Radiation-Watch - Excellent Project Where Good Ideas Have Got Together

Radiation-Watch.org, an open and non-profit project formed up in Japan, took an excellent approach to develop and launched very inexpensive and smart radiation detectors to the international market.  The organization is supported by a variety of people, such as scientists, engineers and designers on a global basis.  The organization surprisingly enough to have designed, developed manufactured, and launched the first model, Pocket Geiger Type 1 within just three month soon after the team made its decision to get the thing done.  All of the team members shared their own expertise on purely good will basis using their off-times, weekends and nights in weekdays.  

Needless to say, scientific, technological and engineering expertise the team members hold are the first class while there were three key factors for the successful fast launch of the high quality radiation detector.  Firstly, they used Kickstarter to get financial support for the project.  Using the system, Radiation-watch team could not only get financial support on global basis but also was able to expose the team in the global market simultaneously and in parallel to connect to so many people in the world who had good ideas to fill up or improve parts of the whole process. Secondly, they tried to have a manufacturer in the Tohoku disaster area where the big earthquake hit on March 11, 2011.  Actually, the entity the team contracted manufacturing is located in the area.  It should be obvious that the contract manufacturing must have been so encouraging the company to revive its business from the catastrophic disaster.  Third point is that the product, Pocket Geiger assumes computing capability of the other products, such as iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android based.

The combination of the three key factors brought the team successful results while every participant in the project must have willingly shared each part of idea to create the big picture of the whole process through delivery of Pocket Geiger.
The author of this article believes that Pocket Geiger must be one of the typical model of Steven John’s discussion on “Where good ideas come from “

On July 1, 2013, Pocket Geiger received the honorable RedDot Design Award, which is an international product design prize given by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany.  According to the jury, “The Pocket Geiger is cost-effective and simple to use, so it thus contributes the safety of people in the region affected (by the reactor accident in Japan)” 

Link: Radiation-Watch.org



Metrol - Ultra Precision Switches Manufacturer

    Metrol is a unique and leading company specialized in manufacturing ultra precision switches used for position detection and dimension discrimination, and owns international patents. Metrol's products are quite unique and structurally different from the conventional limit switches, proximity sensors, and photoelectric sensors.

    The company's strength is not only in its products and technologies but also in its global market coverage where Metrol's market share has reached at a 70 percent market.  Achieving the rate is uneasy unless taking a variety of sales methods. Take for instance, Metrol has more than 50 sales partners, while holding a few sales offices outside of Japan.  The company also effectively uses Internet technology such as Email marketing, on-line sales for a limited products, etc.  Metrol is categorized as a technology based SME, but its approaches are quite dynamic while its technologies are, needless to say, supporting the global industries.

Souce: Web site of Metrol Co., Ltd


Social PC and Social Trash Box!!

Interaction & Communication Design Lab. of Toyohashi University of Technology is introducing various cute robots on YouTube.  The following two movies give us sense of humor and get us to think of a future robot out of box.  Enjoy the movies with their statement which is really agreeable.

"The physical appearances of creatures, artifacts, etc, are not essential for becoming a social partner within the daily lives of humans. We believe that a creature's social cues and behavioral feedback (based on user behavior) are a most indispensable component to inherit their social roles. Our SPC was invented as a social companion for users to create a more enjoyable environment through its verbal and non-verbal cues, for example, shaking its body, displaying an attractive motion and joint attention with the user, etc. SPC is capable of tracing a user's attention and environmental variants (information on the display) to interact and respond toward establishing rapport with its social companion. We believe that the above interactions will help to work and engage without creating boredom and stress during long periods of time as preferred by users."


Intelligent humanoid robot that can learn and make decision by itself

This reminds me of the famous movie film screened more than 40 years ago.  HAL was the name of computer that kicked out people from the space ship because it learnt the people's minds from their lips that they had questions on HAL's loyalty.

Growing with further development of hardware and software capabilities, this humanoid robot may have the capability that controls real humans. I hope it will not come true and real even in the future space where highly intelligent humanoid robots will have to have strict limitation not to control humans.



Simultaneous Interpretation System

It used to be a dream for us to speak in our own language on the phone with any people who may not understand our language.  The dream seems to be becoming real at least between Japanese and English on a mobile phone network.  The accuracy of the simultaneous interpretation is reportedly not perfect yet, but that'd be OK as far as the accuracy is in a reasonable range. For the time being, the text messages simultaneously displayed on the phone screens in the both languages will help to avoid potential misunderstanding which might be caused by inaccurate interpretations. If bandwidth allows to accommodate this simultaneous interpretation and video phone capability, it'd be more helpful.


Source: DiginfoTV via YouTube


Thanks All for Kind Notes Encouraging Japan Big Earthquake hit

We are receiving many emails, kind words and notes from outside of Japan.  Two typical messages say, " I do believe that your country people can overcome all the problems, above all, for Japan, the characteristic of your people is united & pursuit the best level all the time, where is valued to be respected." and "Japan is a strong and industrious nation, people would get through from such disasters  We believe it will recover soon. Please accept our deepest sympathy and convey our best wishes to all of you"

The magnitude of the earthquake that hit Japan has been reportedly the largest in the recorded history. No one can measure an overall impact to Japan society caused by the natural disaster at this point.  Finding more, the damages becomes bigger. We still are in rescue and fact finding modes. However, it’s for sure that the Japan society should be able to overcome the extraordinary difficulties, although the big earthquake is causing catastrophic damages to Japan.

In Tokyo, we may have a little bit to change our routines of life for a while because of scheduled power outage which will reportedly continue until the end of April.  We do hope we’ll have found everything and will move forward for recovery as soon as possible.

Thanks all for the kind messages from overseas.  They are really encouraging us, Japanese society.



Smart Trainer - Multi-Fitness Training Machine

This seems to be a typical product made by a sophisticated consortium formed up by The Niigata Industrial Creation Organization, Hitachi, Takei Scientific Instruments Co.,Ltd.and NEDO.  The Niigata  The Niigata Industrial Creation Organization and Hitachi reportedly provided Takei with exercise methods and robot technology, which they developed as part of a project funded by NEDO.  In general "exercise" is "exercise" and it's sometimes boring. Building entertainment functions into the training or exercising process is good for continuous effort of exercising for a long time although it seems to be a matter of cost and performance.

Source: DigInfo TV via YouTube