Kyoto University Articles
ERICA has now been upgraded with 'attentive listening' ability
We've all tried talking with devices, and in some cases they talk back. But, it's a far cry from having a conversation with a real person. Now a research team from Kyoto University, Osaka University, and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute, or ATR, have significantly upgraded the interaction system for conversational android ERICA, giving her even greater dialogue skills.
The latest ‘periodic table’ for nanomaterials
A new simulation could help scientists decide what molecules best interact with each other to build nanomaterials from scratch. The approach was developed by Daniel Packwood of Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and Taro Hitosugi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It involves connecting the chemical properties of molecules with the nanostructures that form as a result of their interaction.
Self-assembly of molecules forms ultralight and porous gel
Kyoto University researchers have developed a new approach to control the fabrication of soft, porous materials, overcoming a primary challenge in materials science. Soft, porous, gel-like materials that have a stable structure despite their tiny cavities have a wide variety of potential applications. Building insulation, energy storage devices, aerospace technologies, and even environmental clean-ups can all benefit from incorporating light...
'Body-on-a-chip' helps discover side effects of drugs
Researchers at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) in Japan have designed a small 'body-on-a-chip' device that can test the side effects of drugs s on human cells. The device solves some issues with current, similar microfluidic devices and offers promise for the next generation of pre-clinical drug tests. The Integrated Heart/Cancer on a Chip (iHCC) was used to test the toxicity of the anti-cancer drug...
A big nano boost for solar cells
"Current solar cells are not good at converting visible light to electrical power. The best efficiency is only around 20%," explains Kyoto University's Takashi Asano, who uses optical technologies to improve energy production. Higher temperatures emit light at shorter wavelengths, which is why the flame of a gas burner will shift from red to blue as the heat increases.
Robots mimic how centipedes move
Centipedes move quickly. And when one is coming directly at you, you might not care to spend a moment pondering its agility. So perhaps our lack of understanding about just why centipedes move with such dexterity, even over obstacles, has been related to fear. But undeterred, researchers at Kyoto University have asked precisely this question, and have turned to computer simulations and ultimately robotics to find an answer.
Magnetic field improves conductivity in non-magnetic metal
An international team of physicists has discovered that applying a magnetic field to a non-magnetic metal made it conduct 70% more electricity, even though basic physics principles would have predicted the opposite. "We never expected that magnetoresistance could be lowered even further in the compound we tested, because in theory it should have increased," says Kyoto University study author Shingo Yonezawa.
Wearable modular device to facilitate walking rehabilitation
In collaboration with Suncall Corporation, and with support provided by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) under the Center of Innovation (COI) Program, Professor Tadao Tsuboyama of the Graduate School of Medicine and his collaborators have recently succeeded in developing an "Attached Robotic Unit Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthothesis", a modular wearable walking assist device designed to aid the rehabilitation of people with walking difficulti...
Plastic-munching bacteria could fuel a recycling revolution
We manufacture over 300m tonnes of plastics each year for use in everything from packaging to clothing. Their resilience is great when you want a product to last. But once discarded, plastics linger in the environment, littering streets, fields and oceans alike. Every corner of our planet has been blighted by our addiction to plastic. But now we may have some help to clean up the mess in the form of bacteria that have been found slowly munching a...
Heartbeats could be measured wirelessly
A group of researchers at Kyoto University have developed a technique that measures heartbeats wirelessly. The technology works in real time and, the researchers claim, is as accurate as an electrocardiograph. The sensors work by using millimeter-wave spread-spectrum radar technology and a signal analysis algorithm that identifies signals from the body.