Japan has a national gift for holding in balance the stateliness of tradition and the marvel of novelty. So it ought to come as no surprise that on the western margin of the archipelago, on a serene bay in a remote area of the Nagasaki Prefecture, there is an enormous theme park dedicated to the splendors of imperial Holland. It follows with perfect logic that the historical theme park’s newest lodging place is the world’s first hotel staffed by robots.
20+ drones; 16,500 LEDs; 3 shamisen players; 1 Mt. Fuji: Filmmaker Tsuyoshi Takashiro orchestrates a performance combining drones and the Oyamakai shamisen ensemble.
FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
Some short videos from a Japanese construction shop that practices traditional joinery techniques. The tools are modern, but the components and joinery techniques are traditional. For instance, joining two beams end-to-end. [more inside]
A robotic teacher, Ms. Saya, conducts her first class at an elementry school in Tokyo. [more inside]
Video of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls. More info and photos here.
"I began to realize that "robots"-- in all their various forms-- can really be seen as a symbol of a larger relationship between people and technology." In 1988, Frederick Schodt wrote about the Japanese fascination and use of robots in his book Inside the Robot Kingdom, curious by the disparities between American and Japanese manufacturing processes . In 1988, the American public wasn't ready for the book, or for robots. Today, Japan still has embraced robotic automation in a way that arguably no other country has. For more similar topics, Mangobot is a column that reports on Asian futurism.
Japanese Bicycle History Research Club With a nice gallery of photos, illustrations, and ukiyo-e of vintage bicycles in Japan.
The World Expo 2005 opened doors to visitors today. Attractions include robots, a mammoth, and participating countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. Some think that in the age of the Internet and intercontinental travel, world expos are becoming obsolete; others think the Aichi Expo might spawn a new industry: industrial tourism. The last Expo in Japan was held in Osaka in 1970, and brought us arguably the world's ugliest artifact.
2 GB of data per second, piggybacking on your skin's electrical field. You == organic lan for small electronic devices. And it's a little more secure than bluetooth. via kottke, like everything else.
Mitsubishi Virtual Design Museum - look at the past, present, and future of industrial design in Japan. :: via Yesterday's Tomorrows::
isolation stretcher: staff at a japanese medical system support company demonstrate the company's 'isolation stretcher': "The highly protective stretcher, which costs 5.2 million yen (a half million dollars?), has been in demand since the spread of SARS" ...a 'bed' you wouldn't want to wake up in.
Japanese create "invisible" cloak. Well, not really. Technically, just a two sided cloak, the front of which is a projector, and the back of which is a camera. Only works, one would imagine, if you're looking at a person straight on, and even then it would help if you were partially blind, or at the very least, raised in the wilderness & easily fooled by modern technology.
Check out this soccer/baseball stadium. You can fold the baseball field and roll in the soccer one. Animation here. Amazing.
I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so Someday, the cell phone will be the only contraption I use. (Hopefully in this century.)
PostPet Japan's most popular email program. it's NOT outlook, it's NOT notes, it's NOT eudora. it's PostPet. related article here: A Dancing Pink Bear Named Momo. now looking at this pink bear in particular and japanese culture in general, any chance that imode will *really* be popular in Europe and the US?