A ping pong robot and a mirror that 'doesn't lie' unveiled in Japan

October 7, 2015 by Kyoko Hasegawa
Japan's electronics maker Omron demonstrates a table tennis robot at a preview of Asia's largest electronics trade show CEATEC,
Japan's electronics maker Omron demonstrates a table tennis robot at a preview of Asia's largest electronics trade show CEATEC, in Chiba, suburban Tokyo, on October 6, 2015

A ping pong playing robot, a flying origami bird and a mirror that some might find a little too honest for comfort were on display at a huge tech show in Japan on Wednesday.

The gadgets are all part of this year's Cutting-edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), Asia's largest electronics fair, outside Tokyo.

Prominent among the pack was a robot arm made by automation parts maker Omron that can play—and coach—humans at .

"Immediately after the player hits the ball, the location of the robot's return ball is displayed on the table-tennis board, helping the player's next return," spokesman Masayuki Atsumi told AFP.

The uses both a camera and an array of sensors to detect the balls movement and play a near flawless rally.

The same technology can be used in vehicles to avoid collisions, said the company, which is known for its healthcare products.

High above attendees, the sound of flapping wings could be heard.

Rohm, a major maker of semiconductor devices and other electronic parts, had managed to create a foot-long origami crane bird, weighing just 31 grams, that can fly thanks to an ultra-light motor.

"Making everything light was a difficult part in developing this," spokesman Takumi Furukawa told AFP.

The same company has also invented a sensor which can be placed in luggage to reveal whether suitcases get bashed around by handlers during flights—and reveal a suitcase's location should it get lost in transit.

Japan's electronics maker Rohm demonstrate a remote controlled flying paper crane, during a preview of Asia's largest electronic
Japan's electronics maker Rohm demonstrate a remote controlled flying paper crane, during a preview of Asia's largest electronics trade show CEATEC, in Chiba, suburban Tokyo, on October 6, 2015

Furukawa said the sensor was a prototype that they hoped could be commercialised by a luggage manufacturer.

Electronics giant Panasonic also displayed their vision of what a hi-tech home could look like, complete with a variety of gadgets and appliances that communicate with each other.

That includes a mirror which, when hooked up to the rest of the in the home, can your body mass index (BMI)— a measure of body fat based on height and weight—when a user sits down in front of it.

The can also gauge how healthy your skin is as well as overlay virtual cosmetics on a user's face to help guide their morning make-up routine after a regret-tinged night on the tiles.

An employee of Japan's computer giant Fujitsu demonstrates a prototype of the 'Retissa' retinal imaging eyewear - which can proj
An employee of Japan's computer giant Fujitsu demonstrates a prototype of the 'Retissa' retinal imaging eyewear - which can project digital images onto the user's retina using laser beams, at CEATEC, in Chiba, suburban Tokyo, on October 7, 2015

The same home also boasted a dining room table and window which can react to conversations—displaying, for example, images of a recent trip a family might have taken once they start talking about it.

Company spokesman Daisuke Uehara said their presentation was an idea of what a home might look like in 2018-20.

"There are no concrete commercialisation plans but we already have this technology to realise if customers wanted it," he said.

About 530 companies are taking part in the trade show, around one quarter foreign exhibitors from 19 countries and regions, led by China, Taiwan and the United States.

Explore further: Funky robots display Japan's latest technologies

Related Stories

Ping-pong robots debut in China (w/ video)

October 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Last week some oohs and ahhs were in order as two ping-pong playing robots made their debut at Zhejiang University in China. The two robots played against each other and with humans. True, this was not the ...

Sleeker smartwatches to shine at Berlin mega gadget fair

September 2, 2015

Sleeker and sexier smartwatches are expected to premiere this week in Berlin at one of the world's biggest consumer electronics shows, with both phone manufacturers and watchmakers jostling for a share of the fast-growing ...

New wave of smart tech on show at Taiwan's Computex

May 31, 2015

Smart living and wearable technology will take centre stage at Asia's largest tech trade show from Tuesday with gadgets promising to do everything from analysing state of mind to identifying burglars.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.