• Fujitsu develops robotic care bear that giggles, snores

    Japan gave us one creepy robot over the weekend, but the country of kawaii hasn’t forgotten about its roots. Case in point: A new robo bear, designed by Fujitsu and especially geared towards the elderly. The yet-to-be-named robot, which follows a line of other advanced robot bears from Japan, can even snore. Isn’t that adorable? Read More

  • Creepy, creepier, Japan's new Android (video)

    If you still needed evidence Japan is the country churning out the most realistic androids out there, here’s another hint for you. Meet Geminoid-F, the newest robot from one of Japan’s most famous robot makers, Hiroshi Ishiguro. Ishiguro-san’s invention is as realistic as it is creepy, but also very cool. Read More

  • Robot for your computer: Honda releases Asimo desktop widget

    There are many humanoids out there, but Honda’s two-legged, super-advanced Asimo is certainly one of the coolest. And if you’re a hardcore robot geek, you can get it now on your computer desktop via a new Adobe Air app. Read More

  • The SiliFulin is a robot tail for humans (video)

    We’ve covered quite a few unusual robots from Japan in the past, but the SiliFulin, a robot tail designed specifically for humans, is definitely among the weirdest models. You can wear the robot around your waist, where it reacts to your movements. Read More

  • Towel-folding robot is adorable, impractical

    Of all the things I need to fold, towels are the easiest. Probably because before long, they’ll be hanging on towel hooks, so there’s no pressure to fold them in any particularly attractive way. This robot is much more dignified, though, it must be said, very slow. That said, the sped-up video gives it an agreeable birdlike quality, does it not? [via CNET] Read More

  • Japanese university develops Robo-Skateboard

    Earlier today, we’ve covered Honda’s U3-X, and now we bring you another mobility robot from Japan. What we have here is a robotic skateboard, which was developed by the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo. And no, it’s not really a fun project. That DIY Segway skateboard is about to get some serious competition. Read More

  • New video shows Honda's U3-X Personal Mobility Robot in its full prototype glory

    Remember the U3-X Mobility Robot from Honda we blogged about last year? Well, the auto-unicycle is still a prototype, but Honda has just released a new (and pretty interesting) promo video on its official YouTube channel. The company says the U3-X can run continuously for one hour on a single (lithium-ion) battery charge and can be recharged via a conventional 120-volt power outlet. Read More

  • CrunchGear visits the Tsukumo Robot Kingdom in Akihabara (photo report)

    It’s been over four months since I last paid a visit to a robot store in Akihabara/Tokyo, namely the Vstone flagship store. But I have to say the Tsukumo Robot Kingdom [JP] is much cooler, mainly because the shop is larger and offers more robots than its rival. The Robot Kingdom is located on the 4th floor of the Tsukumo PC Store II in central Akihabara. Read More

  • Meet robot Hanako, the dental patient simulator (video)

    Three Japanese universities (Waseda, Kogakuin and Showa) and robot maker Tmsuk have developed Hanako, a robotic dental patient who can behave like a human patient (to some extent). The robot, who is supposed to be female, can converse with doctors (“Please examine me!”, “That hurts!” etc.), discharge robotic saliva, sneeze, open and close her mouth, etc. Read More

  • Watch the world's tallest robot Tsutenkaku in action (weird video)

    We’ve covered Tsutenkaku, a Japanese robot that looks like a tower to promote tourism in the city of Osaka, just last week. Standing 170cm tall, his makers claim Tsutenkaku [JP] is the tallest robot in the world. And now he finally showed himself in the public, during a street festival that took place over the weekend in Osaka’s shopping district of Nipponbashi. Read More

  • Happy 20th birthday, iRobot!

    iRobot, perhaps best known for having created the Roomba, turns 20 today. Let’s give them a virtual high five for helping so much in bringing roboticism into the home. Sure, in the end, it might be the death of us all, but in the mean time, it’s nice not having to vacuum so much, am I right? Read More

  • P4: Honda's Asimo humanoid gets a re-design after 13 year [Update: No, he doesn't]

    Honda’s Asimo is probably the world’s most famous humanoid robot. The company today leaked the first technical details and pictures of the fourth version of Asimo, the P4. And the new and improved Asimo, which took 13 years for Honda to develop (P3 was unveiled in 1997), looks much more elegant and human astronaut-like than the previous models. Read More

  • Robot + iPod touch = robovie mR2 (video)

    Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) has unveiled robovie mR2 [JP], a cute desk robot that stands just 30cm tall and weighs 2kg. The cool thing is that users can place an iPod touch in his chest to control the robot (wirelessly via Wifi or by touching the screen). Read More

  • Jet Hitter: New Baseball robot allows solo practice

    Baseball robots are nothing new (there’s even a dedicated Wikipedia article on them), but that didn’t stop Japan’s Meiji University and Yokohama-based metal recycling company MRC [JP] to come up with the so-called Jet Hitter [JP]. Read More

  • EMIEW2: Hitachi updates its cute humanoid robot

    We last blogged about EMIEW2, a two-legged robot made by Hitachi, in July 2008. The main selling point was (and still is) an array of 14 microphones integrated into his head, enabling him to identify three different human voices simultaneously. But up until now, EMIEW2 tended to easily fall over on bumpy surfaces, which isn’t really ideal for a humanoid that’s supposed to one day… Read More

  • Video: Mini fuel cell powering a robot fish

    This robotic fish is not the first of its kind, but it’s certainly one of the coolest out there (granted, not too many of these actually exist). Developed by the Faculty of Engineering at Osaka City University, the unnamed robo fish can move very realistically and has a key selling point: It can be powered by a solid-polymer fuel cell dubbed “Power Tube”. Read More

  • Meet Tsutenkaku, a robot that looks like a tower (video)

    Japan has a lot of different robots so why not develop one that looks like a tower – even if it may make no sense whatsoever? That’s what a total of seven Japanese companies thought and built the Tsutenkaku Robotto [JP] (Tsutenkaku roughly translates to “tower that extends to the sky”). And as the name suggests, the robot is pretty tall: 170cm. Read More

  • Video: Meet scary baby robot Yotaro

    Just two weeks ago, we gave you m-synchy and m-neony, two super-advanced baby humanoids developed by a Japanese research institution. While those two robots were weird but looked rather harmless, baby robot Yotaro [JP], made by the University of Tsukuba in Japan, is really looking scary – just look at those pictures. Read More

  • Wheelie: Toshiba's new robot is cute, autonomous and maybe even useful (video)

    Toshiba is a huge company, but it’s not necessarily known as a maker of robots. Their “Wheelie” for indoor use is an autonomous, 2-wheeled robot, which is still in prototype stage and somehow reminiscent of a Segway in its basic design. Read More

  • New emergency robot is wearable, opens doors at disaster sites

    A Japanese robot manufacturer called BL Autotec has developed a remote-controlled robot hand [JP, PDF] that’s able to grip and turn doorknobs. Once connected to a emergency robot, it can safely open doors at disaster sites, for example in collapsed buildings without putting humans in danger. Autotec says the robot can be used in the case of nuclear, biological and chemical disasters. Read More