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Jan. 17, Wed.

International Robot Exhibition

"On Site" this week, we'll join reporter Akira Daniel Duncan for a tour of the International Robot Exhibition. Held every two years, it's an entire convention center filled with all kinds of robots designed to do everything from high speed manufacturing to nursing care. We’ll spotlight some of the latest developments from Japan.

International Robot Exhibition

Schedule: Nov. 20 - Dec. 1, 2017
Location: Tokyo Big Sight

This is one of the largest robot-focused exhibitions in the world. In large part, the development of robotics technologies has been supported by Japanese manufacturing. The aim here is to create a better world where people and robots coexist and cooperate. In the past, developments in this field were all about industrial applications, but the future will include medical, service, and other lifestyle-related uses. Highlights from our coverage include the latest humanoid robot ideas from a major Japanese automaker, industrial robots with a flexible design and a more human look, robot arms that can help doctors with surgery, some bots with a more artistic bent, the latest in haptic controls, devices built to help make working the land a lot easier for humans, and a mobility system developed with the help of a Japanese government agency that has a passion for robotics.

  • International Robot Exhibition
  • International Robot Exhibition
  • International Robot Exhibition
  • International Robot Exhibition
  • International Robot Exhibition
  • International Robot Exhibition

Further Info:

Please note that some of the products or services featured in this program may be prototypes and not be sold at stores. NHK is not responsible for any damages, losses or injuries caused by the usage of these products or services.

- Toyota Motor Corporation.
543 Kirigahora, Nishihirose-cho, Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture 470-0309 JAPAN

- Kawada Robotics Corporation.
4-13-5 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chyoda-ku, Tokyo 103-0023 JAPAN

- Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
1-14-5 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8315 JAPAN

- Muscle Corporation.
6F Tradepia, 2-5-8 Imabashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture 541-0042 JAPAN

- Keio University Haptics Research Center.
64 Ishizu-Kitamachi, Sakai-ku, Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture 590-0823 JAPAN

- Kubota Corporation.
8-8 Koshou-machi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture 920-0932 JAPAN

- New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.
1310 Omiya-cho, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture 212-0014 JAPAN

A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax

The focus of this week's "Gadgets" segment is a very unusual musical instrument. It's an original design from a well-known Japanese maker that combines elements of a saxophone and a recorder. This compact music maker has a surprisingly big sound, and we'll join musically inclined reporter David Neale for a look and a listen.

A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax

The Venova is new and uniquely shaped musical instrument. It has a reed mouthpiece similar to a soprano saxophone, and two keys at the end. On the other hand, most of the notes are played by covering tone holes, and the fingering is like a recorder. But the sound is quite similar to a soprano sax. It was developed by Yamaha, a well-known musical instrument manufacturer that outfits whole orchestras. Surprisingly, the idea for the Venova originated in the late 80s, at a time when research into electronic instruments was front and center. In an attempt to digitally simulate real instruments in a computer environment, they uncovered the principles behind its design. The instrument's short length is made possible thanks to a proprietary series of bends through which air travels. It's definitely a change of tune to see an acoustic instrument developed in this technological and very digital age.

  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax
  • A Recorder With the Soul of a Sax

Further Info:

Please note that some of the products or services featured in this program may be prototypes and not be sold at stores. NHK is not responsible for any damages, losses or injuries caused by the usage of these products or services.

- Yamaha Corporation.
10-1 Nakazawa-cho, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture 430-8650 JAPAN

Bring Back the Loincloth!

This week's "+Style" segment is all about Tokyo fashion. We'll be focusing on an article of traditional Japanese clothing that is finding renewed popularity thanks in part to a startup company and a few inspired graduate students; far from old-fashioned, their designs and ideas offer a fresh new take on this classic undergarment.

A fundoshi is a kind of traditional Japanese underwear sort of like a loincloth. For more than a thousand years, up until the 20th century, the fundoshi was an undergarment used by Japanese men. Today, the fundoshi has practically disappeared from people's lives. But, believe it or not, it's actually been regaining popularity recently among young women. Their brand name "Sharefun" is an abbreviation of the Japanese phrase for "stylish fundoshi." The idea to bring them back came to Mr. Nakagawa, the president of the company behind the new product, after wearing the garment himself. There was even a fundoshi fashion show held in Tokyo featuring his products and those of others dedicated to bringing back fundoshi. Once almost forgotten, it's now making a comeback among younger generations as a functional - and really cool - new kind of underwear. Why not try some on yourself?

  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!
  • Bring Back the Loincloth!

Further Info:

Please note that some of the products or services featured in this program may be prototypes and not be sold at stores. NHK is not responsible for any damages, losses or injuries caused by the usage of these products or services.

- Plus Charming Co., Ltd.
36-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042 JAPAN

- Fundoshibu Co., Ltd.
2-18-17-201 Nishikata, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0024 JAPAN

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