Walking Robot Dogs Is Apparently Becoming a Trend in China

Photos and videos of people walking futuristic robot dogs instead of actual canines have been going viral in China lately, signaling a trend among the younger generations.

Robotic dogs inspired by the impressive creations of Boston Dynamics have been available on Chinese shopping platforms for a while now, but they’ve only recently started actually becoming popular. Although they are sometimes being described as soulless machines that can never compare to real dogs who love their owners unconditionally, there is no denying the advantages of robot pets, and judging by the increasing number of people spotted walking their robot dogs in China lately, they may one day rival the animals they emulate.

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Spoons and Bowls That Use Electricity to Make Food Taste Saltier Go on Sale Next Year

Japanese researchers have created smart kitchenware that relies on electricity to make food saltier and tastier without adding any extra salt.

Salt makes food taste so much better, but it’s also a very dangerous ingredient that, consumed in excess, can cause serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. But what if we could make food taste salty without using any salt? That’s what scientists at Meiji University and developers Kirin Holdings have been working on for several years now. Back in April, we featured their first breakthrough creation – a pair of smart chopsticks – but now they have a couple of commercial products ready to hit the shelves.

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Japanese Convenience Stores Introduce AI-Powered Shelf-Stocking Robots

Family Mart, Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain, recently started using AI-powered robots to restock shelves, as a way to deal with the country’s fast-shrinking workforce.

The decline in labor population is one of the biggest threats to businesses operating in Japan, and some have already started looking for ways to replace human workers. Case in point, major convenience store chain Family Mart, a company has recently teamed up with Tokyo-based robotics company Telexistence to introduce AI-powered robots in hundreds of its stores across the country. The new “employees” will be in charge of replenishing drinks in refrigerators and are expected to make human workers’ jobs easier and, in some cases, replace them completely.

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Japanese Robotics Company Creates Humanoid Heavy Machinery

A Japanese robotics company has been getting a lot of attention for its unique heavy machinery – a humanoid industrial robot that can be remote controlled by a human.

With so much focus on artificial intelligence and concepts like ‘the singularity’, we sometimes forget that robots have been around for a long time and that they can be pretty valuable tools even without advanced machine learning or even the possibility to move around on their own. Think about the industrial robots in modern automated car factories, or those mine-clearing robots that help human lives, just to name a couple of examples. Now, one Japanese company is trying to bring attention back to these humble creations with an ingenious humanoid heavy-duty robot capable of performing all kinds of useful chores while also appealing to fans of mecha manga and anime.

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Engineer Creates Functional Half-Wheel Bicycle

You may think that wheels are essential when it comes to bicycles, but one resourceful engineer’s recent invention demonstrates that two half wheels are just as good as one full wheel.

Sergii Gordieiev, engineer and YouTuber extraordinaire, is known for his ingenious inventions – including a chainless bike and a drill-powered ice bike – but his latest creation undoubtedly takes the cake as the most unusual. This bizarre contraption basically has two half rear wheels instead of a complete one, and they work in tandem to do the job of a regular one. As weird as it sounds, this crazy bike shows that two half wheels, when used correctly, are just as good as one full wheel.

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Japanese Inventor Creates Creepy Spider Night Lamp, Freaks Out the Internet

A Japanese IT engineer has created a creepy nigh lamp that crawls on robotic spider legs and leads you to the toilet in the middle of the night.

Don’t you hate when you have to answer nature’s call in the middle of the night? It’s pitch dark, you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t want to disturb the whole family by turning on the lights. Wouldn’t it be nice if a smart night lamp could light up the way from your bed to the toilet? Well, be careful what you wish for, because some night lamps can be downright disturbing. Case in point, this robotic spider lamp created by a Japanese IT engineer as a side project that has been freaking out Twitter for the past couple of days.

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Japanese Company Creates Smart Eyeglasses That Cure Both Myopia and Hyperopia

Japanese smart eyewear company Vixion has been working on an innovative pair of eyeglasses that can adjust the focus of the lenses, thus helping wearers overcome both myopia and hyperopia.

Suffering from either shortsightedness or farsightedness is bad enough, but as we age, many of us have to deal with the symptoms of both conditions. That means trouble seeing details up-close and in the distance. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with this is to get two pairs of eyeglasses – one for reading and another for seeing distant things more clearly. Having two pairs of prescription glasses is not only expensive, but also cumbersome. You need to have both with you at all times and switch between as necessary. Luckily, a Japanese company is working on a pair of smart eyeglasses that can help you deal with both myopia and hyperopia.

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The Rotary Un-Smartphone – The Retro Smartphone You’ve Been Looking For

If you’re a millennial who misses the old rotary phone that was such a big part of your life growing up, the Rotary Un-Smartphone Kit may be just what you’ve been looking for.

Smartphones are cool if you like carrying a miniature computer everywhere with you, but if you only care about making calls and all the other stuff is just getting in the way, the mobile rotary phone designed by space engineer and brilliant inventor Justine Haupt is just perfect. Featuring the familiar plastic dial that most of us 90s kids grew up with, the Rotary Un-Smartphone is basically a barebone smartphone that only includes the absolute essentials that the average anti-smartphone user might like, but with a cool, retro look.

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Smart Chopsticks Use Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Food Flavors

Japanese beverage maker Kirin Holdings teamed up with researchers at Meiji University in Tokyo to create smart chopsticks that reportedly make food taste more savory.

Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita has been researching electrical stimulation as a way to alter the way people experience food and flavor for years. In 2016, along with fellow researcher Hiromi Nakamura, he made international news headlines for developing a revolutionary electric fork that could make any food taste saltier than it actually was. And last year, he got even more attention for his Taste the TV (TTTV) project, a lickable TV screen that could imitate the taste of various foods. Now, he’s once again the talk of the interwebs thanks to his latest invention, a pair of smart chopsticks that can allegedly make food more savory.

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UK-Based Company Creates Functional Invisibility Shields

Inspired by Harry Potter’s iconic invisibility cloak, these real-life invisibility shields can make anyone who hides behind them disappear into thin air.

Invisibility Shield Co. is a UK-based startup that has been working on an affordable invisibility mechanism for over two years. The company recently revealed a line of invisibility shields that rely on surprisingly simple technology to make users invisible to the naked eye. Apparently, the shield uses a “precision-engineered lens array” to deflect light from the subject sitting behind the shield away from the observer. The lenses are oriented vertically to allow light from the subject to diffuse when it passes through the shield. The light from the subject’s background is refracted towards the observer who cannot see the subject hiding behind the shield.

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Japanese Company Unveils Rideable Robot Goat

Japanese tech giant Kawasaki caused a lot of raised eyebrows at the world’s largest robot trade show in Tokyo, with Bex, a rideable robot goat.

The 2022 International Robot Exhibition featured a lot of ingenious creations, but few as attention-grabbing as Kawasaki’s latest invention, a robot goat that can carry approximately 220 pounds of cargo. Named after the Ibex, a species of large wild goat native to parts of Eurasia and Africa, the Kawasaki Bex can transport human riders or different materials, but it also has a fully modular top half, so it doesn’t need to be a rideable goat. But let’s be honest, why would you want to ruin a good thing? After all, what’s cooler than a robot goat?

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Researchers Claim to Have Developed Artificial Intelligence Capable of Replacing Criminal Prosecutors

Researchers in China claim to have developed an advanced AI that is reportedly capable of identifying crimes and filing charges against those suspected of committing them.

There is no denying that advancements in artificial intelligence are being made at breakneck speeds and that many of us will one day lose our jobs to a tireless machine, but I doubt anyone imagined prosecutors would find their jobs threatened by machines anytime soon. And yet, if Chinese researchers are to be believed, there is already an AI system that can replace human prosecutors “to a certain extent” and file a charge with over 97 percent accuracy, based on a description of a suspected criminal case.

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Netlicks – Professor Creates “Lickable” TV Screen That Imitates Taste of Food

A Japanese professor has created a prototype lickable TV screen that can reportedly imitate the taste of various foods.

Dubbed Taste the TV (TTTV), the prototype was developed by Homei Miyashita, a professor at the prestigious Meiji University in Japan, as a step towards a true multisensory viewing experience. The Intriguing device uses a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that are sprayed in combination to create the taste of a particular food. The cocktail then rolls onto hygienic film over a flat TV screen, and the viewer can sample it. Miyashita believes that this technology can help people connect and interact even over long distances.

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Tech Company Will Pay $200,000 to Use Your Face and Voice on Its Robots

Russian robotics company Promobot recently announced plans to buy the rights to use someone’s face and voice on its robots forever for the price of $200,000.

Known for producing hyper-realistic, humanlike robots, Promobot is currently developing “a humanoid robot-assistant which will work in hotels, shopping malls and other crowded places,” and is in the market for a “kind and friendly” face to use on it. To that end, the Russian startup has announced that it is ready to pay $200,000 to anyone willing to transfer the rights to their face to Promobot forever. The company clarified that it will accept applications from people of all races and genders, with the ‘age 25 and over’ being the only requirement mentioned.

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Innovative Company Uses Kinetic Energy to “Throw” Rockets Into Space

California-based startup SpinLaunch has been making news headlines for its innovative approach to space flight – using a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to hurl rockets into space.

SpinLaunch has been working on a launch system that uses kinetic energy as its primary method. It relies on a complex mechanism that includes a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin the space rocket at several times the speed of sound before launching it upwards through a chute. If successful, SpinLaunch’s system could prove to be the most cost-effective and most reliable way of getting objects into outer space. The company has already had a successful launch in October, using its SpacePort suborbital accelerator in New Mexico to get a prototype vehicle tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

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