Pedo-Bear is back, and now he wants granny!

bear-bot in japan robot Look out granny!
Japanese scientists of the RIKEN research institute have released a new experimental nursing care robot, “ROBEAR.”

According to RIKEN’s press release of February 23rd, the ROBEAR can performing tasks such as lifting a patient from a bed or wheelchair and, left_quoter_14x24will provide impetus for research on the creation of robots that can supplement Japan’s need for new approaches to care-givingright_quoter_13x24
Ri-i-i-ight—Granny is gonna love this. ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

Sadly, these nursing care robots of the RIKEN Institute have been around forever. RIBA-II, the care-giving Teddy Bear ( / 2011-08-03) shown above has been in development for a long time without any the bear-bots going into practical use in nursing homes and hospitals.

The 3Yen first reported years ago about the predecessor of the RIBA, the RI-MAN robot in: Stroke my soft machine (3Yen / 2006-03-01)
Other Bear-bot reports on the 3Yen have included:
. . . Care-bots for elderly…again ( / 2013-06-22)
. . . Bear-bot that reads your tweets ( / 2011-01-26)
. . . Robo-teddy vs Alzheimer’s ( / 2010-10-08 )



Glow-in-dark LEAFs — Must be from Fukushima ;-)

radioactive-fishStraight from the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown (3Yen 2015-01-25) is a prototype of the new Nissan LEAF electric car with radiation-energised* paint that glows in the dark!

*Sunlight is “radiation” so this paint glows in the dark because it’s ultraviolet-energised by the sun’s rays, ha, ha.

Learn more about this UV absorbing glowing paint at Auto Express(2015Feb12): Nissan Leaf goes glow-in-the-dark with luminous paint upgrade



‘Spot’ makes Japan’s dead-dog AIBO look bad

sony dog robot should be shotAfter wasting zillions of yen and contributing to near-bankruptcy of the company, Sony’s famous flagship robot dog, AIBO™, was put to sleep in 2006. (3Yen 2006-01-27)

At the same time around 2005-2006, Boston Dynamics introduced BigDog(Wiki) that has move well into the realm of “usefulness” unlike Japan’s failed robo-efforts (3Yen quoted by the BBC and The Independent). Check out “Spot,” the latest version of BigDog.

left_long quotebar 24x260px BostonDynamics’ BigD0g r0b0t is pretty familiarbut this smaller c0usin—Sp0t weighs 160 pounds, while BigD0g weighs in at 24O poundsSp0t is pretty light on its feet…more via Slate



Japan invents the Segway! (again)

Honda’s UNI-CUB Is Amazing, Least-Efficient Water Delivery System Ever 2015Jan13
Honda demonstrated their UNI-CUB motorized chair-thing, which they’re using to develop the world’s least-efficient method of single water-bottle delivery. Seeing it in action, I’m very impressed...more...

The rest-of-the-story is that Segway-type devices are illegal to use in Japan on public roads* (3Yen 2006-11-14)segway2 (and sidewalks haven’t been invented yet in Japan) so all this “innovation” of copying the the failed personal transporter market is just Honda spinning their wheels in a product segment that has proven to be a loss for more than a decade.

Previous reports Japan inventing the Segway (again) on the 3Yen include:
   • They see em rollin, they hatin’… (3Yen / 2010-05-16)
   • Toyota invents the Segway! (3Yen / 2008-08-06)
   • Toshiba invents the Segway (3Yen / 2006-11-14)
   • Better than the Segway or ‘Jegway’ (3Yen / 2006-11-29)
   • Time Magazine names Toyota’s i-unit™ ‘coolest’
        (3Yen / 2005-11-17)
 i-unit ev by toyota

Japanese scientists succeed in making true salarymen

Dobu-nezumi (溝ねずみ) = lit. ditch rat
Dobunezumi is rather rude Japanese slang for salarymen dressed in monotonously grey suits.

Japanese scientists succeed in making true ‘Dobunezumi’

The reason I called these transparent mice “true salarymen” is that ideal state for a Japanese person is to melt into the crowd of other Japanese—to be “transparent.”
For the 25 years I worked in fetid bowels of corporate Japan, the standard joke among my Japanese office mates was:

Q: What do you call a salaryman with an opinion?
A: Unemployed.

My Neighbor Totoro Worm?

One of Japan’s favorite anime’s characters, My Neighbor Totoro –– Tonari no Totoro (, has a new scientific friend: the Eoperipatus totoro!


questioning totoro

Actually, the Eoperipatus totoro has been discovered for few years but was only formally described in 2013. The generic name Eoperipatus is derived from a Greek combining form of ēṓs, meaning “early” or “primeval”, and peripatos, meaning “walking about”. Miyazaki's anime My Neighbor Totoro cat bus

The specific name “totoro” refers to the Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro since the scientists were reminded specifically of the multiple legged caterpillar-like Catbus in the film when they saw the crawling velvet worm—(Wikipedia).

My Neighbor Totoro plushie collection J-List

Previous 3Yen reports of the mysteries of the Nekko Bus from My Neighbor Totoro include:

Funny phobia — weirdo weenie worries of the Japanese

One of the strangest Japanese neurosis is “Phimosis“—non-retracting or tight foreskin. Phimosis phobia cuts across all of society. Every Japanese mens magazine and manga has advertisements for phimosis treatments. New Japanese mothers are instructed on how to repeatedly “retract” the foreskin of their young boys* so they will not suffer the horrors genital binding and phimosis-induced insanity, ha, ha.

Foreskin clip joints take unwary males for a ride
Japan Today /2014Sep19
More males in Japan are undergoing esthetic surgical procedures to improve their appearance or boost their self esteem…{Japanese males} turned to legal help after undergoing {unneeded adult} circumcisions.
Only in a small number of cases are circumcisions necessary for medical reasons, and such individuals can make use of their national health insurance to have the procedure done inexpensively. But rather than provide such explanations, unethical dealers in the foreskin removal trade might tell them, “Your circulation is being constricted” or “There’s a chance you’ll develop cancer”
More uncut…


More about these silly phobic fears refer to the Mainichi Daily News, Japan (September 21, 2005):
Peeling back the facts on the cruelest cut of all

Also see the previous 3Yen post Japan (August 2005): Japan’s Puberty Hotline