Japan: Taking Cosplay to a New Level 


Shiguma Aika, second from left, talks with other cosplayers at a broadcasting studio in Osaka.

OSAKA — Keisuke Uranishi reports: An Osaka-based woman is amping up her creativity in a bid to make a difference as a cosplayer.

Shiguma Aika is a famous cosplayer who became known outside Japan about 10 years ago.

“I believe cosplay is a culture Japan can be proud of. I want to be even more creative than now.”

“We can overcome the language barrier and quickly get along with foreigners — that’s one of the good effects of cosplaying,” she said to listeners at the end of an internet radio program late last year.

Sporting bright white hair, Aika appeared on the show with three other cosplayers. Seated in a broadcasting studio, they looked like they had stepped out of an anime world.

“We can overcome the language barrier and quickly get along with foreigners — that’s one of the good effects of cosplaying.”But Aika is not content just to get into a character by cosplaying. She also uses it to express the world the character lives in and share its allure with spectators and other people. She aims to perform “creative cosplay,” shedding new light on the work in question and make it shine more brightly.

“In reality, wars are always going on. I had fun cosplaying, but then I thought I might be able to go a step further and use cosplaying to express [more serious] themes, such as the nature of war and love for humanity.”

For example, Aika and her fellow cosplayers performed a scene from a popular game inspired by the Shinsengumi samurai warrior force at a festival about Japan in Shanghai in February 2012. The Shinsengumi fought for the Tokugawa shogunate in the years leading up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

[Read the full story here, at The Japan News]

The performance won huge praise from the audience as they demonstrated a theatrical sword fight on stage filled with the passion of Shinsengumi members, many of whom died at a young age.

The festival was a formal event and commemorated the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China. But the organizers, which included the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai, recognized cosplay as an important cultural field that plays a role in the “Cool Japan” promotional movement, and decided to invite Aika and her fellow cosplayers.

Aika said she gained a lot of confidence as a cosplayer at the festival.

Love and war

Aika comes from Osaka, and became fascinated with cosplay in her adolescence. She devoted herself to it more and more because she felt that trying to look like her favorite manga characters would bring her closer to them in mind as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Fork-Funk Stevie Wonder-Bot [VIDEO]

Behold: Fork-O-DrumBot

Vito Caiata is an Italian maker living in Berlin. He recently got his Arduino to talk to his computer sound card via MIDI, then connected a pull-type solenoid to bang on an improvised drum. He started off with a wooden fork as the drumstick, then kept adding to the project. Now it has two drumsticks plus a hi-hat! 


 MAKE [via Hackaday]

[VIDEO] Defusable Clock Featured in TV Show


 reports:  Michael of Nootropic Design built the excellent Defusable Clock, which is an Arduino-compatible digital clock that just happens to look like a Hollywood bomb. Not exactly a surprise: the clock is so awesomely Hollywood that Hollyood came calling. The clock was featured as a bomb prop in the CW’s The Tomorrow People, with the expected factual errors pointed out in the video clip above. The Defusable Clock is available from the Maker Shed.


MAKE: Peter the Cyber Pumpkin


I like the cartoonish simplicity of this carved pumpkin with eyes that move.I contacted the Belgian maker, Jan De Coster, to find out a bit more about it. Jan says:

I have a passion for character design and I love making things nobody else is making. I have been doing that for a very long time. I started making all kinds of robot characters a few years ago. In one of these experiments I made this simple asymmetric eye rig.

Read the rest of this entry »

PIXY! Teaching Micro-controllers Boards to See: Scientists Predict Major Implications for the Cat-Pestering Industries

Now in the closing few days of its Kickstarter campaign the Pixy camera board from Carnegie Mellon is an interesting departure from cameras intended to be connected to micro-controllers like the Arduino. It isn’t just another camera, it’s a “smart” vision sensor. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Build an Internet Controlled Mars Rover

How to Build an Internet Controlled Mars Rover

Okay, it’s not really on Mars, in this photo, but, this is an Internet Controlled Mars Rover

This Instructable will explain everything you need to know to build an internet controlled all terrain robot. This one just happens to be modelled on the Mars Curiosity rover. This robot is controllable from any internet enabled device so you can control this thing on the other side of the planet (or Mars if only it had the internet). This project is all powered by the amazing Electric Imp (an SD card sized device that allows you to connect anything to the internet) and an Arduino.

This project was created by Michael Shorter, Tom Metcalfe, Jon Rogers and Ali Napier at the Product Design Research Studio, Dundee.

More at: How to Build an Internet Controlled Mars Rover.