The Japanese Ministry of Defense’s Technical Research & Development Institute (TRDI) appears to be nearing completion of the Throwable Type Reconnaissance Robot. It’s a little black orb about 50 percent bigger than a softball that Self-Defense Force members can simply toss into environments otherwise hazardous to humans and have a look around before taking action. It looks kind of awesome.
Dec 31, 2014
The New Year season is often a peak shopping time in Japan, and as such stores pull out the big guns in what are known as fukubukuro (lucky bags). These are bags full of the merchandise a particular shop peddles. Sometimes it’s random which means you could end up with a laptop for fifty bucks, other times the contents are known but you can still get a decent deal on a bulk purchase. And sometimes, in the name of publicity, shops will throw in some unusual item or offer remarkably great deals to celebrate the new year.
It appears the winner for 2015 will be Keisei Department Store who are offering what must be a very large fukubukuro containing a two-meter-tall functional robot suit!
Dec 11, 2014
As we speak, scientists in Japan are hard at work on inventing a myriad of robots whose sole raison d’être is to improve quality of life for humans. Whether it’s shoveling snow, helping people to walk, or generally spreading cheer through unbelievable cuteness and dexterity (we’re talking about you, Asimo!) it’s clear to see that robots are going to feature big in our lives during the years to come. But when a drawing contest was held in Japan for elementary school students to submit their impressions of a robot-filled future, one particular entry started to gain a lot of attention on twitter for being extremely creepy in an oddly knowing way…
Dec 2, 2014
The Japanese sure do love their robots, don’t they? It seems like every couple of months there’s a new robo-creation being unveiled to the public, sprung from the minds of Japan’s master robotic engineers. Today, we’d like to introduce you to this cute little trundling yellow fella, Yuki Taro! As we all know, winter is coming (we should probably say “winter is here”, but that has less dramatic punch) and with it a flurry of snowstorms and bad weather that can seriously disrupt people’s lives. And who really has the time or energy to shovel snow all day?
Enter Yuki Taro. This snow-gobbling little guy is here to make all your problems melt away – as long as they’re snow-related, that is…
Thought the market was already oversaturated with Miku products? Think again! Good Smile Company is here with something that was still missing - a Hatsune Miku-inspired transforming race car robot!
Innovation is the thing that keeps humanity moving towards a new future. That’s the sort of idea that is behind the Tokyo Design Week, which this year was renamed to the Tokyo Genius Expo. Gathering visionaries from all over the world every year to showcase their brilliant work in their respective fields, the Tokyo Genius Expo has taken place since 2005, and attracts over 100,000 visitors intrigued with what the human race can achieve. However, this year one star stole the show at the exposition, and while she is definitely an example of innovation, “human” might not be the right word for her. Meet Asuna.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a huge giant mech/giant robot fan. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full episode of Patlabor or Gundam–though it’s not out of spite or anything! There are only so many hours in the day, and I rarely seem to have time to watch giant mechs beating the crap out of each other. Though that sentence is making me question some life choices now…
As such, I’ve always been perplexed by the idea that someone has actually gone out of their way to build enormous statues of the suits. The “why” has always left an itch in the back of my mind–it just doesn’t seem worth, does it? Well, that’s what I thought until I actually came face-to-face (face-to-boot?) with an enormous Patlabor statue. Here are some photos of the giant mech emblazoned with a Japanese police badge and why I actually hope they make more!
Scott R Dixon
Sep 30, 2014
If you’ve ever been to Kyoto, then you may know that the city’s food culture includes a rich history of traditional Japanese sweets, known as wagashi, which can be a perfect accompaniment to a day touring Kyoto’s famed temples. While many in Japan associate Kyoto with traditional sweets, a new anime series is about to take this aspect of the city’s food culture and combine it with a giant robot for a one-of-a-kind TV show.
Set in modern-day Kyoto, Domaiga D will center around a dessert shop owner who finds a giant robot beneath his shop right when the city is coming under attack by huge monsters.
Japan has an infatuation with robots; after all, you don’t see beautiful cyborg women hanging out in restaurants in the US or 24-fingered hair washing bots in the UK. That’s why we weren’t surprised at all to find that Japan has just produced a gang of cheerleading robots that dance in sync while balancing on a ball.
China’s latest military robot looks like a grotesque mutant, attracts the attention of cynical Japanese netizens
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Sep 10, 2014
This mutant robot was featured at the 2014 Beijing International Emergency Rescue Expo and was described by Chinese media as ‘eye-catching’. It certainly is that, but we wouldn’t say it is exactly pleasing to look at. As you can see, the robot looks like a bizarre combination between a mutated four-legged spider and the dried squid I am having with my end-of-summer beer.
Aug 30, 2014
Your mother probably scolded you for playing with your food at the dinner table, but here’s one of the few times you’ll be able to get away with it! Introducing transforming sushi toys from Takara Tomy. Now, instead of playing with a floppy piece of asparagus (how’s that supposed to stand up to the forces of evil anyway?), you can play with these pieces of super robot fighting sushi. Just don’t try to take a bite out of them!
An interesting auction popped up last week and at first glance it just looked like an old junkie decorative statue. But further investigation revealed it to have a bit of gamer cred. This robot was designed and built by Namco, yeah, that Namco, the one of Pac-man, Tekken and Soulcalibur fame. Unfortunately, this robot isn’t going to do some super duper awesome game playing for you. However, it is a piece of Namco history on the auction block. If you claim to be the biggest Namco fan in the world, then maybe you NEED this robot.
Anime News Network
Aug 7, 2014
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.
Jun 25, 2014
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.
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!
Jun 13, 2014
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.
Jun 9, 2014
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.
May 27, 2014
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.
- Woman’s best friend: Possibly the sweetest photos of a grandma and her cat you will ever see1
- Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you2
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time3
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out4
- Japanese wasp-filled crackers: Their sting is far worse than a bite5
- Is Japan’s “Daughter in a box” a myth?【Myth-Busters Series】6
- The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】7
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!8
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough9
- Power of soybeans turns Bean-Throwing Festival into sexy action flick in awesome commercial10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin2
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough3
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time4
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China5
- Cross-dressing talent Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening the Tokyo Olympics “would embarrass Japan”6
- Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public7
- Attack on Titan’s Universal Studios Japan attraction opens8
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out9
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing2
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】3
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones4
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay5
- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter6
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time7
- Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces8
- Photos of people lining up outside of the Sapporo Apple Store make us feel positively frozen9
- Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】5
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school6
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”7
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing8
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises9
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit10
- Is Japan’s “Daughter in a box” a myth?【Myth-Busters Series】
- The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough
- Power of soybeans turns Bean-Throwing Festival into sexy action flick in awesome commercial
- Forget shuriken: 10 stealthy and dangerous ninja tools you didn’t know existed
- Side-boob Shirt is the useless evolution of last year’s Boob Turtleneck
- Tokyo Disneyland raising admission, because it’s the Happiest Place on Earth, not the cheapest
- Ninja-cats are hiding in homes around the world and we have 20 photos to prove it
- From San-X to Attack on Titan, yummy cake rolls take over Bean-Throwing Festival’s sushi custom
- Steam Garden: Tokyo’s steampunk festival might be better than a Victorian time machine
- First Kit Kat Chocolatery shop with cafe opens in Kyoto! New Chocolatery items released too
- Kitties, doggies, bunnies, and deer – even more stuff balanced on Japan’s pets!