Tag: ‘Simulacra’

Elfoid: Humanoid mobile phone

04 Mar 2011

Elfoid humanoid mobile phone robot --
Elfoid -- a REAL android phone

Robotics researchers from Osaka University have teamed up with NTT Docomo and Qualcomm to develop a handheld humanoid phone that brings a new dimension to mobile communications. A prototype of the device -- called "Elfoid P1" -- was unveiled at a presentation in Tokyo on March 3.

Elfoid humanoid mobile phone robot --

The Elfoid phone is a miniature version of the Telenoid R1 robot developed last year by a research team led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. The current prototype measures 20 centimeters (8 in) long, is covered in a soft fleshy urethane skin, and has the same genderless and ageless appearance as the Telenoid. The control buttons are embedded in the chest, which glows green when the Elfoid is in use.

Elfoid humanoid mobile phone robot --
Dr. Ishiguro with Telenoid and Elfoid [Photo by: eSeL.at]

Like the full-sized Telenoid robot, the Elfoid handset is designed to add an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of a remote user.

Elfoid humanoid mobile phone robot --
[Photo: Ars Electronica]

Equipped with a camera and motion-capture system, the Elfoid phone will be able to watch the user's face and transmit motion data to another Elfoid phone, which can then reproduce the face and head movements in real-time.

Elfoid humanoid mobile phone robot --
[Photo by: d_&_r]

The current prototype is unable to move, but future versions will incorporate tiny motors and parts made from shape-memory alloys, allowing the Elfoid to move its eyes, mouth, neck and arms. Other features will include a temperature sensor, accelerometer, and an easy-to-use voice and gesture based interface.

Elfoid humanoid mobile phone robot --
[Photo by: antjeverena]

The developers hope to have a fully operational Elfoid mobile phone within five years.

[Sources: ATR, Gizmodo Japan, Yomiuri]

Video: Mystery creature in Sagami Bay

15 Oct 2010

Cameras aboard JAMSTEC's Hyper-Dolphin ROV have captured footage of something strange lurking on the floor of Sagami Bay, southwest of Tokyo.

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Giant sea frog? Ningen? Smiling rock with sea sponge eyes? You be the judge.

Video: Squirming ‘umbilical’ iPhone cable

01 Oct 2010

This umbilical cord-inspired charger cable by interactive media artist Mio I-zawa comes to life when connected to an iPhone.

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[See also: Mechanical tumor, external heart, elastic cell]

Telenoid R1 minimalist humanoid robot

02 Aug 2010

Researchers from Osaka University have teamed up with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) to develop a minimalist humanoid robot that recreates the physical presence of a remote user.

Telenoid humanoid robot --

Named "Telenoid R1," the teleoperated communication robot measures 80 centimeters (31 in) tall and weighs 5 kilograms (11 lbs). The portable machine features a soft silicone body that is pleasant to the touch, and it uses 9 actuators to move its eyes, mouth, head and rudimentary limbs.

Telenoid humanoid robot -- Telenoid humanoid robot --
Data is transmitted between the user and robot via Internet connection

The Telenoid R1 robot is designed to add an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of the remote user. The robot's actions mirror those of the remote user, whose movements are monitored by real-time face tracking software on the user's computer. Users can also transmit their voice through the robot's embedded speakers.

Telenoid humanoid robot --
Telenoid R1 with Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro (Osaka University)

The Telenoid R1 is endowed with only the most basic human features -- just enough to recreate the physical presence of the remote user, according to robot's creators. The robot's androgynous and ageless look makes it suitable for a wide range of users, whether they are male, female, young or old.

Telenoid humanoid robot --
English lessons can be conducted via the Telenoid R1 robot

At the unveiling in Osaka on August 1, the developers announced plans to begin selling two versions of the minimalist humanoid in October. The high-end model will be priced at about 3 million yen ($35,000), and a cheaper model will be available for about 700,000 yen ($8,000).

Here's a short video demonstration.

[Sources: Telenoid, AFP, Yomiuri]

iDish for iPad

23 Jul 2010

While the iPad may or may not revolutionize the way we consume media, it does have the potential to enhance the way we eat.

iDish -- iDish --
"Let's start a new life with iDish"

Introducing iDish, a new concept by iPad enthusiast shiinaneko that transforms the device into a versatile dinner plate.

iDish -- iDish --
Ideal for sushi

To use the iPad as an iDish, simply perform a Google image search to find your dish of choice. For a nice selection of sushi dishes, try searching for "sashimi" and "dish" (刺身, 皿). Display and resize the image, and you are ready to eat.

iDish -- iDish --
Aji (horse mackerel) on iDish

The iPhone/iPod Touch can also be used as an iDish. The compact size is suitable for soy sauce or small servings of tofu.

iDish -- iDish --
iPhone as iDish

Of course, iDish is also suitable for cuisines other than Japanese.

iDish -- iDish --
Curry rice and shumai dumplings on iDish

The possibilities are endless.

[Link: shiinaneko]

Louis Vuitton bugged by ‘Batta Mon’ sculptures

28 Jun 2010

Nine locust sculptures made from fake designer bags were removed from an art exhibit in Kobe, Japan after a complaint lodged by luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton.

Batta Mon --
Locust sculptures made from fake designer bags

The works -- created by Kyoto-based artist Mitsuhiro Okamoto -- were on display at the Kobe Fashion Museum from April 15 until their removal in May.

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon LV

The sculptures, which measure about 40 centimeters (16 in) long, are titled "Batta Mon" -- a play on the words batta ("locust") and battamon (slang for "knockoff"). According to the artist, the works are meant to raise questions about the relationship between authenticity and imitation in a consumer-driven society.

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon LV M Mr

Unfortunately, Okamoto's social commentary was lost on Louis Vuitton, who claim the Batta Mon sculptures represent an endorsement of the illegal trade in counterfeit goods. The Kobe Fashion Museum promptly removed the sculptures from the exhibit in May, after receiving a letter of complaint from Louis Vuitton claiming that the works damage the image of their luxury products because they incorporate material from counterfeit products.

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon LV M Mc

A museum official told reporters that it was unclear whether or not the exhibit infringed on trademark rights, but said that the museum removed the pieces to avoid a legal dispute.

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon LV Da

Okamoto, who was not pleased with the museum's eagerness to bow to the will of a large corporation, said, "It is ridiculous to lump the Batta Mon sculptures into the same category as counterfeit products made for commercial purposes."

Louis Vuitton declined to comment on the matter.

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon LV M De

Five of Okamoto's Batta Mon sculptures are made from fake Louis Vuitton bags. The other four are made from fake Chanel, Gucci, Coach, and Fendi bags.

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon CC

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon GC

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon CC

Batta Mon --
Batta Mon FD

[Sources: Asahi // Mitsuhiro Okamoto]

Geminoid F: Remote-control female android

05 Apr 2010

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Researchers from the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University have teamed up with robot maker Kokoro Co., Ltd. to create a realistic-looking remote-control female android that mimics the facial expressions and speech of a human operator.

Modeled after a woman in her twenties, the android -- called Geminoid F (the "F" stands for female) -- has long black hair, soft silicone skin, and a set of lifelike teeth that allow her to produce a natural smile.

Geminoid F, tele-operated fembot --

According to the developers, the robot's friendly and approachable appearance makes her suitable for receptionist work at sites such as museums. The researchers also plan to test her ability to put hospital patients at ease.

The research is being led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, who is known for creating teleoperated robot twins such as the celebrated Geminoid HI-1, which was modeled after himself.

Geminoid F --

The new Geminoid F can produce facial expressions more naturally than its predecessors -- and it does so with a much more efficient design. While the previous Geminoid HI-1 model was equipped with 46 pneumatic actuators, the Geminoid F uses only 12.

In addition, the entire air servo control system is housed within the robot's body and is powered by a small external compressor that runs on standard household electricity.

Geminoid F --
Geminoid F and her human counterpart, wearing outfits by fashion designer Junko Koshino

The Geminoid F's easy-to-use teleoperation system, which was developed by ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, consists of a smart camera that tracks the operator's facial movements. The corresponding data is relayed to the robot's control system, which coordinates the movement of the pneumatic actuators to reproduce the expressions on the android's face.

The efficient design makes the robot much cheaper to produce than previous models. Kokoro plans to begin selling copies of the Geminoid F next month for about 10 million yen ($110,000) each.

[Via: Kokoro, AFP]

Video: Hanako Showa dental patient robot

26 Mar 2010

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Doctors from the Showa University School of Dentistry have teamed up with Kyushu-based robot developer tmsuk to create a robotic dental patient. The female humanoid, named Hanako Showa, is designed to act as a training tool for dental students. In addition to wincing in pain when a dentist-in-training makes a mistake, the robot can roll her eyes, blink, move her jaw, and wiggle her tongue. To add to the realism, she slackens her jaw muscles when she grows tired. And she drools.

Hanako Showa dental patient robot --

The robot research team was led by Waseda University professor Atsuo Takanishi, who previously worked with tmsuk to develop the KOBIAN emotional humanoid unveiled last year.

Hanako is now being used at Showa University to train and evaluate dental students. This month, 88 students tested their skills on the robot.

[Link: PhysOrg]

- See also: Simroid dental patient robot

Video: Tiger on the loose at Ueno Zoo

11 Feb 2010

A tiger ran wild through Tokyo's Ueno Zoo yesterday as part of a biannual escaped animal drill.

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This year's simulation involved a tiger that escaped after an earthquake. The runaway animal -- played by a person in a suit -- caused some chaos and took down a couple of onlookers before the zoo staff chased it down, surrounded it with nets, and shot it with a tranquilizer dart.