Tokyo tech fair opens to non-stop applause

10/21/2011
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TOKYO (majiriox news) — A robot named Ondz produced non-stop realistic clapping sound thanks to the special urethane flesh that covers his aluminum bones. He was created by Masato Takahashi, a researcher in media design at Keio University.

“I want the audience to enjoy the creepy and surreal feeling this product gives as entertainment,” Takahashi said. He added that he envisions the robot being used in musical performances or perhaps in the broadcast business.

The three-day expo at Tokyo’s Big Site Exposition Hall concentrates on interfacing digital technology with real world or mechanical problems. Many of the products or ideas on display deal with medical, transportation or advertising solutions.

Burton Japan, a Japanese firm showed 3D laser projection technology that could project a map or an advertising sign in the air, covering the entire sky.

“An obvious use is for advertisement,” said Hayato Watanabe, a Burton engineer. “You wouldn’t need any screens and you could create a huge signboard in the air.”

However, he was quick to point out that it is also an ideal public information system, even in disasters. “If you showed warnings in the sky from the top of fire department buildings, people could see them even after fleeing their homes,” he said.

The Burton projection system is capable of showing an image six meters (20 feet) above the ground that is three meters (10 feet) square on each size, and the company is working on developing larger images.

For all the seriousness of many of the applications, some were there just for fun such as a machine capable of knocking over dominos with nothing more than electromagnetic waves.

However, Takahashi might have to go back to the lab and teach his robot a few tricks other than clapping. Tokyo already has a full time cable radio station that features nothing but endless applause.

Takahashi says he would like to produce a “spanking machine” to hit comedians. Could a pie-throwing machine possibly be next?

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