Yet the four-year-old firm has become Japan's most valuable startup, with a venture capital funding that priced it at more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Toyota Motor Corp., its biggest backer, handed over $110 million on a bet its algorithms will help them compete with Google in driverless cars. Last February, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe posed for pictures with the firm's two young founders at his office, where they were awarded a prize for promising new ventures.
Japan's Preferred Networks Inc. has only one publicly available product, a whimsical application that uses artificial intelligence to automate the coloring of manga cartoons. Yet the four-year-old firm has become Japan's most valuable startup, with a venture capital funding that priced it at more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Toyota Motor Corp., its biggest backer, handed over $110 million on a bet its algorithms will help them compete with Google in driverless cars. Last February, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe posed for pictures with the firm's two young founders at his office, where they were awarded a prize for promising new ventures. What sets Preferred Networks apart from the hundreds of other AI startups is its ties to Japan's manufacturing might.
This is the most advanced robotic hand ever created - with a design that will lower the price significantly - marking a breakthrough for the field of prosthetics. The so-called Hennes hand, developed by Italian researchers, has only one motor that controls all five fingers, making it lighter, cheaper and more able to adapt to the shape of objects. It weighs about the same as a human hand, and uniquely uses sensors that react to electrical signals from the brain to the muscles, which is much simpler than other'myoelectric prosthetics'. The simplicity will allow the team to price the device about 30 percent cheaper than other models on the market, at 10,000 euros ($11,900). All together, lead researcher Lorenzo De Michieli says there has never been such a natural and accessible option for amputees.
ROME – Italian researchers on Thursday unveiled a new robotic hand they say allows users to grip objects more naturally and features a design that will lower the price significantly. The Hennes robotic hand has a simpler mechanical design compared with other such myoelectric prosthetics -- which are characterized by sensors that react to electrical signals sent from the brain to the muscles -- said researcher Lorenzo De Michieli. He helped develop the hand in a lab backed by the Italian Institute of Technology and the INAIL state workers' compensation prosthetic center. The Hennes has only one motor that controls all five fingers, making it lighter, cheaper and more able to adapt to the shape of objects. "This can be considered low-cost because we reduce to the minimum the mechanical complexity to achieve, at the same time, a very effective grasp, and a very effective behavior of the prosthesis," De Michieli said.
Short delivery time, high flexibility and reduced costs for handling parts before assembly. These are the main goals that Danfoss Drives wanted to achieve by creating an automated assembly line. But while the goals were clear, the way to achieve them was cloudier. "How to do it and with what technology, we haven't decided yet. And that's what we're seeking help for", says Technology Engineer Peter Lund Andersen from Danfoss Drives.
A representative 2D semiconductor is graphene, which consists of a honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms that is just one atom thick. The development of van der Waals heterostructures has been restricted by the complicated and time-consuming manual operations required to produce them. That is, the 2D crystals typically obtained by exfoliation of a bulk material need to be manually identified, collected, and then stacked by a researcher to form a van der Waals heterostructure. Now, a Japanese research team led by the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo has solved this issue by developing an automated robot that greatly speeds up the collection of 2D crystals and their assembly to form van der Waals heterostructures. The robot consists of an automated high-speed optical microscope that detects crystals, the positions and parameters of which are then recorded in a computer database.
The Shadow Robot Company, that manufactures robotic hands for grasping and manipulation for real world challenges from fruit picking to bomb disposal, is supplying its Shadow Dexterous Hands to OpenAI, a non-profit company focusing on the path to safe artificial intelligence. The research is claimed to have created eight newly released environments, four of which using the Shadow Hand robot to solve realistic manipulation tasks.