Collaborating Authors

Narita-based bus lines reaching out to distant tourist spots

The Japan Times

The trend is a result of collaborative efforts being made by Narita International Airport Corp., bus lines and municipalities with popular tourist resources. The plan is to encourage arriving tourists to go directly to the destinations being promoted. This spring, bus operators began offering services from Narita to the cities of Niigata, Toyama and Kanazawa by extending existing routes. These were joined on Friday by a new bus route to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. Nikko, north of Tokyo, is a popular tourism draw for Americans and Europeans but has recently been generating buzz among Taiwanese.

SoftBank-led trio develop robot that can transform into car

The Japan Times

A SoftBank Group Corp. subsidiary and two other firms have developed a prototype of a two-seat humanoid robot that can transform into a car for use in amusement parks, the companies said Thursday. Invoking the heroes from the "Transformers" movies, the experimental J-deite Ride can go from humanoid mode to vehicle mode in about a minute. The 3.7-meter, 1.6-ton robot can lumber on two legs at an agonizingly slow pace of 100 meters per hour but go 60 kph in vehicle mode. The electric car can be driven both manually and by remote control, according to a press release from the companies. The robot was developed by SoftBank's software subsidiary Asratec Corp., Tokyo-based start-up Brave Robotics Inc. and Sansei Technologies Inc., an Osaka-based game machine maker.

If you want to see the future of your city, take a look at these 3 places


Many large cities (Seoul, Tokyo, Shenzhen, Singapore, Dubai, London, San Francisco) serve as test beds for autonomous vehicle trials in a competitive race to develop "self-driving" cars. Automated ports and warehouses are also increasingly automated and robotised. Testing of delivery robots and drones is gathering pace beyond the warehouse gates. Automated control systems are monitoring, regulating and optimising traffic flows. Automated vertical farms are innovating production of food in "non-agricultural" urban areas around the world.

Amazon's delivery drones could parachute packages to avoid landing

The Independent - Tech

Amazon is toying with the idea of equipping its autonomous delivery drones with parachutes. The idea is that they would enable the flying contraptions to float packages down to the ground in situations where landing could prove tricky. The potential plans are outlined in a new US Patent and Trademark office patent spotted by CNN. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.

App rewards drivers with coffee vouchers if they drive without looking at their phones

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A smartphone app has been designed to convince Japanese drivers to avoid checking their handsets while driving by offering them free coffee. If motorists ignore their phones for the next 60 miles, they will receive a free cup of coffee. The initiative is in the Aichi Prefecture, which is about 150 miles from Tokyo. The area has the worst figures for accidents causing injuries and deaths in Japan and road safety campaigners believe this is down to the growing use of handheld devices. Some 50,000 people in the region were arrested last year for using their phones while driving.