The Tokyo Olympics are finally starting in less than 2-weeks, and for those who happen to be strolling through the Shinjuku district, a massive 3D cat may greet you. Measuring 1,664-square-feet, this curved 4K LED billboard from Cross Space sits atop a building and shows a cat walking around, napping and meowing from 7am until 1am. It’s designed to showcase Cross Shinjuku Vision and advertising agency that wants to catch the eye of the 190,000 pedestrians passing by each day. Read more for two videos and additional information.
A Japanese inventor wanted to come up with a clever way to burn calories while still enjoying your favorite foods. So, he combined his love of grilling with a power generating mat of sorts. The two downsides are using this in a multi-level apartment building, as your downstairs neighbors may not enjoy the constant stomping, and the fact that the grill may not cook everything evenly, so only thin strips of meat are recommended. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: TETSUYA ITO/COURTESY OF GUNTÛ
A ryokan is basically a type of traditional Japanese inn that features tatami-matted rooms, and when you combine it with a superyacht, Guntû is the result. This 266-foot-long vessel was designed by Tokyo-based residential architect Yasushi Horibe and contains just 19 cabins, with the largest being a 295-square-foot room. It’s used for multi-day tours of the Seto waterway from a private marina in Onomichi. Read more for a video tour, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Murakami via Gizmodo
There are gesture-based technologies, and then Murakami Corporation’s Floating Pictogram, which is basically a holographic button system that can be installed on public toilets, ATMs, elevators, reception areas, as well as other highly trafficked places. Put simply, the system uses infrared sensors to detect fingers without them having to make contact, enabling one to press buttons that are seemingly floating in mid-air. Read more for additional pictures and information.
At first glance, this may appear to be a 3D-printed samurai warrior, but it’s actually just the work of origami artist Juho Könkkölä from Finland. All it took was 50-hours of painstaking folding and a single sheet of 68cm x 68cm Wenzhou paper. In the end, he ended up with a picture perfect sculpture that stands around 8-inches tall. For those who don’t know, normal copy paper with weights of 70–90 g/m2 (19–24 lb) can be used for basic folds, such as the crane. Read more for the video and additional information.
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.