Japanese Robots: iREX Multimedia Wrap-Up (VIDEOS & GALLERY)

iREX Robot Wrap-Up - AkihabaraNews.com

Japan’s premier robot expo is over, and all that remains of iREX 2013 are the things we learned, contacts we made, and the videos, photos, and desperate attempts to effectively communicate the breadth of what exactly went down. Something beyond Wow, it was like… so many awesome robots.” Not so easy, that.

• • •

Welcome to iREX 2013: “You Will be Overwhelmed”
Okay, that wasn’t the International Robot Exhibition’s official theme, but for presenters, attendees, and we the media flailing around to succinctly nutshell the whole thing, it certainly seems the most common refrain. Even with four days of perusing, playing, interviewing, and networking, it’s challenging to come away with a genuinely cohesive sense of what was witnessed. The sentiment is probably too well worn, but it’s true: it would be easier to point out the esteemed robotics projects not represented at this show.

Even for the most ultra-robodorky among us, there were almost, though not quite - but almost too many robots at iREX. Or, four days every two years just isn't enough. Either way, same difference.

If this is your first visit to AkihabaraNews’ Japanese Robots feature series and you'd like some review, get yourself hip to all the particulars at our iREX 2013 primer. Basically, the International Robot Exhibition is a biennial hybrid of science fair, trade show, state of the robo-union address, and gigantic PR event stuffed into the entirety of the Tokyo Big Sight conference center's East Halls (not a small area). While dominated by Japanese makers & manufacturers, around 100 robotics firms from around the world also bring their show-and-tell to Tokyo. They do this for each other, for the public, and, of course, for the press.

The actual theme of iREX 2013 was “Making a Future with Robot” * (<-please note the asterisk). But, given the enormity and scope of the show, and with so much effort and energy and mind driving the robotics on display there, Making a Future with Robot* seems a ship that’s already at sea - now we just have to figure out how best to organize this life. Luckily, the supernerds at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), who were meeting concurrently and right next door, are also working hard to incorporate robots into our lives with intelligence, ethics, and a framework of safety. 

AkihabaraNews’ iREX Robot Video Compilation & Photo gallery
Short of a term paper or a 45-minute documentary, it’s just not possible to get all of iREX into one chunk of publication, but we do have some favorites. Not all of the robots featured below are deployed or deployable, but the majority actually are. Whether already in the field or slated for use within just a few months, these machines are very much on the forefront of Making Life with Robot.*

Nope, not a comprehensive survey of iREX 2013, but it gives you a window into what's happening on the cutting edge of humanity's robotics technologies. Here are the videos, also viewable at our YouTube channel, and the iREX 2013 photo gallery is also linked below:

For those who prefer stills, our iREX photo gallery includes 60 images of a variety of robots and the venue:

GALLERY: The Robots of iREX 2013

*A typo? No. Are there any plural nouns in Japanese? No. Anyone at the world-class robo-event organizing or marketing team bother to check their English grammar before getting t-shirts made up and inviting the entire planet? Yeaaaahhh… No.

Get it together, Japan - you’ve only got 6 years until the Olympics, yo!

• • •

Video & Images: AkihabaraNews.com



Related Articles

Daft Punk Action Figures - From Japan, of Course - AkihabaraNews.com

Postmodern French TechnoFunk Action Figures? 
Okay, so musicians often have likenesses of themselves created and marketed, but they aren't generally what would be be considered "action figures," i.e., posable, articulable, and in this case thoroughly high-quality mini-facsimiles. No, see - Daft Punk hold a special place in the global pop-cultural consciousness. 

Unlike the previous robots in the OMNIBOT series, which are obedient and easy to control, Hello!DINO sometimes becomes naughty. Especially when you pull its tail, it will go berserk and begin roaring, biting and chasing you.
Japanese Robots: Gymnast-Bot Nails (more complicated) Triple-Backflip - AkihabaraNews.com

There’s no shortage of attention for the horizontal bar gymnastics robot videos from YouTube user "hinamitetu," and yesterday, a new milestone: Once again, in what looks like mom’s cluttered basement or garage, the gymnast-bot impresses with a super difficult Kovacs to triple backf

Taihei Environmental Science Center has developed a system that automatically performs water quality testing, and can detect bacteria such as E. coli. In the past, this work had to be done manually. The system uses three robots to completely automate all stages of the process, from collecting a predetermined amount of the sample, injecting agar, agitating, coagulating and inverting, to the placement and storage of the culture in incubators. This level of automation not only eliminates human error, substantially improving test accuracy, it also increases processing capacity.

Japanese Technology from the Future SATURDAY but was Supposed to Be Friday!

This week it’s Japan thinking about investing a bunch of cash and tech into cancer treatment in India, which is nice, NTT Data Canada has significantly upped some jobs predictions in Nova Scotia, and even we're saying "NTT Data Canada?", and SCHAFT Robotics has left the DARPA building, which is kind of a bummer, but intriguing. 

• • •

Nissin NoodleBot - AkihabaraNews.com

Instant noodles, Top Ramen in particular, are perhaps best known as a symbol of the struggling college student, the underemployed and/or lazy bachelor, or simply the food of last resort - but not in Japan. Here there’s a clear, unabashed romance between Cup Noodles and robots. 

• • •

Akihabaranews.com - Diginfo - Kosmek robotic hand changer

KOSMEK has developed a robotic hand changer that can switch between robot tools automatically - and with high precision. 

Reno J. Tibke - July 04, 2014

The Best Transformers Movie of 2014... (VIDEO)

AkihabaraNews MICROCAST

Skeletonics at Maker Faire: Tokyo 2013 - AKihabaraNews.com

In addition to our exclusive close-up footage of Team Skeletonics' human-powered exoskeleton, luckily we also collected a few wide angle and close-up stills. Yeah, we've kinda been fawning over Skeletonics of late. But for good reason: you won't believe what they're working on.

A train festival will be held from August 9 through August 17 at LaLaport Yokohama in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture. The main display at the event will be a Shinkansen (bullet train) transforming robot called "Project E5".

Project E5 is made based on JR East's E5 series Shinkansen. It was exhibited to the public at the Tokyo Toy Show 2014, which took place in July, and became very popular.

ASIMO Goess Hanami - AkihabaraNews.com
The Japanese and anyone else lucky enough to be here are celebrating an intermittently occurring secular holiday that spans an entire month. Various gatherings, parties, festivals, and no-real-reason-necessary events with groups from a just a few people to several thousand are currently being held across the entire nation. One famous robot, too.