also in the running to host. Scientists and engineers are already examining potential sites in the island nation for the US$7 to $8 billion machine, which is intended to complement the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The head of the global design effort for the ILC, physicist Barry Barish, presented finalized blueprints at a ceremony in Tokyo earlier this month.  Read More

The Cappa compact hydropower generator can deliver 250 W of electricity

Despite being the most widely used form of renewable energy worldwide, hydroelectricity is generally reserved for large-scale commercial installations built around massive dams. Japanese company Ibasei has shrunk things down and removed the need to build a dam with its Cappa compact hydropower generator – a system that's designed to be installed along a river or waterway.  Read More

Barcode Room from Studio_01 offers a transformable apartment concept which adapts to the n...

People living in cities are increasingly being squeezed into smaller and smaller apartments, a reality that is driving a search for new living space designs that can adapt, transform, and evolve as the needs of those residing in them dictate. Barcode Room from Japanese design company Studio_01 is an attempt at doing just that.  Read More

Two impressive hobby robot projects from Japan show what is possible with current consumer...

Kenji Ishida, a hobbyist known for building impressive Transformer-like robots, has shared some new videos of his project on YouTube. Likewise, a robot based on the virtual J-POP idol Hatsune Miku has surfaced that shows what is possible when you combine the current crop of hobby robot servos with hard work and dedication. Don't miss the videos after the break!  Read More

The judges were also looking for a design that would integrate well with the local road sy...

It may have been likened to a bicycle helmet, but that hasn't stopped the Japan Sport Council from selecting Zaha Hadid Architect's design for a new Japanese national stadium to be built by 2019. It's hoped that the design for the 80,000-seat stadium will boost Tokyo's chances of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics.  Read More

The complete Robi robot can be assembled from parts that come with each magazine issue

The Japanese arm of De Agostini, an Italian-based publishing house known worldwide for magazines that drip feed buyers model components on a weekly basis, has chosen something a bit different for its latest offering. Instead of the traditional model car or boat, the company is letting subscribers build their own robot. After 70 issues, which cost JPY¥1,990 (US$25) apiece, buyers will have a fully assembled Robi that stands 13.4 inches (34 cm) tall and weighs just 2.2 pounds (1 kg).  Read More

Otome 3D will open the world's first 3D printing photo booth in Japan from late November t...

Ever wanted a life-like miniature of yourself or loved ones? Now's your chance, thanks to Omote 3D, which will soon be opening what's described as the world's first 3D printing photo booth in Harajuku, Japan. There, visitors will have their bodies scanned into a computer, a process which takes about 15 minutes. Then the company prints your statuette on their 3D color printer in one of three sizes.  Read More

Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai presents the modified HAL exoskeleton during Japan Robot Week 2...

Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, the Japanese government has been testing robotics technologies to help deal with future accidents. The Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exoskeleton, developed by the University of Tsukuba spin-off Cyberdyne, is being considered for first responders.  Read More

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