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InnoUvators | The Next Wave of Strange Science & Unusual Technology

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Autonomous Flight Control of a Vertical Take-off and Landing Flapping Flying Robot

2018 Disruptive Challenger, Takanobu Watanabe

      The ultimate goal is to have a large number of ultra-small sensor nodes with flying capabilities similar to dragonflies and perform global-scale multipoint environment scanning. The appearance of fully-fledged artificial muscle seems to be a long way off, so we first must use currently available technology: ultra-small motors. The aim is to make several tens of centimeter-sized flapping airplanes driven by gear and crank mechanisms (comparable to flying organisms). The milestone is to achieve motor function and develop autonomous flight technology. Finally, a vertical take-off and landing fluttering machine that can change the aerial altitude from hovering flight to level flight has been created. Therefore, in the INNO-vation program, we will target the autonomous flight of the flapper using machine learning.

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Magnetically-Guided Capsule Endoscopy for the Whole Digestive Tract

2018 Disruptive Challenger, Naoki Ohmiya

    In Japan, colorectal cancer ranks first and gastric cancer ranks second in national prevalence but the screening consultation rate is low. Reasons behind this include the endoscopy being painful and embarrassing. Compared to normal endoscopies, a capsule endoscopy is a swallow-only procedure with no pain or radiation exposure. However, observation of a large-volume stomach is almost impossible with conventional capsule endoscopies. Currently, colon capsule endoscopies, which are covered by insurance, are not widely used due to long examination times and large amounts of laxatives being required. To overcome this drawback, we developed a system that can efficiently observe the digestive tract from the esophagus to the anus with a single examination by guiding the capsule from outside of the body with a magnet, improving its detection ability and safety.

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CARS-α: A Global Warming Countermeasure - A Machine Directly Recovering CO2 from the Atmosphere

2017 Disruptive Challenger, Kazumi Muraki

    Even if the world stopped CO2 emissions completely, global warming can no longer be stopped. I saw these words as a junior high school student and was shocked. Although there are various theories on the issue of global warming, it is essential to change people's mindsets One at a time. Therefore, focusing on the key to climate engineering, "managing the climate of the earth through the power of science," I have been studying ways to control global warming on the individual level since junior high school. More specifically, I'm talking about the development of a device that directly contributes to CO2 reduction. Following this theme, we will first take on CO2 collection technology and then try to add some value to the collected CO2. By developing multiple prototypes using these technologies,numerically analyzing their effects and then sharing them through a network, we can raise awareness of global warming countermeasures on the individual level by representing them visually.

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The Urinary Incontinence Experience Device

2018 Disruptive Challenger, Takayuki Kameoka

    In this proposal, we will carry out activities to further improve and spread the 'Incontinence Experience Device', which gives the sensation of urinary incontinence to the user. Although the current Incontinence Experience Device can realistically reproduce the sensation of urination, it does not sufficiently reproduce the internal human mechanisms, such as the urge to urinate and the accompanying kinetic sensations. Therefore, we seek more effective urinary presentation methods including physical approaches such as cooling and electrical stimulation to give an immersive experience using VR technology. In addition, we will promote the miniaturization and modularization of the device in order to verify the usage and effectiveness of the device and propose examples of application in cooperation with fields such as the medical, nursing, and entertainment industries.

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Development of a "Glowing Pupil's" Interface to Attract People

2018 Disruptive Challenger, Yoshihiro Sejima

    When people are impressed, in love, or motivated, their emotions unconsciously shine through their eyes. People are strongly attracted to these "bright eyes". Even though the current communication robots can reproduce the same attractiveness as a living creature, it cannot express pupil brightness - an innate expression of humans. Therefore, in this project, we will develop a pupil interface that effectively expresses internal movements in the eyeball when uncontrollable emotions are displayed. By introducing this pupil interface into a communication robot, we will design a new communication method of which people can find attractive.

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The Digital Shaman Project

2016 Disruptive Challenger, Etsuko Ichihara

    The "Digital Shaman Project" proposes a new form of giving condolences designed for the modern age of science and technology. This program, which makes home robots possess the physical characteristics of the deceased, appears on the home robot only for 49 days after death and disappears automatically after 49 days. In this project, we will improve the quality so that people can be reproduced with high accuracy by introducing voice synthesis, integration of life data using life logs, home devices, introduction of body data, and interactive behavior. Through the development of a series of systems, we will create a system that addresses the absence of someone important.

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Solid Knitting Machine - The Machine Which Makes Physical Objects Updatable

2018 Disruptive Challenger, Yuichi Hirose

    Knitting is a digital fabrication method. It gives a single thread an inherently discrete property. It creates a whole object through aggregating each knitted stitch by organizing the way the thread is connected. With this feature, knitted objects can be copied with knitting patterns, undone to a previous state and updated from there, like software. Solid Knitting, Yuichi Hirose's original technique to knit something dense, can apply the discrete properties of knitting even to something firm such as desks and chairs. This project aims to develop the Solid Knitting Machine, a machine to automate Solid Knitting.

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Time-writing Clock

2019 Disruptive Challenger, Kango Suzuki

    I first proposed the "Time-writing Clock," a clock that writes numbers and displays the time, in 2016. The Time-writing Clock uses the power of weights to write and update the time every minute. The work utilizes a completely new mechanism for a clock, where a magnetic board is used to display and modify the time and requires overcoming a number of technical issues. In this challenge, the goal is to utilize "Kakuri" technology to help provide a long term solution to the number of mechanisms found in the clock (such as, power, writing, erasing, etc.) The self-writing clock aims to use no electricity at all in the future.

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What is InnoUvators?

InnoUvators are individuals in society that have a mindset of continually undertaking challenges without fear of failure.

They are the creators of "something new from nothing," forming and implementing original ideas without being bound by preconceptions. In Japan, there are efforts to find and support such InnoUvators. This site introduces those visionaries, and the technologies born of their challenges.
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