Japanese Robots Amaze The World

Dennis Faas's picture

Japan recently held the largest robotics convention in its history, offering up a glimpse of the technological future.  The convention boasted a wide assortment of technological wonders that included mechanical panda bears welcoming visitors, a robot capable of solving Rubik's cubes in a matter of minutes, and one of the most life-like human replicas specifically designed to advance the field of dentistry.

The dental robot, intended for training future tooth-pullers, has realistic skin, eyes that narrow and a mouth full of scale-sized teeth. A sensor where nerve endings would typically be leads to all sorts of twitches and movements when the dental student drills too close for comfort. The robot is actually called Simroid (a hybrid of the names "simulator" and "robot") and informs the dentist when the pain has subsided and everything has returned back to normal. (Source: ca.news.yahoo.com)

As guests come into the convention they are immediately greeted by Taco-Chan, a robotic panda bear that is engineered to relieve stress through laughter. A web camera connects to software that scans the face of a person and when a smile is detected, Taco-Chan giggles and shakes.

Across the hall, Mr. Cube is busying away on yet another Rubik's cube before an impressed audience. Mr. Cube is a robot that uses built-in color sensors and a pair of mechanical hands to solve an average of 12 cubes every hour.

While Mr. Cube is still no match for the most skilled human Rubik's cube masters (Mr. Cube takes about five minutes to solve a typical puzzle while the human record stands at 9.77 seconds) the ability of the sensor to detect and differentiate colors is a major breakthrough in industrial robotics. (Source: telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com)

The convention reflects Japan's efforts to maintain its place amongst the global leaders in creative technological design. Japan is already an internationally-recognized industrial robot powerhouse, averaging 32 robots for every 1,000 manufacturing employees.

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