Elecom, Japan's masters of multiple function household swag, have done it again by splicing the design DNA of data storage devices with our most enduring analog office tool, the common paperclip.
Industrious futurists can forget about that career path devoted to training robots to serve humans, it turns out that the best ones will train themselves like this latest creation hailing from Japan.
In the dead of summer, it gets hot. You can cool off with some A/C, by jumping in a pool, or, if you're in Japan, by applying some of this spray can coolant.
So, you want to be a dentist. That's all fine and good, but few people are gonna want you fiddling around inside their mouths before you know what you're doing. Enter the Hanako 2, a robot just for dentists.
When a natural disaster strikes, normal lines of communications are often the first thing to fail. So when the Sendai earthquake hit Japan back in March, huge numbers of people in Japan turned to Twitter to let their loved ones around the world know that they were okay.
The guy in this picture is playing ping-pong. Invisible ping-pong. All by himself. Go With The Rythm! Hyper Ping-Pong (that's what it's called) is exactly like the real game, except without the need for a second paddle, a table, a ball, hand-eye coordination, self-respect, or friends. Awesome!
One of my favorite scenes in the sci-fi anime classic Ghost in the Shell is when the robot secretary's hands transform into spidery circuit tendrils inputting data at light speed. At first glance that's the best description I'd give for the new, and very real, Amenbo five-finger input device.
In the U.S. we have Lady Gaga and her army of "little monster" fans, but in Japan the entertainers bring their own armies, in this case AKB48, a 61-member-strong troupe of young Japanese female idols who were essentially interchangeable--until now. Recently the group unwittingly participated in a promotion that could amount to their own pop music demise by helping to create a virtual pop idol that sings.
Amtrack is pretty proud of its 150 mph Acela Express. California will be pretty proud of its 220 mph high speed rail project, if it ever happens. Japan is poised to leave us all in the dust, though, with a new maglev train slated to connect Tokyo with Nagoya and Osaka at a knuckle-whitening 313 mph.
A new Japanese supercomputer has just become the fastest computer on Earth. And it didn't just squeak by into the top spot: it beat the 2nd fastest computer on Earth by being three times faster. Holy smokes.