Friday, September 30, 2011
No. 320: A wearable robot helpful for holding and carrying an object of 30-40 kg (September 30, 2011)
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
No. 317: Produce glucose from paper with the help of the characteristics of ionic liquid (September 26, 2011)
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
No. 315: A compressed–air engine vehicle that makes a maximum speed of 129 km per hour (September 23, 2011)
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
No. 312: An all-optic switching memory element with less than one milliampere operating current (September 19, 2011)
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
No. 310: A satellite for safer travel in the northern sea route will be launched next year (September 16, 2011)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Currently, the CIS solar cell has a generation efficiency of 12.2%, 1-3% lower than the crystal silicon solar cell widespread in the market. Unlike the crystal silicon solar cell, the CIS film solar cell is not affected by the fluctuations of silicon prices and able to generate electricity even if part of the panel is covered by a shadow and even in cloudy days. The point was that it is 1-3% lower in generation capacity than the crystal silicon solar cell. In Japan, the system to purchase renewable energy at fixed prices will start with fiscal 2012, and large-scale mega solar generation plants are scheduled to be built across the country. The fierce competition with Chinese solar cell makers combined with high yen deteriorates Showa Shell’s solar cell business. The company plans to increase its share with the new solar cells and build joint production in foreign countries after the mass production gets off the ground to avoid the risk due to high yen.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
No. 305: An inexpensive plastic that shines blue responding to nuclear radiation (September 8, 2010)
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
NTT West will start the service that enables people to watch for their family members and friends living in the remote area using a tablet terminal. The onboard camera of a tablet terminal, which is used as an interior digital photo frame, detects the moves of people automatically and notifies the other party of their moves. To protect privacy, the image of the room will not be transmitted, and an avatar on the screen will be used instead to tell whether the family members or friends are fine. Users can communicate with the other party by TV telephone and send hand-written messages using the touch panel. This service is a product of the combination of NTT West’s next-generation network (NGN), IPv6 that is the next standards of the Internet, and the improved communication network that allows for constant and stable transmission of large amount of data. Users need to subscribe to NTT’s optical line, apply for IPv6, and a tablet terminal from NEC whose price will be decided later. The company forecasts that demand for monitoring family members in the remote area will grow because of low birthrate and longevity. NTT West is scheduled to conduct substantiative experiments from late September to next spring with a view to offering the service in 2012.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
No. 302: Experiments of the behavior detection technology using videos at nursing-care facilities (September 5, 2010)
NEC started the experiment of the system for higher security inside the nursing-care facilities through automatic detection of entrances and exits. The system is made up of NEC’s behavior detection technology and the face recognition technology. NeoFace, a face detection and checking engine, is combined with the human tracking system to verify the entrances and exits. The human tracking system outputs the behavior of a person and an object as the flow line because it can specify who the person is and where the object is in real time. Therefore, it will be possible to distinguish between people concerned and suspicious individuals. In addition, it will be possible to activate an alarm responding to invasion and reversed flow and based on the existence of an obstacle by setting a virtual region in the video. Because neither facility personnel nor residents are required to carry their IDs, there is no fair about the theft and loss of their IDs. NEC will continue the experiment in the nursing-care facilities run by Nichii Gakkan until mid-September. NEC plans to market this system for the administrative work and the detection of suspicious individuals inside plants and public infrastructure and as the tool to detect the behavior of shoppers inside the shop.
Friday, September 2, 2011
An unmanned helicopter powered by electric motors was developed by a research team led by Prof. Kenzo Nonami of Chiba University. It is 30 cm wide and 30 cm high, and weighs 1.5 kg. Unlike the conventional helicopter, it has six rotary wings. It can carry up to 1 kg baggage. Unlike a helicopter driven by a gasoline engine, it has a very simple structure that a motor is directly attached to each of the six rotary wings. The research team used off-the-shelf motors and the carbon framework to make the production cost as small as possible. The team said that its helicopter could be put on the market for one million yen, one tenth of the price of a helicopter powered by a gasoline engine. In addition, it is very quiet because the diameter of each rotary wing is merely 20 cm. It is possible to remote-control it using the GPS of a PC with such accuracy within less than 50 cm. The maximum speed is 20 km/h. It has a higher carrying capacity than the existing electric helicopter because the revolution of each six rotary wings can be optimized depending on the velocity and direction of the wind. It will be helpful for the research and monitoring in times of disaster. The current problems are that it can fly only for 20 minutes at the maximum and it cannot carry much baggage as a gasoline engine-driven helicopter. The research team plans to increase the loading capacity to 3-5 kg by increasing the number of rotary wings.