Keio Techno Mall 2009

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Have you been to the Tokyo International Forum in Ginza? Just off Yurakucho Station along the JR Yamanote Line. I was there last week for the Keio Techno Mall. This annual event is organized by Keio University’s Faculty of Science and Technology.

Entry is free and the event showcases some of the cutting edge research currently being brewed within the Faculty’s four walls.
It is a great chance for folks in the industry as well as you and I to check out how academic research is going to change the world. ^^.

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There were a few posters in English, but unfortunately, most of the content was in Japanese. However, everyone speaks fluent English and would most certainly explain the ABCs of their research to you should you ask. ^^.

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Each booth showcases a research laboratory within the faculty. Japanese university research labs are named after the Professor in charge. If the Professor’s name is Tanaka Ichiro, then the research lab would be referred to as Tanaka Lab.

This is Saitoh Lab and they are all about finding a new sound. ^^.

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A short video clip about Keio Techno Mall will eventually end up on the Keio University YouTube channel soon enough. So you’ll be able to learn about what this fine gent here is playing.

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Miki Lab is working on nano and micro sized devices. Micro is on a scale of 10-6 and Nano 10-9. Here’s an easy question. Which is smaller? ^^.

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Keio Techno Mall is also a good chance for kids to get out of the classroom and go on a school trip!

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What do we have here?

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That’s a nice piece of headwear! What does it do?

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Ushida and Tomita Lab hope to give you Star Wars like Force powers by letting you move things via thought and only thought. All you have to do is suit up your brain with their Brain-Machine-Interface! Their work as been heavily featured in newspapers and it’s pretty impressive.

It would really be an invaluable tool for people who are physically challenged. Right now, they are also pushing to apply the technology in muscle rehabilitation.

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Onishi Lab is giving a demo of their work on a haptic robotic hand.

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Shiratori Lab has done some pretty impressive work in developing water-proof coatings. Jump into a swimming pool with a coated t-shirt and you’ll only get wet (not the t-shirt). ^^.

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I remain impressed by researchers who dwell into hardware. I’ve always been involved in creating new mathematical models and developing software to run them. Lots of computation and simulations. Although I don’t have to wait for things to get built, I have to wait for simulations to finish running. ^^.

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A new P2P file transfer algorithm.

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PS3s linked together for cluster computing. Amano Lab has 72 white PS3s locked away crunching numbers all day long. I blogged about this a while back.

BTW, you can also learn about their research from the Keio University YouTube Channel. You get to see their PS3s somewhere towards the middle.

I wonder what they did with the 72 game controllers…

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The students at Okada Lab giving a demo of their research in touch manipulation. I haven’t tried Microsoft Surfaces. Have you?

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I have tried using a Windows 7 touch-enabled computer at the electronics store, it wasn’t very intuitive and my arms got tired after a while.

Currently, I think that technology on a display is only good for using short intervals at a time. Especially when you treat your computer like a music jukebox.

I know Tom Cruise’s computer in Minority Report is super cool, but who wants to sit in front of a computer for hours waving their hands in front of them? Or who wants to stare at a display full of finger smudges?

Maybe if you remove the display? …

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This is probably my favorite. Another group of students in Okada Lab is giving a demo of their smell dispenser.

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The Professor has a portable unit that we can all wear when watching gourmet programs on TV. We’ll get to smell what the chef wants us to smell. ^^.

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The device looks pretty good.

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hmmm… I smell Lavender.

Imagine sending a friend an email with a smell attached, “Hey this curry smells good!”, when in fact, you’ve attached your atomic fart! The consequences would be disastrous!

Sorry, can’t help myself when it comes to fart jokes. ^^.

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There was a rest area in the middle of the exhibition hall when one could sit down and enjoy keynote lectures/discussions.

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Why is there a baby doll involved?

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Aoki Lab is developing a monitoring system. You can learn more about it by watching their Research Introductory Video.

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There was a panel discussion on the past and future of the Keio Leading-edge Laboratory (KLL).

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Professor Tojiro Aoyama, our Dean at the Faculty of Science and Technology.

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That’s about it for now I guess, there were alot more other ground-breaking, earth-shattering research being showcased, but I only managed these few photos.

Will leave you now with some other photos taken inside the Tokyo International Forum building.

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Nice architecture.

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This is easily one of my favorites. ^^.

If you’re interested in the Keio Techno Mall, you can find more informations at their website. Did anything catch your eye, nose maybe?

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  • Soshi

    I’ve always loved the ‘whale-bone’ structure of the TIF!

    LOL Sometimes I wish I had done an exchange with Keio instead 😡 (don’t tell my classmates or they will kill me!)
    .-= Soshi´s last blog ..The Premium Calpis =-.