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University of Tokyo


— Robotics

Moth takes the driver's seat in smell-tracking robot

By - February 5, 2013 4 Pictures
In the future, we may have autonomous robots that follow scents to track down gas leaks, rescue disaster victims trapped in debris, or perform other duties. While the algorithms that drive such robots could perhaps just be made up from scratch, scientists from the University of Tokyo are instead looking to the insect world for inspiration. To that end, they recently created a two-wheeled robot that was successfully driven by female-seeking male silkmoths. Read More

BFS-Auto robot can read 250 pages per minute

Online book collections are becoming larger and more important each day. As more libraries are digitized, people are now able to read books on their tablets that once would have required traveling thousands of miles to even see. Scanning hundreds of thousands of books quickly without damaging them remains a challenge however, and it's a challenge which the BFS-Auto robot is well and truly up for. Read More
— Science

Augmented reality system could be a boon to dieters

By - November 21, 2012 3 Pictures
You might think that your feeling of satiation when eating is due simply to your stomach filling up. According to the Hirose Tanikawa Group at the University of Tokyo, however, the visual perception of food also has something to do with it – the greater the amount of food that a person sees that they’re eating, the sooner they feel full. With that in mind, the team has created a prototype dieting system that uses augmented reality to trick people into thinking their food items are larger than they actually are. Read More

Camera system automatically keeps fast-moving subjects centered in the shot

A friend of mine who works in television once told me how he was shooting a hockey game, and was impressed with his uncanny ability to keep the puck centered in the shot at all times ... it turns out that the “puck” he was following was actually a speck of dirt on his viewfinder. A new system from the University of Tokyo, however, can automatically follow moving objects such as pucks with amazing accuracy. Read More
— Good Thinking

Japanese designers develop colloid bubbles as projection screens

By - July 10, 2012 2 Pictures
If you ever thought of soap bubbles as small floating movie capsules, you were not alone in your observation. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a system that uses such bubbles as kind of projection screen based on colloidal liquids. The bubbles are made of a thin film, and allow light to create a reflection on one section before passing through other sections. If the reflection can be controlled, then the bubble can be used as a display. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Touchy wearer walks around in darkness until touched by a human hand

By - May 8, 2012 20 Pictures
If you see what appears at first glance to be a short version of Robocop stumbling through the streets of Tokyo, worry not folks it will likely be Eric Siu or one of his friends using Touchy. The wearer of the head-mounted camera is effectively in darkness until someone touches him, at which point the automated shutters blinding the wearer open briefly and he can once again view the world around him. If the person maintains touch for ten seconds or more, the built-in camera snaps an image and then displays it on a small screen to the rear of the helmet. Read More
— Automotive

Honda develops technology designed to prevent traffic jams

By - April 26, 2012 2 Pictures
While modern in car satnav systems can draw on real-time traffic congestion data and suggest alternative routes for drivers to avoid high traffic areas, Honda has taken a different approach to try and minimize the potential for traffic jams. The company has developed new technology designed to detect whether a person’s driving is likely to create traffic jams and encourage them to drive in such a way as to keep traffic flowing. Read More
— Science

Next-gen cargo ships could use 164-foot sails to lower fuel use by 30%

By - April 24, 2012 5 Pictures
Of the world's nearly 45,000 cargo ships, many burn a low-grade bunker fuel in their engines and produce pollution equivalent to millions of automobiles. To help reduce that toxic load and keep the price of shipping freight reasonable, engineers at the University of Tokyo (UT) and a group of collaborators have designed a system of large, retractable sails measuring 64 feet (20 m) wide by 164 feet (50 m) high, which studies indicate can reduce annual fuel use on ships equipped with them by up to 30%. Read More
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