robot

Mandarake shoplifter finally turns himself in

Mandarake shoplifter finally turns himself in

The Mandarake shoplifting saga that has kept Japanese netizens on the hook since August 4 has finally drawn to a close. A man from Chiba Prefecture turned himself in on August 18, and is currently under arrest on suspicion of theft.

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Retail store warns a shoplifter to return the goods… or have his identity exposed online

Retail store warns a shoplifter to return the goods… or have his identity exposed online

Japanese otaku retail giant Mandarake is not happy about a recent shoplifting incident, and they don’t intend to let the perpetrator get away with it. The culprit in question allegedly pilfered a replica Tetsujin-28-go wind-up robot toy worth 250,000 yen (about US$2,448).

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Open source robot is waiting for you to make it even more amazing

Open source robot is waiting for you to make it even more amazing

It is not uncommon to hear that many people don’t like bugs. Those tiny, many-legged creatures are the source of our worst nightmares. Robots, on the other hand, are fantastic. Whether they come to us as Furby-sized companions or giant robot protector of the Earth Gundams, they amuse and entertain us to no end. So when we heard of the open source project combining insect-like parts and robotics, we timidly decided to check it out.

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This Japanese university is just asking to trigger the rise of the machines

This Japanese university is just asking to trigger the rise of the machines

With all the updates in the field of robotics, it becomes more and more a possibility that one day they will rise up and overthrow their human creators. After years of washing our hair or serving our food, once their AI reaches the point where they realize we’re a bunch of jerks to them the human race will be in a bit of a pickle. And it’s images like the one above taken at an unnamed Japanese university that are sure to make the machines come to such realization.

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Bandai to release super-mega-retro-robot made up of Doraemon and friends

Bandai to release super-mega-retro-robot made up of Doraemon and friends

Some of Japan’s most famous characters created by legendary manga-ka Fujiko F Fujio have been turned into robots by Bandai, which can then be combined to create an even more epicly-super-cool robot of retro awesomeness!

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The singularity is coming: Eerily lifelike androids converge in Odaiba for exhibition

The singularity is coming: Eerily lifelike androids converge in Odaiba for exhibition

What does it mean to be human? That’s the question being asked in a thought-provoking new exhibition of stunningly lifelike androids, which also suggests that maybe the singularity could be closer than we think.

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We talk to Pepper, SoftBank’s new emotional robot, kind of wish it would shut up for a second

We talk to Pepper, SoftBank’s new emotional robot, kind of wish it would shut up for a second

On 5 June, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank announced that it will be selling a robot capable reading emotions and being a friendly companion to humans. The robot’s name is Pepper, and in addition to a chest-mounted tablet computer it comes loaded with an array of mics, cameras, and other sensors for sophisticated movement and interaction with people.

Frequently abandoned by his fellow humans, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato decided to go down to the SoftBank shop in Omotesando, Tokyo where a Pepper unit was on display. Although excited about his first chat with a robot, Mr. Sato would soon find that Pepper was actually kind of a jerk who totally dominated the conversation.

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Tokyo University’s amazing Rock-Paper-Scissors robot is back, will kick your ass faster than ever

Tokyo University’s amazing Rock-Paper-Scissors robot is back, will kick your ass faster than ever

A couple of years ago we reported on a robot hand that could always win at the timeless hand game rock-paper-scissors or janken as it’s known here in Japan. After wrapping up, we confirmed that it would never lose, declared that the human race was doomed to sit in the back seats of our robot overlords, then called it a day.

Now we are surprised to learn that Tokyo University’s Ishikawa Watanabe Lab is back with an even better performing rock-paper-scissors robot, somewhat awkwardly dubbed the Janken Robot with 100% Winning Rate.

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There’s a restaurant in China where all the food is prepared and served by robots

There’s a restaurant in China where all the food is prepared and served by robots

The Robot Restaurant in China’s Heilongjiang Province is a conventional restaurant in every sense, save the glaring exception that the food is prepared and served entirely by an army of 20 robots with just a modicum of human oversight.

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Honda’s little robot that acts like a human is something you have to see

Honda’s little robot that acts like a human is something you have to see

Fourteen years ago, Honda introduced the first generation of Asimo, a humanoid robot designed to be an assistant to people with limited mobility. It was also something of a public relations push to get people interested in studying science and mathematics. You’ve likely seen it before — it looks like a short, all-white astronaut.

A lot has changed since its first unveiling. Honda just showed off its latest Asimo build on “Live with Kelly and Michael,” and we’re impressed by what we saw:

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With this robotics program thriving in public schools, it’s ‘cool to make mistakes again’

With this robotics program thriving in public schools, it’s ‘cool to make mistakes again’

Joe Dixon is Chief Learning Officer of Teq, a professional development company for teachers that aims to “champion the continued evolution of the modern classroom.” Lately that means getting lots of robots into the hands of schoolkids.

Specifically, Teq is bringing the NAO robot, a small humanoid from Aldebaran Robotics, into the classroom for educational applications. The bot is already in widespread use as a development platform for roboticists, and Teq leads weeklong school programs geared for students of all ages in getting the robot to do interesting things.

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Check out this 8m robot that appeared on Tokyo’s waterfront【Video】

Check out this 8m robot that appeared on Tokyo’s waterfront【Video】

It’s not every day you get to see an enormous robot being lifted up to tower above you. That’s why fans of science-fiction series Mobile Police Patlabor were excited to see an 8-metre high humanoid robot from the series being put up in the Toyosu area of Tokyo’s waterfront.

The robot in question is the AV-98 Ingram, which appears in the latest movie addition to the franchise, a live action series called The Next Generation Patlabor. Fans gathered to watch the robot, which is built “actual size” at just over 8m high, being raised into place on March 17th.

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“What’s wrong with her eyes!?” Say hello to the dentist’s doll from the (past, present) future

“What’s wrong with her eyes!?” Say hello to the dentist’s doll from the (past, present) future

Yesterday, we ran an article telling the story of a dentist in Japan who was arrested for “massaging” a female patient’s chest while claiming that doing so would help fix her misaligned teeth. In it, we included a photo of what appeared to be a young woman in a dentist’s chair with her mouth wide open.

We received plenty of comments on Facebook and Twitter about the news story itself, but many people also took a profound interest in the model in the photo, some feeling quite uneasy about the way she looked yet not knowing why, asking, “What’s wrong with her eyes!?”

The answer to that question is simple, but also kind of creepy: the woman in the photo is an ultra-lifelike doll used in dentistry.

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Sagawa Electronic’s newest robot suit in production, looks to be taller with bigger claws

Sagawa Electronic’s newest robot suit in production, looks to be taller with bigger claws

A few months ago, we brought word of the Powered Jacket MK3 by Sagawa Electronics, a fully functioning robot suit valued at around US$125k. It was undeniably cool and even came with a funny promotional video, but I think I could take it in a fight, which is rarely a good sign as far as mecha exoskeletons go.

However, work is currently underway to produce its successor, the MK4. Although still in development it appears to be getting some upgrades in size and intimidation.

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Have you seen this runaway robot?

Have you seen this runaway robot?

Owning a Roomba or other automated cleaning robot to take care of floor dust can be such an awesome convenience. But you’d better take care and show them some appreciation, because these handy tools have been known to escape when overworked and left unattended. Remember the rogue Roomba that restlessly cleaned the streets around Tokyo’s Kanda train station? Well, it’s happened again in a different part of the world, but this time it’s the owners who sounded the alarm.

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25 photos of ‘weird Japan’, and Japanese reactions to them

25 photos of ‘weird Japan’, and Japanese reactions to them

Weird Japan. Where humans and Telenoids embrace. Where everyone pilots giant robot power suits to work. Where crazy toilet situations, extreme cosplay, and adult men taking their pillow “girlfriends” out on the town are par for everyone’s course. Or are they? One thing I love about this country is the great variety on the menu.

Recently a bunch of weird pictures found on the internet, allegedly from Japan, were posted on an English-language website, which claimed that the wackiest pics always come from Japan. We have the bizarre images below, along with some genuine Japanese reactions!

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US$125,000 power suit lets you battle Kaiju, snack without getting Cheeto fingers

US$125,000 power suit lets you battle Kaiju, snack without getting Cheeto fingers

Meet the Powere Jacket MK3, an elaborate power suit clearly inspired by anime and hitting the market just in time to ride the wave of excitement over Guillermo Del Toro’s Kaiju Vs. Robots monster movie, Pacific Rim.

Though the power suit is far less impressive than the towering robots of the film, according to the below video, it lets you achieve all kinds of superhuman feats, including running at faster speeds, lifting heavy objects, and eating Cheetos without getting orange powder all over your fingers.

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Chiba University develops air hockey playing robot, pisses opponents off with amazing efficiency

Chiba University develops air hockey playing robot, pisses opponents off with amazing efficiency

Do you have that one friend who always beats you at air hockey? Do you have a friend who simply smirks as you complain that they went over the line or that your paddle slipped?

Chiba University has come up with something that ought to wipe that smirk off even the best human air hockey player.

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‘He Ain’t Ugly, He’s My Robot’ – Creative Use of Garbage in China Results in One Man’s Robo Pal

‘He Ain’t Ugly, He’s My Robot’ – Creative Use of Garbage in China Results in One Man’s Robo Pal

“Johnny Five… is alive!” Despite both betraying my age and likely alienating half of my audience by using a quote from an obscure 80s robot movie, I can’t help but think that if this young man’s robot could speak, he’d immediately thank his lucky stars that his master breathed life into what was once little more than a pile of junk. You see, the two-metre-tall robot standing with his arm around ingenious inventor Tao Xiangli here was built at home using nothing more than parts salvaged from scrap.

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Students in Japan Create a Robot That Can Balance on a Ball

Students in Japan Create a Robot That Can Balance on a Ball

Oh Japan, you never disappoint in the robot department. This one in particular may look a little plain compared to the femme bots in Shinjuku or a $1.25 million giant robot, but it’s still really cool. Created by two students at Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, this little guy is able to perfectly balance on a ball while carrying a load and moving.

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