Japan’s Awesome Robots

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Let’s face it, Boston Dynamics is the SpaceX of Robotics, and if you’re a fan of robotics like I am, you can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
While we wait, let’s check out some robots developed in Japan capable of doing amazing things.

First is the HRP-5P Developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science or AIST and Technology.
Quick point about Japan. There is legitimate concern over robots taking away jobs in the future, Japan, however, wants this to happen.
This is because the country will have a workforce shortage in the future due to declining birth rates and strict immigration laws.
So, the HRP-5 is the 8th generation robot from the Humanoid Robotics Project which started in 1997 when AIST licensed Honda’s patents from their P3 robot and they build off of that technology.
HRP is 1.8 meters tall, weighs 101 kg and has 37 points of motion counting both arms and legs.
It has upgraded high powered motors with double the joint torque and speed from previous models.
It’s capable of creating a 3D map of the surrounding environment using an array of head sensors.
Another cool feature is that the HRP’s program has a large database of images so that the robot can recognize objects with over 90% accuracy even in poor lighting conditions.
The robot is capable of using power tools and completing simple construction tasks like hanging drywall.
Look how incredible this is.
Although Boston Dynamic’s Atlas is the most jaw-dropping robot I’ve seen, the HRP-5 can actually do something useful.
Anyway, AIST plans to build off of this technology and lay the ground work for humanoid robots that can contribute to society and help compensate for Japan’s shortage of workers.
Now, I’d like to turn the Spot Light to The University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Senoo Lab who developed the robot from the 2012 YouTube video that can win at rock papers scissors 100% of the time by recognizing the motion of the human hand in 1ms.
The Senoo Lab aims to develop robotics technology that can pioneer high performance and high functionality applications.
While Boston Dynamics focus on advancing locomotion, Senoo Lab focuses on fine motor skills by focusing on 3 system factors of input, processing, and output that all must work in harmony.
And over the years, Senoo has developed a long list of high-speed Sensing and Image Processing Systems.
There’s two many to discuss but one example is their high-speed vision chip.
The vision chip was developed with collaboration with Sony and it’s capable of processing visual data allowing the system to detect, recognize and track objects and provide visual feedback at high speeds.
So, with these systems, Senoo’s Robots are able to do amazing things.
Their Youtube Channel is filled is so many of their impressive projects, the link is below, I’ll just highlight a few.
This is one of their projects from last year, the robot is able to throw balls and hit randomly placed targets.
Its able to manipulate its fingers while throwing the ball in a similar way baseball pitcher does allow it to throw the ball on target.
The robot was even able to adjust to the target that was moved mid-way through.
Here is an older project from 2009 with two robots, one pitching the ball and the other striking the ball like a batter.

Finally, their latest project which was posted back in September was creating this robot that can quickly solve a Rubik’s cube with just three fingers with incredible dexterity.
The robot can process what is sees at a rate of 500 frames per second, as it analyzes the shape, position, angle, and center of gravity of the cube.
Senoo plans to continue to build off their research from their projects with the idea of having robots that can perform tasks that require extreme dexterity such as assembling equipment or even robotic surgery.
So, robotics labs throughout Japan are working hard to develop robots that will someday help with the country’s looming worker shortage and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Alright, that’s all I have for now.
I hope you enjoyed your journey, if you did, please leave a like and subscribe.
I am NeoScribe and I’ll see you on the next journey.

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