Tsuruoka City based Spiber is planning to mass-produce spider silk after developing a synthetic protein for a wide range of uses. Six years of research in collaboration with Keio University's Institute for Advanced Biosciences and Kojima Industries has resulted to a highly resistant and flexible fibre. It also plans to build a plant this year, aiming to produce 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of synthetic spider silk every month.
The East Japan Railway Co. is making a proactive service to people with hearing impairment when it tested on Monday a sign language program through an iPad videophone application. JR East plans to set up the service in 12 booths at seven of its stations in the Tokyo area. The railway company had also used writing system in the past to assist passengers with hearing impairment.
Tokyo Electronic Power Co. (TEPCO) revealed on Monday that it will pursue a survey of the disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant using new robotics technology. With the high risks involved in the task, Honda Motor Co., in collaboration with the Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), have developed a humanoid robot using Honda’s ASIMO as prototype while meeting the specifications set by TEPCO.
Researchers from Japan, including experts in stem cell development and the medical sciences, are set to discuss today possible ground rules for experiments involving animal-human embryos. This group of Japanese researchers is currently seeking permission for tests that could allow them work towards human organs being produced inside the growing body of an animal via human induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells introduced into an animal embryo creating a so-called "chimeric embryo", which they can then implant into an animal's womb.
A creation that is sure to be the bane of all air hockey-obsessed teenagers everywhere, Japanese researchers at Chiba University's Namiki Laboratory have developed a robot that is skillful, agile, and intelligent enough not only to compete against human players, but to analyze playing styles and use appropriate strategies against its opponents. The Namiki Lab, already known for its work in high-speed tracking, has built on their compiled data and created an agile robot which has the potential, quite insanely, to beat any human at the famous arcade game.
Sony Corp. has good news coming in after a very strong presentation at the Electronics Entertainment Expo on Monday last week – the favorable reactions have caused the console makers to raise internal sales projections for its forthcoming PlayStation 4 (PS4) video game console. The Japanese multimedia/multi-platform company will be working hard to translate these positive signs into a sense of momentum for the PS4, and Andrew House, global head of Sony's PlayStation video game outfit, said the company is shifting its internal projections for the product, but he declined to give out specific numbers for the projections.
At the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York, a conference focused on the technological singularity in the coming years, Japanese scientist and robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro unveiled an android that so closely resembled him, that it was able to do small humanoid movements – even the blinking of its own eyes. Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Japan, has been known for developing lifelike androids and presenting very advanced robotic technology to the public.
The International Tokyo Toy Show is currently having an exhibit on various toys that as young as 4-year olds and adults will enjoy. Participating companies have developed toys reminiscent of those available when this generation’s adults were still young. There are also companies that directly target the little ones, still with parental participation.
The Linear Collider Collaboration team, a group of international physicists, is planning to build an 8.75-billion-US-dollar (830 billion yen) 31-kilometer particle accelerator, and Japan is at this moment the top candidate to house the program. The International Linear Collider (ILC), a complement to the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), would be the largest in the world – should Japan choose to build it within the country’s borders.
A research team from Kyoto University and Toyohashi University of Technology have conducted a research study that shows babies can express empathy for those that are in distress through non-verbal means, even before they have learned to talk.