Keio University researchers in Japan have developed a prototype robot tail, called Arque, for humans. When worn, it can be adjusted to the wearer’s body and allow them to stay balanced when moving quickly or handling heavy objects. Thanks to a modular vertebrae design, it can easily adapt to the wearer’s height and weight. The prototype must be anchored to an external pressurized air system, so this version is not fully mobile. Read more for a video and additional information.
Japan’s NEC Corp. tested a prototype “flying car” that looks just like a giant quadcopter drone on Monday after spending months designing it. The hovered in the air for an unmanned test in front of a group of journalists and will hopefully move on to manned flights soon. This prototype measures 3.9 meters by 1.3 meters, and weighs in at 148 kilograms. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has just released a new video of their Hayabusa2 spacecraft touching down on Asteroid Ryugu on July 11th. The footage was captured with its monitor camera, Cam-H, pointed past the craft’s sampling mechanism. This camera was created through a collaborative effort between JAXA and the Tokyo University of Science, and installed with the help of public donations. Read more for the video and additional information.
Sony’s Reon Pocket may not be the first portable air conditioner, but it’s most certainly the latest. This device is designed to fit inside your shirt to keeps your body cool (or warm) and one model can be controlled using a smartphone app via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with just any shirt, so that’s why the company has also created a specially modified shirt with an inner pocket at the back of the neck. Read more for a video and additional information.
The opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may be in one year, but the medal designs have just been unveiled. Nearly 80,000 tons of mobile phones as well as electronic devices were collected from all around Japan, and will be used in the handcrafting every gold, silver and bronze Olympic and Paralympic medal awarded to athletes at next year’s games. There expect to be approximately 5,000 medals handed out between the two games. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully touched down on asteroid 162173 Ryugu for a second time last night (July 10th), and transmitted incredible photos back to JAXA. They show different perspectives as captured by two cameras – main navigation camera and a publicly funded camera pointed past the sampling mechanism – onboard the spacecraft. The former provides views of Ryugu’s surface at touchdown, while the latter shows the nearby rock it collected samples from. “The touchdown is successful,” said JAXA spokesman Takayuki Tomobe Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu
Just when you thought airport hotels were all the same, Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu decides to change everything with their latest offering. One of the hotel’s rooms has a full-sized Boeing 737-800 flight simulator. How much will it cost you to stay in this room? How about a cool 25,300 yen ($233.07 USD) and / or you can even book a 90-minute flight lesson with a certified instructor for 30,000 yen (around $276.40 USD). Read more for additional pictures and information.
One artist who goes by ‘Doooo’ from Japan wanted to bring the commonly used phrase ‘put your money where your mouth is’ to life, literally, and the result? This human mouth-shaped coin bag, complete with lips, teeth and even gums. Strangely enough, this isn’t the first fleshy creation this unusual artist has made, as he also covered a DJ soundboard in a human skin-like material as well as wrapping an iPhone case and portable charger the same way. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Japan-based ESCRIT, a wedding ceremony company, partnered with The Pokemon Company to start offering officially licensed Pokémon weddings, complete with costumes, themed food items, and more. Each package also includes place cards and program pamphlets adorned with Pikachus poking their tails out from a bed of flowers, in which they’re possibly sharing a just-married smooch. There are two bride-and-groom Electric Types that greet guests as part of the welcome board, which is tradtionally placed at the entrance of the banquet hall where the wedding reception is held. Read more to see some of the food offerings.
Japan has already begun testing ALFA-X, the world’s fastest bullet train, ahead of its 2030 launch. Featuring a 72-foot-long aerodynamic nose, it’s touted as being capable of achieving speeds up to 224mph and consists of ten carriages. This silver bullet comes equipped with an air brake as well as a conventional brake on the roof controlled by magnetic plated near the tracks, while dampeners and air suspension keep things stable for passengers. Read more for another video and additional information.