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Meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Wake-up Call for Japanese Robotics Makers

TOKYO ~ Two years ago this week explosions and meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Genpatsu in northeastern Japan created this nation’s worst man-disaster. The ability to perform heavy duty repair work in the highly radioactive environs of a damaged nuclear reactor was one of the first obstacles that nuclear engineers faced at Fukushima Daiichi. To outside observers of Japan, the answer seemed simple: send in Japan vaunted robots. But the myth of Japanese robot supremacy was blown to bits by Fukushima Daiichi. Yes, Japan had talking robots, robot children, sexy fembots, robot pets and manufacturing robots, but it hadn’t produced machines mobile, powerful or agile enough to be of any use in a real world disaster scenario. So, the Japanese...

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Visit to a Recycling Plant in Japan May Lead to Recycling Oriented Manufacturing

Rcycling plant in Japan. Panasonic Eco Technology Center. PETEC. It’s cool to hear of things like this where appliances get recycled and turned back into resources. The things that’s neat about this is that manufacturers and designers actually go and see how easy their product is to dismantle and recycle. Further, this leads to efficiency later down the road. A quote in Triple Pundit says, “The plant, which salvages just about every material one can think of, is a model for “recycling-oriented manufacturing” that will surge in the coming years as raw materials become more expensive and difficult to source.” Recycling Oriented Manufacturing. That’s Cool.  

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Japan Admits Defeat in War… of TVs

Korean companies Samsung and LG took the market away by making TVs cheaper and just as good. TVs went from being huge boxes of tubes to being flat and nearly disposable. They technology changes every other year and buying something that’s not a decade of commitment is the new way to go. Like Nintendo, Sony and Panasonic, two big TV makers had shares fall from quarterly losses. They’re now going to output half of their projected amounts of TVs. (ft – Japan Waves White Flag)

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Hair Washing Robot by Panasonic

This contraption washes your hair is made by Panasonic. Imagine for the injured, paralyzed, arthritic, or just plain lady, this chair set up will wash those locks! Imagine a salon with these everywhere. Perhaps you can just walk in and pay $1 for a hair wash… This isn’t looking that great, and they’re not willing to test it on a person? It must have a ways to go. Robots aren’t always great, this one look to be one of them. (Reuters – Wash Hair)

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