- Title: JAPAN: The future of home electronics on display at Tokyo expo
- Date: 7th October 2009
- Summary: VARIOUS OF "MIIM" ROBOT SINGING SPECTATORS TAKING PHOTO OF "MIIM" WITH CELL PHONE
- Embargoed: 22nd October 2009 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVABTOKPGX85GRVGWUW3GIWL47TX
- Story Text: It was science-fiction in the making on Tuesday (October 6) as more than 500 companies from 22 countries showcased their latest high-tech electronics, gadgets and robots at the annual CEATEC (Cutting-edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition) in Makuhari, an hour's drive from Tokyo.
CEATEC, which in recent years has garnered significant attention not only in Japan but worldwide, showcases a comprehensive range of leading-edge IT and electronics technologies under the theme of "Defining the Shape of Our Future", CEATEC officials said.
One display that caught the imagination of many members of the media at today's press showing, was Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi's "Gesture Remote Control."
Very much like the protagonist in a sci-fi movie with this technology, a person can turn channels, raise volume, or change color of television set with hand gestures only.
"The sensor detects hand's movements of one centimeter, so you can control the TV as if you're touching on it," said Takashi Matsubara, a researcher at Hitachi Consumer Electronics Laboratory.
When commercialised, Matsubara said, the technology would make TV watching even more comfortable.
"When this technology becomes available for consumers, people can control their TV even before they find the remote control," Matsubara added.
One of the world's leading car manufacturers, Nissan Motors, was also present at the show as the company introduced its latest robotics technology.
Nissan's robot car "Eporo" runs in groups of four to five without bumping each other as it adapts technology inspired by the behavior of a school of fishes.
Using obstacle-detection and prevention sensors, the robot runs about 1.2 kilometres (about 0.7 miles) an hour while staying close to other robots without crashing into one another.
"Using the algorithm behind the behavior of a school of fishes, it is possible to develop cars that do not bump into each other," said Susumu Fujita, a Researcher at Nissan Research Centre.
According to Fujita, a fish's sense of personal space and the ability to avoid any kind of obstacles can be implemented into future cars and a variety of recreational vehicles.
Among the most popular attractions was Murata Manufacturing's unicycle-riding robot "Seiko," which is capable of detecting obstacles and getting around curves while balancing on its own using several positioning, motion and shock control sensors attached to its body.
The 50-centimetres (20 inches) tall, 6-kilograms (13 pounds) heavy robot can run about 15 centimetres (about 6 inches) per second.
While Murata's "Seiko" attracted audience with her unicycling skills, another robot wowed the crowd with her musical talent.
Yamaha Corporation's humanoid robot "Miim" sang her heart out - in tune - while blinking and moving her head to the music.
The human-sized robot girl is designed to move her mouth according to a pre-recorded song.
The five-day event is expected to attract about 200,000 visitors to its some 2,000 exhibition booths and seminars by IT and electronics industry leaders.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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