There are plenty of autonomous drones, but what about helicopters? Meet the Kawasaki K-Racer. Put simply, it’s essentially a compound helicopter sporting two small wings with motors on either side of the chassis for forward flight and a horizontal stabilizer rotor. It’s capable of flying at high speeds that were not technically possible for conventional helicopters. When in forward flight, the main wings share lift, thus reducing the load on the main rotor, which has a diameter of 157.4 inches. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: 7Shine7
Japan already has a 60-foot-tall Gundam robot, and now, they’re following up with a life-sized Godzilla theme park attraction on Awaji Island’s Nijigen no Mori theme park. When completed, it will become the world’s first permanent, to-scale replica of Godzilla, measuring 65 feet tall, 82 feet wide, and 180 feet long. However, the character’s lower body will be “hidden” underground and house several games as well as attractions. Read more for additional pictures and information.
The 60-foot-tall, 25-ton robot at Gundam Factory Yokohama is just about complete, and this week, it not only took steps, but moved around as well as pointed towards the sky. This life-sized RX-78-2 Gundam robot is a new attraction that will eventually allow fans to get up close and personal when it opens to the public, which was originally slated for October 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we all might have to wait until late this year to get the chance. Read more for a video and additional information.
A kangaroo-inspired robot, called Model-T, has been stocking food on shelves at FamilyMart, a Japanese convenience store. That’s right, this 7-foot-tall robot by Telexistence hopes to start a wave of retail automation. The goal is to use these robot workers at 20 stores around Tokyo by 2022 with people operating them remotely at first until the machines’ artificial intelligence (AI) can learn to mimic human movements. Read more for two videos and additional information.
JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) have teamed up to build a “Super Hi-Vision Camera” capable of filming 4K and 8K images in space for JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission. The MMX spacecraft is slated to be launched in 2024, with the aim of discovering the origin of the Martian moons and their evolutionary process of the Martian system. Read more for a video and additional information.
“The Tokyo Toilet Project” collaborated with sixteen architects to renovate public toilets in parks around the Shibuya District. The goal was to make people feel comfortable using public toilets, while also fostering a spirit of hospitality for the next person. Architect Shigeru Ban came up with this transparent design for the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park and the Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: ISTANBUL HAVACILIK KULUBU 1995 UYE GRUBU
Even before Narita Airport opened its doors, Takao Shito’s family has been growing vegetables on the same plot of land for over 100 years. This farm was a small part of a village where 30 families lived, all surrounded by open fields. However, today it’s situated right in the middle of Japan’s second largest airport. He refused an offer of over $1.7 million for his land, and continues to live there. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Kowagarasetai
Japan-based Kowagarasetai, a special events company specializing in haunted experiences, was founded 2-years-ago during Halloween, and their latest creation will have you driving through, literally. Company founder Kenta Iwana heard that drive-in movie theaters were making a comeback and suddenly, this idea popped into his head. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: ガンダムチャンネル
The Gundam Factory Yokohama has just completed its life-sized mecha this week, and some eager fans have managed to capture some early shots for your viewing enjoyment. Not just a sculpture, this 59-foot-tall robot boasts 24 degrees of freedom, allowing it to walk, which may not sound very cool, but considering that it weighs in at about 25 tons, this is quite the feat. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
This segment from Spy in the Wild 2 – The North, a British nature documentary television series that is produced by BBC Natural History Unit, John Downer Productions and PBS, shows a robot spy macaque trying to blend in with the others. For those most part, the spy remains unnoticed, and thanks to waterproofing technologies, it’s able to take a dip safely without any malfunction. Read more for the video and additional information.