Apple Opens Gorgeous New Retail Store in Tokyo, Japan

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There never seems to be a moment when tech giant Apple isn’t renovating its facilities or opening stunning retail stores across the world. Now, the firm has opened the doors to its new store in the Shinjuku region of Tokyo, Japan. Since 2003, more than 70 million people have visited Apple’s Japanese outlets. The store is […]
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Apple to open Shinjuku store in Tokyo on Apr. 7

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Apple will launch a new store in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo on Apr. 7, giving the company another outlet in Japan’s capital.
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Apple Announces Shinjuku, Tokyo Store and More U.S. Renovations

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After opening a swath of new retail storefronts last year, including its dazzling Dubai mall location, the company announced a spate of next-generation renovations which have taken place at Apple Stores all across the country — including a massive facelift to its San Francisco, California location in the upscale Union Square neighborhood. This week, the […]
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This rare Yu-Gi-Oh! card is on sale in Tokyo for over $400,000

Specialty Yu-Gi-Oh! cards can be expensive and run in the thousands of dollars, like Doomcaliber Knight, worth about $ 700, and the first Japanese promo version of Dark Magician Girl, which could set you back about $ 1,100, but they don’t come close to the price of one particular card currently on the market. Card Shop Spiral specialty store of Tokyo is selling a card called Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon for a whopping 45 million yen ($ 406,800).

The card is a one of a kind, which is why it’s being offered up at such a staggering price. It was a prize for an Asian Championship Series, and also comes with a signboard that has a signature from Kazuki Takahashi, the original creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! As pointed out on Reddit, exclusive cards as prizes…

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Panasonic unveils autonomous tomato picker in Tokyo

Panasonic unveils autonomous tomato picker in Tokyo

The automation of repetitive tasks in construction and manufacturing has been around for some time. Last month, Panasonic introduced an agricultural robot at Tokyo’s International Robot Exhibition that could have implications for workers in the fruit-picking business.  

Harvesting tomatoes is more complicated than you might think. Each fruit has to be plucked from the vine once it is ripe enough, not before. It’s also a delicate operation: tomatoes bruise easily and a single scratch in one can lead to a whole box going bad, fast.

Read more: Robot tax could ease drawbacks of automation

Panasonic robot harvests tomatoes

To handle the perception and dexterity-related challenges that come with fruit picking, Panasonic’s new robot relies on a combination of camera, range image sensor and artificial intelligence technologies.

First, it recognizes which tomatoes are ready to be picked. Then, it performs a precise cut-and-catch technique to move each tomato from vine to bucket.

The robot can be mounted on a rail, enabling it to slide along one vine from start to finish. In terms of speed, Panasonic expects the robot to perform at least as well as a human, harvesting at an average pace of 10 tomatoes per minute.

However, as the robot doesn’t need breaks, pay rises or sick days, it’s easy to see where the attraction might lie in terms of wider efficiency gains.

Panasonic has so far only demonstrated its harvesting robot and no announcement has yet been made regarding its readiness for market or cost.

Read more: Tarzan robot swings above crops for automated agriculture

With great dexterity comes great responsibility

The rise of computer vision and faster, more agile robots has made complex tasks accessible to automation. Tomato picking is just one example.

Last month, Ocado released footage of a new bagging robot, capable of picking products and carefully placing them into shopping bags based on the shape and weight of each item.

This level of processing and dexterity could pave the way for applications that go far beyond monotonous tasks in agriculture and retail.

Read more: Italian start-up Evja launches smart agriculture platform for salad growers

The post Panasonic unveils autonomous tomato picker in Tokyo appeared first on Internet of Business.

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The University of Tokyo Has Built a Robot That Sweats While Exercising

Workout Bot

Kenshiro and his younger “sibling” Kengoro are two robots that were built with unprecedented similarity to human anatomy at the University of Tokyo. Their unique design make them able to move in ways looking closer to natural human movement than any preceding robot.

In fact, Kengoro’s exercising ability likely rivals many human couch potatoes. The robot can do sit-ups, push-ups, and even stretches. However, the most surprising ability Kengoro exhibits is sweating. The machinery that allows the robot to move like a human heats up, requiring water to circulate through its metal frame to cool it. Steam vents through holes in the skeleton to accomplish the cooling.

It’s perhaps counter-intuitive that the engineers created the two cousin robots to be able to study human movements in greater detail. But in the long term, these robots could be useful as crash-test dummies since their mobility could lead to more accurate readings than stationary dummies. As the technology progresses even further into the future, Kengoro and Kenshiro could be the inspiration for actual search and rescue robots.

Road to Westworld

At this point, there is no telling where the advancement of the marriage between humanoid robotics and artificial intelligence will eventually land us. We still seem to be quite far away from Westworld level AI and robots, where humans and robots are virtually indistinguishable. Still, it does look like we are getting closer to the possibility. Think about the huge step forward it would be to merge the human-like movement of Kengoro with the nearly human-level intelligence of Hanson Robotics’ Sophia, a feat that is likely more difficult than setting the two up on OkCupid.

Both technologies are growing at an increasingly rapid rate. The applications that such powerful tech will have on society is immeasurable but will definitely amount to more than a next-level tourist attraction. Making robots look, move, and even think more like us could make what some consider the hard pill of artificial intelligence easier to swallow.

The post The University of Tokyo Has Built a Robot That Sweats While Exercising appeared first on Futurism.

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Amazon is opening a Tokyo pop-up bar to promote booze sales

Amazon loves dealing with booze in Japan. In 2016, it launched a free Sommelier service for those who just can't choose which wine to buy. Now, it's opening a pop-up bar in Ginza, Tokyo's high fashion center and home to its ritziest establishments, t…
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The Indie Megashow gaming and music festival is headed to Tokyo

Indie Megabooth has long been a breath of fresh air at bloated games conventions. Gamers apparently agree. These days, thousands of attendees and hundreds of developers flock to its indie showcases. Its growing popularity saw it branch out beyond gam…
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‘Secret World Legends’ expands into disaster-ridden Tokyo

The Secret World was rebooted in June as the free-to-play, shared-world RPG Secret World Legends and it just received the first of three updates that will expand the game into a "disaster-ridden and monster-infested" Tokyo. Tokyo: Back to the Beginni…
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