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by   -   July 30, 2015

Alibaba_Softbank_Pepper_FoxConnDeveloping Story: Softbank today announced that it will be taking preorders for the enterprise version of their Pepper robot, called “Pepper for Biz” starting October 1 this year. This comes one day after Japanese telco rival NTT launched a competing consumer robot called Sota. The enterprise model will be available on a three year rental contract, after which Softbank will reclaim the robot. During the rental period Softbank will provide phone and technical support. The monthly cost will be 55,000 JPY (~$440USD), for a total of 1,980,000 JPY (~$16,000USD) over the three years.

Yesterday a second Japanese telecommunication firm entered the consumer robot-as-a-service market when the state-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) announced it would partner with its subsidiary NTT Data and robot maker Vstone to develop a tabletop companion robot that can talk and communicate with smart devices. NTT joins Softbank in the move to market networking and cloud computing services to a massive existing consumer base using consumer robotics. NTT says its Sota companion robot will cost about 100,000 JPY (~$800USD), with a monthly service fee of a few thousand JPY (~$30). UPDATE:  Softbank will take pre-orders for enterprise version of Pepper starting Oct 1 


The long-term rivalry between China and Japan, often characterised as the “World’s Most Dangerous Rivalry,” was exacerbated at the CIROS show held in Shanghai last week by a bowing Prime Minister Abe look-alike robot and an enterprising Chinese sales group.

by   -   July 13, 2015

Cyberdyne, the inventor of the HAL exoskeleton, is expanding their product line and Japan’s Haneda Airport is their first customer.

by   -   July 10, 2015

SoftBank announced that their little Pepper robot will be available for sale beginning August 1st at the rate of 1,000 per month after selling out their first 1,000 Peppers in one online minute in June. They also released a new promo video that evokes Pepper’s emotional connection with people.

by   -   April 21, 2015
Komekurayama Solar Power Plant owned and operated by TEPCO in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture. Source: Sakaori via Wikimedia Commons.
Komekurayama Solar Power Plant owned and operated by TEPCO in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture. Source: Sakaori via Wikimedia Commons.

Japan’s power industry is currently centralized, but it aims to deregulate by around 2020. Coupled with this major structural market change, the expansion of thermal, nuclear and renewable power generation will place additional demands on the management of the country’s energy market. Researchers from the Namerikawa lab at Keio University are working with control engineers, power engineers and economists to designing mechanical and control algorithms that can manage this large-scale problem.

by   -   April 13, 2015


Researchers from the Keio Institue of Pure and Applied Sciences (KiPAS) are working to reveal the mechanism by which newly acquired knowledge and information is transmitted and evolves among organisms with intelligence. This research is being done through pseudo-augmentation of body structures using a brain-machine interface, to investigate the process by which groups of individuals adapt to novel bodies and environments, using methods from the natural sciences.

by   -   January 13, 2015

At JIMTOF 2014, Sugino Machine unveiled the JCC503 Robo, a CNC precision washer that positions parts with a numerically-controlled robotic arm and utilizes a high pressure washer to remove chips as small as 0.6 mm generated during machining processes.

by   -   November 25, 2014

Deregulation and strategic funding are at the heart of Japan’s and Abe’s 5-year growth plan and their New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NITDO).

We have developed a visually controlled bipedal running robot named ACHIRES: Actively Coordinated High-speed Image-processing Running Experiment System. This robot has a leg length of 14cm and 6 degrees of freedom, and can run in the sagittal plane at 4.2 km/h . Its key technologies are high-speed vision for recognizing the posture of the robot at 600 fps, and high-speed actuation for realizing high speed motion. The combination of these technologies plays an important role in the robot’s ability to run stably at high speeds.

by   -   October 2, 2014

With the majority of stepping motors, a backup battery is needed to store position data, and because batteries have a limited life, data can’t be stored for a long time. But the AZ Series doesn’t need a battery, so storing data isn’t a concern, even if the production equipment is stopped for a long time, or the unit is shipped overseas.

by   -   September 10, 2014

Dyson’s new robot vacuum, the 360 Eye, is scheduled will hit the Japanese market in spring 2015. Why is Japan the first (and for the time being, only) market to get this hot new commodity?

by   -   August 26, 2014

At the Morita Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Keio University Faculty of Science, researchers are advancing with research and development of unique robots from the perspective of mechanisms, control, skill, and an integration of each of these areas.

by   -   August 11, 2014


Many governments have determined that robotics will play a significant role in contributing to their economy and have set up projects to fund bottlenecks to speed up the process.

Artificial neural networks and intelligent information processing
March 6, 2015

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