Tokyo technology show introduces aerial origami and ping-pong robots


The annual CEATEC show in Tokyo is Japan’s largest consumer electronics gathering. Its name stands for Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies and it’s a platform for Japanese and Asian electronics manufacturers to show thousands of visitors their latest products, many of them with a Japanese flare.

Take for example a flying origami bird made by the Japanese Ultra-Small Flying Vehicle Research Institute. Weighing a mere 31 grams it is made out of paper, is equipped with sub-Gigahertz wireless technology and is piloted by remote control. During the presentation, the 70 cm long bird flew at a height of 6 metres.

According to its designer Toshitatsu Munakata, this very light plane-shaped origami features minute semiconductors, a central processing unit, a battery and the motor. One of the stars of CEATEC was a little robot called Robohon. Created by Sharp Corporation, it fuses smartphone and robotics technologies. He bows to say hello, recognises emotions and changes expression according to the content of conversations, of which he had many at CEATEC.

The Haptic Trigger technology by Alps Electric creates a real sense of touch in a virtual world. The user holds a control while looking at an image, such as a spray gun or scissors; simultaneously they have the impression they are using the instrument. The Trigger can reproduce a range of textures and sensations such as hardness and softness, or the ability to cut.

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