I’m very interested in visiting Japan, an island that seems to always be at the forefront of innovation. I always seem to hear about Japan creating new technology that dwarfs the kinds of things we use today. Even if the innovations aren’t technologically ground breaking, they seem to be applications that are incredibly useful. Japan’s culture is also very different from ours – from their lack of diversity to their heritage – Japan is a place that offers an interesting look inside an old culture with modern ideals.
Just in the last few weeks, I’ve seen videos and articles about Japan’s interesting new technologies, most of which could potentially offer life changing solutions to real world problems. I’ve posted two videos below, the first of which is a short clip that shows a new earthquake protection technology that has very promising results. The clip simulates an earthquake type environment and shows astonishing results when the technology is applied in the situation:
The second video explains how Japan’s population is facing a crisis; much of the population is aging as the birth rate is not keeping up with the death rate. Japan is in danger of having an extremely decreased population in 20 or so years. This is where robots come in. A dwindling work force coupled with a need to take care of the elderly are just two important factors that have motivated the creation of prototype robots that can fulfill some of these duties. The video shows companies, like Honda, are banking on robots to be a necessary piece of the household, much like a car or a dishwasher. Doing chores around the house as well as taking care of the elderly using advanced voice recognition, among many other things, is just the tip of the iceberg in robot creation. And Japan is leading the way. Take a look at the video below for some visuals:
I found a think tank, the RAND Corporation, that published an extensive report on Japanese technology and research that seemed to confirm my ideas about Japan’s innovations. However, while Japan is very competitive with other world powers around the world, they are not necessarily the most innovative. But the report also explained how their mechanical engineering is extremely innovative. Hence, robots. Here is the link to the report.
RAND appears to be very credible, and very impressive. With offices around the globe, RAND employs 1,700 people from 50 countries. In addition, they profess to “combine theory with real – world experience,” something that I thought was important. They employ many academia professionals who obviously are well – versed in theory, but the real – world experience is what I find to be most important. By combining these two ideas, RAND can create reports such as the one above that are effective and thorough.