20130128 Protei in Japan! Meeting FuRo Chiba, Skytree Exhibition

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Please play the little video above, it’s a slow start, but well worth it! Protei is in Japan!!! The Beatles in London, Protei in Tokyo!

Nae, Patrick, Gabriella, Cesar
So good meeting with Protei network member Nae Morita! Photo : Nae, Patrick, Gabriella, Cesar. We met Nae in the Netherland years go when she was working at the V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam where we built Protei_006. Nae helped us so much and has now moved back to Tokyo and works at the Miraikan (the museum of the future – science, art and technology) – another place we love! Nae also runs her own smaller company called Maart that you can hire to produce cutting edge media art in Japan :)

Protei at FuRo
We had the most amazing meeting with FuRo researchers Dr Yu Okumura, Dr Kengo Toda and Midori Nomura, facilitated by Nae Morita. Academic papers by these brilliant individuals here.

F-Palette, FuRo, Chiba, Near Tokyo, Japan
They presented and gave us many parts of the F-Palette micro-controller and boards to put inside Protei. A few days ago we have bought a Lenovo PC in Shenzhen, China (post coming soon!) to start coding and building using F-Palette. We hope to document our trials and errors in English with F-Palette from Vietnam :)

F-Palette, FuRo, Chiba, Near Tokyo, Japan

We had the immense privilege to play with this “one-of-a-kind toy : F-Palette-Janssens Beast !” [that’s the name I call it – I don’t know it’s official name].

http://youtu.be/4g4V-hIpO1o

F-Palette meets Theo Janssens. Absolutely amazing. The most spectacular terrestrial robot I have ever seen. Theo Janssens would be so pleased to see this. So far I have only seen “Beasts” that are moving only in a straight line with all synchronised legs ; FuRo’s one has left and right channels that can be controlled separately, and it is so surprisingly agile and fast. We congratulate the genius of FuRo members for this!


The way how each leg works is very well explained here by Molybden.

Skytree at night, Tokyo, Japan
We than commuted to Tokyo Skytree (634m / 2080ft), near which FuRo has a permanent exhibition. Thanks to Midori Nomura who was instrumental in the making of this exhibition, we arrived after closing hours but still were allowed to have a guided tour of the marvels that FuRo makes.

Robot by FuRo, Skytree, Tokyo, JapanRobot by FuRo, Skytree, Tokyo, Japan

As you would expect, FuRo also makes the most agile small anthropomorphic robots. Here 2 versions of the same robot. Improving!

Quince, FuRo, by Skytree, Tokyo, Japan
But the robot that captured our attention in particular is Quince. Quince is a FuRo robot that has been deployed by TEPCO INSIDE the damaged Fukushima Daichi Power plant. It will soon be deployed again inside the power plant. We dream of deploying Protei outside of the Fukushima power plant, in the nearing water.


We are extremely excited to work with FuRo since they are already so active in contributing to Fukushima Power Plant diasater relief.
Just  a few days ago, TEPCO has released the pictures of the inside of the Fukushima power plant. Frightening. Shivers. Official TEPCO page here.

FuRo Exhibition, by Skytree, Design Exhibition Midori Nomura
Thanks to the amazing Midori Nomura, we could even test “Mars-rover-like” simulator. Such immersive piloting system is also very inspiring for how people could use Protei at sea. We fell in love with FuRo and now we have many F-Palette parts we will play and document our experiments in English. Thanks again to Nae Morita and all the FuRo staff for their hospitality. We’ll come back!

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