Our editors have compiled a list of the “Top 5 Strangest (or Coolest) Japanese Inventions” for your enjoyment. Which ones are your favorites?

5. USB-Powered Shirt Fans

That’s right, these USB (or AA) powered shirts from Japan have built-in fans — 2 x 10cm — that supposedly “draw in a large amount of air which helps to vapourize thus dissipating sweat and bringing down the wearers body temprature”. Available now in Japan, no word yet on pricing. [Source]

4. Eyeball Robot

Created by ATR/Systec Akazawa, the strange Muu Socia 3.0 eyeball robot “interacts using voice recognition, speech and even face recognition”.

The CYBER CYCLOPS is designed, ugly enough, to serve as an ice-breaker between doctors and patients. It freaks out if you put your hand in front of its eyeball


3. AA Battery-Powered Plane

Powered by 160 AA Oxyride batteries , this plane “soared five meters (16 feet) above the ground at a private airport owned by Honda Motor Co.”.

“This was officially the world’s first manned flight powered by dry-cell batteries, in the second test the plane soared two meters above ground and flew some 400 meters almost independently,” Zushi said

[ Source]

2. Wearable Gaze Detector

Created by Manabe Hiroyuki, this “Wearable Gaze Detector” is equipped with tiny video cameras that track “your eye movements by detecting the changes in electrical potentials that happen when they move” and records what you’re looking at.

The idea is the Gaze Detector would record everything you’re looking at, so later on you could watch a movie of your day with an accompanying “attention marker” pointing out exactly what held your gaze. Paired with a Web browser, the program could automatically call up information on the objects you looked at


1. Scientist Creates Robot Clone

Hiroshi Ishiguro — “a senior researcher at ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories in Japan” — has created a robot clone of himself.

Created using casts of his body, his robot doppelganger sits and fidgets, looks around and taps his toe just like his creator. Ishiguro actually created this robot to, no joke, fill in for him in the classroom at Osaka University, where he’s a professor


Honorable Mention – Cup Noodles Cap with Timer

Priced at an affordable $9, this “Cup Noodles Cap with Timer” allows users to select from 3/4/5 minute cooking intervals and whether you want the noodles al dente (-20 seconds) or well done (+20 seconds). It measures 22 x 90mm and is available now in Japan. [Source]