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Hatsune Miku by iDoll x Nendoroid at Wonder Festival

Date: 2016 February 09 16:50 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

Fans of collectable anime figures will already be aware of winter Wonder Festival 2016. It's always interesting to see what figures have been launched and how stressful it will be on your wallet. The good folks from Yukai Engineering Inc have sent us details of their latest concept project. A collaboration with figure firm Good Smile The iDoll x Nendoroid combines the Yukai Engineering iDoll with Good Smile's popular Nendoroid figure. They've created a singing dancing Hatsune Miku figure that interacts with a smart phone app.

Yukai Engineering Inc are not new to making otaku products they were also involved in the necomimi, those brainwave reading cat ears.

Read More... | Souce: iDoll x Nendoroid

An Interview with Hidetaka Tenjin Mechanical Illustrator and Mecha Designer

Date: 2015 June 01 15:36 | Posted By:

Category > Features

As children we've often spent our time drawing giant robots and fighter jets. Many of our readers would still do this for fun now and again. But what if you want to do it professionally? We were lucky enough to meet one such man - Mecha Designer Hidetaka Tenjin. He's does technical illustrations and designs cool mechanical things. He's done technical illustration for Macross Zero, Macross Frontier, Macross Frontier: The False Diva and Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye.

He's got a few art books to his name too. Plus he also does lots of box art for model kits.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Hidetaka Tenjin at the May 2015 MCM London Comic Con where he was invited by streaming service Viewster to be the anime guest of honour.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

In Japan a Robot is like a friend

Date: 2010 December 05 17:28 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

It's the 21st Century and everyone wants their own robot companion. Japan is leading the way with this technology as a great video from BBC News shows. The first half of the video shows robotic legs forming in an exo-skeleton which is used to help stroke patients with walking. It even has a lady who is wheel-chair bound walking down stairs using this technology. The second half of the video focuses on a robot companion used to help blind people. It's fascinating stuff.

Souce: BBC News

Tokyo's First Robot Wedding

Date: 2010 May 16 10:47 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News have a fascinating article about a wedding with a difference in Tokyo. It was the worlds first wedding to be conducted by a robot. Appropriately both bride and groom are connected to Japan's robotics industry. The robot is called the I-Fairy, has flashing eyes and a flowery headdress, it speaks in Japanese and can be seen on the BBC video instructing the groom to to lift the brides veil for the traditional first kiss. The article does not state if the robot has any legal power to marry anyone.

Souce: BBC News

HRP-4C the Humanoid Female Robot

Date: 2009 March 16 16:33 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News have some interesting video footage of a life-like walking female robot.

The HRP-4C has 30 motors in it's body which allow to walk and move it's arms. It also has 8 motors in it's face to create various expressions.

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

Tokyo City Promotion 2009 in London

Date: 2009 January 16 09:10 | Posted By:

Category > Events

London anime fans are a in for a real treat on Saturday 31st January 2009, where a special Tokyo Day will be running. Organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Day is set to be packed with tons for otaku to see and do.

The event will be held at Lawrence Hall at the Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre.

Admission is free. It's set to run from 10am to 8pm.

Read More... | Souce: Tokyo City Promotion 2009

Robotic Actors in Japan

Date: 2008 November 26 17:12 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News are running a fascinating story about a robotic actor in a Japanese play. Hataraku Watashi (I, Worker), is set in the near future, the play had it's premiere at Osaka University, and stars a Wakamaru robot made by Mitsubishi. Software for the robot was especially written train it for the stage and took over two months to develop at the university.

The play focuses on a young couple who have two housekeeping robots, one of which loses its motivation to work, complains that it has been forced into boring and demeaning jobs, and enters into a discussion with the humans about it's role in their lives. The play is written by Oriza Hirata. Currently the play is 20 minutes long, they are considering producing a full length production by 2010.

Souce: BBC News

Make your own Mech for only $742 Million

Date: 2008 April 04 03:47 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Wired have an interesting article about how to make a mech. Takayuki Furuta the director of the Future Robotics Center in Chiba Japan, was worried that kids don't care about robots any more, so he ran computer models to figure out the best way to build a six story tall Gundam. Apparently they have blueprints for the robot, and actually intend to build one, although a 60 foot tall model wouldn't be financially feasible a 13 feet tall version could be produced by 2011.

The article also links to an article with the price breakdown in yen, a must for all those project managers out there. ^_-

Souce: Wired

Wine tasting robot thinks human flesh is bacon

Date: 2006 November 12 13:14 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Following on from a story about a wine tasting robot, it can identify wines, cheeses, meats and hors d'oeuvres, so a reporter put the robot to the test, putting his hand in it's sensor. The robot reported that human flesh was bacon. Apparently we don't taste like chicken. I'm sure Otaku News readers aren't cannibals, but some cannibal tribes call human flesh long pig, as they thought we taste like pigs, the robot seems to confirm this.

Souce: Wired Blogs

Otaku - Japan's Consumer Cult

Date: 2006 September 13 16:48 | Posted By:

Category > Fandom

Otaku - Japan's Consumer Cult.

A syndicated article that appears MSNBC and Business Week focuses on the Otaku, who are Japan's Consumer Fanatics.

It mentions their geeky tendencies to build their own computers, along with their spending large amounts of money on collectable manga and associated merchandise. Interestingly enough the article also states their raw spending power, around $3.5 Billion dollars (USD), a year on anime DVDs, manga, IT gadgets and other toys. Namco Bandai's Idol Manager idolm@ster gets a mention too.

The article then goes on to explain the Densha Otoko and maid cafes, along with English language websites that track the news. They single out two websites Otaku World and this website Otaku News. ^_^

The article also mentions kakure-otaku (hidden otaku), and the Secret Otaku Support Commission.

It then finishes with Kondo Kagaku, a company that noticed a lot of it's servomotors were being bought buy keen otaku who wanted to produce their own robots, so the company met demand and produced their own robot kit.

Souce: Business Week

Robo-sommelier Perfect for Tasting Wines

Date: 2006 September 04 15:38 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

According to BBC News the clever people at NEC have created a wine tasting robot. The 2 foot tall robot use infrared light to detect different tastes. Originally developed to taste and identify foods by checking the ingredients and their quantities, the team decided to focus on wine as it was more challenging. The robot will even recommend wines based on the users previous tastings. For some reason or another we can't stop thinking about Bender from Futurama.

Souce: BBC News

Miuro The iPod Robot

Date: 2006 September 01 08:33 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

For the otaku that has everything Japanese firm ZMP have developed a robot that rolls around playing music. The egg shaped robot is called Miuro which stands for - music innovation based on utility robot technology. Miuro has all sorts of interesting features such as an iPod dock, a remote control and can even use wireless signals from a PC to play music from iTunes or similar software (the article isn't clear which wireless technology is used). The robot uses a Kenwood speaker system. Camera and sensors are available as an optional extra to allow Miuro to map out it's on position and remember routes.

Miuro is available to buy on-line in Japan, with overseas availability expected in the second half of 2007. Retailing at $930 (USD), it isn't exactly at the cheap end of iPod accessories.

Souce: Yahoo! News

Robot Super Model to the Rescue

Date: 2006 April 09 11:53 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

The Mainichi Daily News has an interesting story on Robo Garage who have previously made a child and an adult robot which appear to be male, have produced a "Female Type" bipedal robot.

Weighing just 800 grams and 35 centimetres tall the tiny Female Type (or FT), has a feminine shape and can strut along like a super model! Bipedal robots have always presented a challenge, since it's tricky to get a robot to walk and balance on two legs. A low centre of gravity helps, which would have made the robot look fat, so to counter this a lightweight motor was used, along with two sensors to detected if the robot starts to lean.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Me-Teru of Galaxy Express 999 becomes a Receptionist

Date: 2006 March 06 13:17 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

According to Manga News there is an interesting article about a robotic version of Me-Teru from the famous manga Gingatetsudo 999, or Galaxy Express 999 as a receptionist. This robot is working at the airport of Kita-Kyushu (the home town of its creator Leiji Matsumoto), and it is reported that Me-Teru has been programmed to answer around 200 questions!

Souce: Manga News

Hitachi Unveils New Cyber Desk Clerk

Date: 2006 February 26 19:59 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

As some of you may have noticed, we rather like our robots over here at Otaku News. So imagine our glee when we discovered that Hitachi and Hitachi building services are installing a new robotic desk clerk at the Grand Tokyo Bay Hotel.

Read More... | Souce: The Raw Feed

Kyosho Manoi Robot

Date: 2005 November 05 09:39 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Japanese Toy maker Kyosho have produced a robot that can be assembled by the general public. The robot has been named Manoi is able to walk on two feet and kick a soccerball. Standing 40cm high the robot is marketed as being 1/5th the size of a human and is designed by Tomotaka Takahashi, who it appears has modelled the machine after Astroboy.

Manoi retails for around 150,000 Japanese Yen, which works out at $1270 US. However unlike Astroboy he cannot fly!

Souce: Kyosho

Europe Needs Bigger Robots Push

Date: 2005 October 07 08:22 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News are running a story titled Europe Needs Bigger Robots Push, at first we were hoping the EU needs some Gundams or other giant mecha, but infact it's an interesting story about how advanced Japanese robot research is compared to Europe.

Apparently the EU is going to give a boost to selected companies to aid in their development of robots.

Souce: BBC News

Realistic Robot Revealed

Date: 2005 July 27 07:26 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

According to BBC News Professor Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University has unveiled the most human looking robot yet devised. The android Repliee Q1 is female in appearance and can currently only sit in a fixed position. She has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor which are programmed to allow her to move like a human. Q1 has a soft silicon skin instead of a hard plastic shell, she can turn and react in a human like manner. The article also mentions R1, a predecessor to Q1 also designed by Professor Ishiguru that has the appearance of a five year old Japanese girl.

Souce: BBC News

Gundam Museum Gets Revamped

Date: 2005 July 18 14:39 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Those clever people at TechJapan have discovered an article on the renewal of the Gundam Museum which is run by Bandai. The renewal includes a "V Operations Cockpit Reproduction", where visitors can take pictures of themselves inside a Gundam cockpit, otaku will also want to see the 2 story (that's 5.6 meters / 18 feet) 1/1 scale model of Gundam A-Parts! The Otaku News Crew wonder if Bandai will release a 1/1 Perfect Grade kit of this. ^_-

Souce: TechJapan

Life-Support Robots By Toshiba

Date: 2005 May 21 11:08 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

According to Japan Today, Toshiba announced on Friday the development of two robots that the company defined as being "a life support partner".

Read More... | Souce: Japan Today

Real-Life Gundam Robot Developed

Date: 2005 May 16 16:11 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

In Maebashi an enviromental machinery maker announced that it has developed a robot with features like the one in the Gundam Mobile Suit Animation Series.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Today

Hitachi Unveil Emiew Robot

Date: 2005 March 19 13:30 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Japanese electronics firm Hitachi has unveiled its first humanoid robot, but unlike other Sony's Qrio or Honda's Asimo, Emiew has wheels instead of legs. Hitachi announced that it's the worlds quickest moving robot, able to move at 6km/h (3.7 miles per hour).

Eminew stands for Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate. The robot has a vocabulary of around 100 words, and is intended for practical office and factory use in as little as 5 to 6 years.

Japanese firms like Sony, Honda and Toyota have all unveiled robots to showcase their engineering talent and are currently used for Research and Development as well as big PR exercises. These robots are currently not for sale (unless you want to buy Sony's robot dog Aibo). Until the last few years bipedal robots have been hard to make since walking required a lot of quick processing power (you've got to balance, transfer weight, deal with momentum and so on), the Otaku News Crew suspect that along with the extra benefit of speed, Hitachi have decided to use wheels instead of legs because it is easier to produce a robot, their Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory have produced a fascinating range of robots over the last 40 years, but to our knowledge none of them have only two legs.

The BBC News site has more details about Eminew, Honda's Asimo page has a great history section too.

Souce: BBC News

Man Constructs 18 Foot Battle Mecha In Back Garden

Date: 2005 January 24 12:27 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

A man in Wasilla, Alaska, USA has managed to construct his own giant robot in his parents back garden. The 18 foot mecha boasts shoulder-mounted 9-inch nail launchers and flame-throwers capable of a hefty 20 foot reach on the forearms, and just for that extra coolness factor, glowing red eyes. Interested readers can view the full article here, while The Otaku News crew check the price of asbestos body armour.

Souce: Juneau Empire

Dancing Robots Save Japanese Culture

Date: 2005 January 18 17:03 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

In a story that sounds more like an episode from a comedy anime series, several news websites are covering the details about a robot that has been programmed to record and then replay traditional Japanese dance. The clever researchers at the University of Tokyo are using this to preserve Japanese heritage, since fewer people are learning traditional Japanese dance and now only see it at local festivals.

The robot used for this project was the Humanoid Robot HRP-2 "Promet", from Kawada Industries, our mecha-head readers will already know that this was designed by Yutaka Izubuchi, who has design credits for many mecha in anime series.

The Otaku News Crew wonder if these robots can also play Dance Dance Revolution?!


Toyota Make Mecha

Date: 2004 December 10 19:39 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News have published a very interesting story about Toyota's latest concept vehicles which have been classed as personal mobility devices. The i-unit, a four wheeled leaf like transport looks like it will fit in many futuristic Sci-Fi show, it's built using organic materials, it even has an autopilot on equipped lanes.

What's probably got all of our mecha fan readers excited is Toyota's i-foot, it's a bipedal "robot-like device" (that's the BBC's way of saying mecha to their readers ^_-), it can apparently walk at about 1.35km/h (0.83mph) and even tackle staircases. The BBC article then goes on to talk about exoskeletons in the military and other possible uses for the concept vehicles.

Both these vehicles are on display at the Toyota Group Pavillion at Expo 2005 - Aichi, Japan, where Toyota's opening show even has music playing robots!

Souce: BBC News

Snuggling Ifbot A Toy For The Elderly

Date: 2004 December 02 07:59 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Yahoo! News are currently running a story about the Japanese Snuggling Ifbot, a 45cm (18 inch) robot that is programmed to provide just enough small talk to stop the elderly going senile through lack of communication. The robot is able to match several million patterns of word phrases when spoken to. The robot also adjusts it's speech based on the date and time.

'To a statement, "Isn't it nice today?", the robot could say, "It is a fine autumn day," by detecting the season from its internal clock.'

The robot currently is only able to speak Japanese and retails for 576,000 yen ($5,600 USD). The makers are planning to develop an English speaking version of the robot as a language aid to Japanese children learning English.

Souce: Yahoo! News

Robots Learn Etiquette

Date: 2004 November 03 18:19 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News are running an interesting article about a study at the University of Hertfordshire. They intend to learn about robots and robotiquette by playing games like pass-the-parcel. The idea of this experiment is develop the way future robots should behave in social situations. Anime and manga of course have many different solutions to this and in some cases I don't think the robot will pass the pacel along once it has it! ^_^

The BBC are also reporting that the demand for robots will increase increase drastically by 2007.

Souce: BBC News

Sony's QRIO Robot To Visit Middle East

Date: 2004 September 19 09:59 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

AME Info are reporting that Sony's corporate ambassador QRIO will be making a debut appearance at the GITEX Shopper 2004, the Middle East's premier IT exhibition in Dubai.

Souce: AME Info

US Develop Robotic Leg Enhancements

Date: 2004 September 04 09:41 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Those clever guys over at UC Berkeley in California have successfully developed a military walking frame. The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (Codename BLEEX) is designed to aid the user by the use of mechanical leg braces and back support, allowing them to carry heavy loads over long distances. Theoretically such a system could be developed into powered armor or a control system for large scale robotics.

Reluctant pilots apply within...

Souce: UC Berkeley

Epson Announces Advanced Model of the World's Lightest Micro-Flying Robot

Date: 2004 August 18 16:28 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

The folks at Slashdot have brought to our attention a really cool new robot from Epson, the same company that makes all printers for your PC.

You can read the offical press release here, or the Slashdot crowds take on it.

Souce: Epson

Real Life robo-suits!

Date: 2004 August 13 17:14 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Scientist Yoshiyuki Sankai is the proud creator of a real life robotic suit! Inspired by Isaac Asimov stories and the manga "Cyborg 009" and "Tetsujin No. 28". The suit called Hybrid Assistive Limb-3, is designed to improve the mobility of elderly and disabled people.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Times

Kickboxing robots draw crowds in Japan at Robo-One

Date: 2004 August 13 13:31 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

CNN are running an interesting story about Kickboxing robots at the Robo-One tournament. also have good coverage of Robo-One.


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