Tohoku University develops flying drone and crawling robot to measure radiation levels in Fukushima nuclear plant

Tohoku University develops flying robot to measure radiation levels
House of Japan:
A research team at Tohoku University has developed a robot capable of being sent aloft and surveying radiation levels inside the reactor building of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The propeller-driven device, unveiled March 12, will be carried on a rolling robot, which can move through debris-filled areas. Both can be dispatched into highly radioactive areas where plant workers cannot enter.

Designed for use inside the Fukushima plant reactor buildings, the flying robot, weighing 2.6 kilograms, can withstand deadly radiation levels as high as 10 sieverts per hour.

The crawler robot it sits atop weighs 75 kg. Rolling on belts looped over the wheels, the robot can crawl around debris and up stairs. It is controlled remotely using a 250-meter cable.

The project was commissioned by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy at a cost of 180 million yen ($1.5 million).

Yahoo! Japan to make disaster relief donation for every person who searches for 3.11 on March 11

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RocketNews 24:

Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.

But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.

The Internet provider and portal conducted an identical initiative last year, supplying a total of 25,683,250 yen (approximately US $216,00) to charitable organizations. This year, Yahoo! will be making its donation to the Tohoku Recovery Support Organization (Toholu Fukkou Shien Dantai in Japanese).

A 10-yen donation will be made for each user who searches for “3.11” between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on March 11. To reiterate, the donation is made per user, not per search. Once you’ve searched once, you’ve done your job, so there’s nothing to be gained by repeating the search over and over again.

Instead, Yahoo! would prefer you took the time to read through some of the results that come up, in keeping with the program’s aim of creating a moment in which to think about the places and people’s lives which were so abruptly changed in 2011. The company also plans to release a video with interviews of people from the disaster-struck towns of Ishinomaki, Yamadamachi, and Soma, which are located in Miyazaki, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures, respectively. Yahoo! will also be creating a visualization of 3.11-releated searches, similar to the one from 2014

▼ Aside from jishin/地震 (“earthquake”), dengonban/伝言板 (“message board”), yoshin/余震 (aftershock), gienkin/義援金 (“donation”), and gasorin/ガソリン (“gasoline”) are all prominently featured.

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Yahoo! Japan’s search box can be found here.

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Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo’s sprawling mural will soon welcome travelers at Sendai Airport

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RocketNews 24:

Surely any list of Japan’s greatest animators and directors must include Katsuhiro Otomo, the man behind the likes of Akira, Domu, and Steamboy. Otomo’s distinctive mix of neo-futurism, cyberpunk, and dark humor has earned him both a legion of fans and numerous accolades throughout the world.

We mentioned in a previous article that Otomo would be designing a giant mural for Tohoku’s Sendai Airport. Now it looks like the wait is almost over. The 12-ton mural, which depicts a squat, bespectacled boy sitting astride a cybernetic carp flanked by the gods of wind and lightning, will be unveiled on March 12, one day after the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Working off Otomo’s original illustration, CREARE Atami-Yugawara Studio fired 451 individual clay parts to produce the final product. At 2.8 meters high and 8.7 meters wide, the relief will no doubt make even the busiest traveller stop and marvel at its sheer size and artistry.

▼ A look at the design process

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▼ This thing really is quite spectacular

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Fans of Otomo’s work will recognize some of his visual motifs in the form of the cybernetic carp. Equally striking is the expression of defiance on the young rider’s face–a tribute to the people of Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered extensive damage in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.

Regarding his motivations behind the project, Otomo was recently quoted as saying: “I hope it will spark children’s interest and serve as an opportunity for them to discuss the Great East Japan Earthquake and its aftermath with their parents.”

Travelers within Japan might soon be making a point of passing through Sendai Airport, if only to catch a glimpse of the impressive mural.

A Bathing Ape x Kiehl’s 2015 Tohoku Charity Project

A Bathing Ape collaborates with Kiehl’s to produce a limited edition moisturizing cream. The product itself is the “Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream,” the skincare line’s top-selling lotion, featuring a special BAPE Camo label. 100% of the revenue generated will be donated to the NPO Corporation, which stands to support the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake by planting cherry blossom trees in the Tōhoku district of Japan.

You can purchase the A Bathing Ape x Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream at Kiehl’s on February 6 in two sizes: a 49 g jar for $32 USD and a 123 g jar for $56 USD.

 

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Use your passport to get free Wi-Fi across Japan

 

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Mashable/Adario Strange:

 

Although Japan is renowned for having some of the best customer service on the planet, for various reasons, including language and cultural hurdles, it isn’t known as the most tourist-friendly destination.

Some of those hurdles also extend into the tech arena, namely, Wi-Fi. Although sidling up to a café in Europe or North America and grabbing a bit of free Wi-Fi for your mobile device is common, finding such wireless access in tech-centric Japan’s major cities remains notoriously difficult. But that’s about to change.

A new program launched by NTT (Japan’s largest telecom), is designed to serve foreign tourists on the hunt for Wi-Fi. For those who haven’t traveled to Japan, the program might seem behind the times, but for anyone familiar with attempting to find Wi-Fi in Japan, this is huge news.

Now, when a traveler arrives at a Japanese airport, they can present their passport and register for a Wi-Fi card that offers free Wi-Fi coverage via 45,000 hot spots in the eastern Japan area including Tokyo, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, Yokohama, Nagano, Nikko, Kusatsu, Tohoku, Hokkaido and Fukushima.

 

Wi-Fi Japan

 

Additionally, a traveler outside of the country preparing to visit Japan can download the iOS or Android version of the NAVITIME for Japan Travel app and obtain an ID and password beforehand. The app also offers an augmented reality mode that shows you a Street View-style image of the location where an available Wi-Fi hotspot is located.

However, the access only lasts for 14 days (or 336 hours), just enough to get you used to the free access, but not long enough to be truly useful for anyone planning an extended stay in Japan.

According to the Nikkei, the program is also being directed by the Japanese government, which plans to use the initiative to get more buildings in the country to offer Wi-Fi access.

The trial program, which began earlier this year, will last until September 2014.

 

Check out this link:

 

Use your passport to get free Wi-Fi across Japan

Link

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

 

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

RocketNews 24:

 

Japan probably has the world’s largest and most bizarre selection of Kit Kat flavours on offer, but this latest release is about more than just tickling your tastebuds. Nestle Japan is offering a specially-packaged version of their classic biscuit to help recovery in areas destroyed by the devastating tsunami of March 2011.

On June 16 Nestle Japan will release the ‘Kit Kat Mini Kippu Kat’. In Japanesekippu‘ means ‘ticket‘, and according to Nestle PR, ‘these are the first sweets in the world that function as train tickets.’

The box containing the biscuits will serve as a rail ticket for the Sanriku Railway line in Iwate Prefecture which was damaged during the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake, losing 5.8km of line, and finally reopened this March.

Hand over the box at the ticket booth or when you alight from the train, and you can get 190 yen (US $1.90) off your fare. That’s how much it costs to travel the distance between Shimanokoshi and Tanohata stations, the last part of the track to reopen. If your fare is going to be more than 190 yen then you have to foot the difference yourself. It’s all for a good cause though, aiming to bring people back to a region that was devastated by the tsunami three years ago, so go on and treat yourself to the knowledge that you’re doing a charitable deed (yummy chocolate is just a bonus).

One box costs just 108 yen (US$1.05) and contains three plain chocolate mini kit kat bars. They’ll be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores around the Tōhoku area, and the ticket is valid until the end of May 2015.

 

Check out this link:

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

 

 

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Source: Tokyo Shinbun

 

Video

Stories From Tohoku – Official Documentary Trailer 2013

Stories from Tohoku chronicles survivors’ stories of courage, resilience and rediscovering joy in the wake of Japan‘s 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster and is a tribute to the survivors of Tohoku and Kizuna, or bond that connects them with Americans of Japanese descent.

To learn more about the documentary, visit:
http://www.StoriesFromTohoku.com/