Computational creativity and the future of AI

Kyoto University

The Murata Cheerleaders use infrared sensors and ultrasonics to keep position

The only thing better than state-of-the-art robotics is when it's combined with Force 9 cuteness. Japanese electronics company Murata Manufacturing has given us one example with the unveiling if its robotic Cheerleaders. The squad of ten ball-mounted robots uses advanced ultrasonics, infrared, and group control technology to perform synchronized dance routines with perfect stability.  Read More

Honda's HEARBO can distinguish between four different types of sound simultaneously

A team led by Kazuhiro Nakadai at Honda Research Institute-Japan (HRI-JP) is improving how robots process and understand sound. The robot, aptly called HEARBO (HEARing roBOt), can parse four sounds (including voices) at once, and can tell where the sounds are coming from. The system, called HARK, could allow future robot servants to better understand verbal commands from several meters away.  Read More

Woolly mammoths in a late Pleistocene landscape in northern Spain (Image: Mauricio Anton v...

The last known mammoth lived around 4500 years ago, but if scientists in Japan are successful then we might be able to meet one soon! Research to resurrect these awesome creatures was shelved when cell nuclei taken from a sample from Siberia were found to be too badly damaged, however a scientific breakthrough in Kobe successfully cloned a mouse from 16 year old deep frozen tissue, and the research began again in earnest...  Read More

Palladium electron shell (Image: Pumbaa via Wikimedia, CC 2.0)

Japanese researchers have used nanotechnology to develop a process which resembles something out of a 16th Century alchemy textbook. Although not producing gold, as was the aim of the alchemists, the scientists have discovered a technique that allows otherwise inert elements to be combined to form new intermediate alloy-elements. So far, an alloy of palladium has been created by mixing silver and rhodium together.  Read More

RoboGarage produces natural humanoid movement

October 29, 2004 One of the leading pioneers in automated robot development is Tomotaka Takahash of the 'Robo Garage' at Kyoto University. Takahash has built the Chroino, Magdan and Neon model robots, which combine sleek, manga inspired design with cutting edge functionality and human like mobility. Following on from his work the Robo Garage has further developed the VisiON, ENRYU, robovie-R and GUNWALKER models. The Chroino (a combination of "to chronicle" and "black," which is pronounced kuroi in Japanese) is a 35cm tall humanoid robot with sophisticated movements, powered by a lithium polymer battery. A newly developed "monocoque frame" covering is made of carbon and plastic, giving Chorino a friendly appearance, light weight and robust body.  Read More

Super 350cm exoskeleton

Updated May 2005 Whenever robots are discussed, it seems the name tmsuk comes up. The small Japanese robotics company has collaborated with some of the biggest names in electronics to produce commercial robots in the last few years, and their concepts always seem to be innovative and imaginative, not to mention very useful. tmsuk is best known for its security robots Banryu and Artemis, a semi-humanoid security guard for hospitals and office buildings) so when Japan’s National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, strategised its next generation response to earthquakes and the fires they cause and decided it needed a robot for high risk situations, tmsuk got the call. Built for business, the strapping 3.5 metre Enryu will be called upon to rush into burning buildings, lift heavy objects and rescue people. Neat heh!  Read More

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