University of Tokyo Researchers Develop Electricity-Conducting Ink

Lab-INK-Tokyo-WSJ

Jun Hongo reports: Researchers at the University of Tokyo said they have created a new electricity-conducting ink with high elasticity which can be used to print circuits on textile.
A circuit printed on a flexible textile using University of Tokyo’s electricity conducting ink. Someya Group Organic Transistor Lab

According to their research, published in Nature Communications magazine on Thursday, the elastic conductor ink is made from silver flakes, fluorine rubber and fluorine surfactant. There have been similar substances developed in the past, but the new fluid can be stretched up to three times and still keep its electrical conductivity.

“This is a technology that allows us to create conductors on a textile with a single printing step,” University of Tokyo professor Takao Someya told Japan Real Time Friday. “What’s new about them is that they are very flexible.”

Exactly how the new ink would be useful isn’t clear yet, although Prof. Someya has a number of ideas. Circuits printed on clothing could be used as part of medical devices measuring heart rate or other body activity, he suggested. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Chinese University’s Video Boldly Goes Where Others Have Gone Before

Te-Ping Chen writes: China has long struggled with the question of how to build world-class universities Fudan-tokyo-video-wsjthat encourage creativity and innovation. This week, that challenge was again in the spotlight after Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University – one of the country’s best schools – pulled a glossy promotional video from its website, following a public outcry over allegations of plagiarism.

Posted earlier this week, the video bears a striking resemblance to the University of Tokyo’s official promotional video, “Explorer,” which was released last year. In it, an astronaut walks through campus and the city of Tokyo, narrating in English in a contemplative voice.

“I took this city as an explorer, ate with strangers from the same bowl, laughed, partied together, became a family,” the astronaut intones in English, as the video shows footage of her busting various moves on a laser beam-lit dance floor. The video culminates with a shot of the main character removing her white helmet to reveal a woman identified as astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, class of 1993.

Fudan University’s film follows a similar arc, with the main character dressed in a flight suit and shown partying on a dance floor. When she whips off her helmet at the end of the video, it is revealed that she is Le Yafei, class of 2009 and a flight test engineer.

Social media users were quick to mock the video, which the university explained earlier this week was produced in English in keeping with its increasingly internationalized campus. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] University of Tokyo Biped Robot Races Toward the Singularity at Record Speed

From JapanJun Hongo reports: A research team at the University of Tokyo has unveiled one of the fastest two-legged robots in the world that can reach speeds up to 4.2 kilometers per hour (2.6 mph).

While many robots are controlled using what is known as “zero moment point” dynamics to balance itself, the new robot uses a combination of a high speed camera and a stabilizing motor so that it can lean forward without tipping over, enabling it to run in a dynamic form, according to Prof. Masatoshi Ishikawa. The robot can even perform a somersault. Read the rest of this entry »


Spider-Man takes classes at the University of Tokyo

Image: Twitter (hira_KUzu)

Image: Twitter (hira_KUzu)

Michelle Lynn Dinh reports:  Spider-Man can apparently do whatever a spider can and that includes attending a class at the prestigious University of Tokyo. As he quietly sits in the front row of a regional geography lecture, we can’t help but wonder why his Spidey sense brought him to a boring lecture hall when he could have been swinging from the skyscrapers of Tokyo or turning into a dumpling.

It all started when Spider-Man showed up to class…

As the professor made his way to the podium, there was no way he couldn’t notice the unusually skinny Spider-Man sitting at attention, ready to learn about the physical features of the earth. And then Spidey made his move…

Read the rest of this entry »


Kirobo Speaks: Japanese Talking Robot’s First Words In Space