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    Posts Tagged ‘technology’

    Robot Baseball Players Can Pitch and Bat

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 2日 Sunday

    Out of Japan, there’s a baseball player who has an edge like no other: a fastball-pitching, homer-hitting robot.

    The pitching robot fires into the strike zone 90% of the time. It currently throws a plastic foam ball at 25 miles per hour, with hopes to later improve its speed to 93 mph. The team that designed the robot are planning to move the bot’s range of motion beyond fastballs into curveballs and spitballs.

    The batting robot hits pitches in the strike zone almost 100% of the time, and does not swing at pitches outside the strike zone. The robots resemble cars with arms rather than human forms.

    “The demand level of the robotics technology of each robot is very high,” University of Tokyo professor Masatoshi Ishikawa said. “What was difficult was to create a mechanism to satisfy such a high level of demand.”

    http://www.weirdasianews.com/2009/08/01/baseball-robot-throws-hits-fastballs/

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Japanese mobile handset market

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 19日 Friday

    I used to change my handset every year because half year old models (new models come out twice a year) used to only cost about 3000 yen when bought online (and the battery life of the phones would seriously start to suck before even using it for a year). I’ve now switched over to PHS because it’s cheaper and can also be used as a mobile modem, but am now considering the iPhone as well…

    Threat to smaller Japan handset groups

    Previously, the handset was cheap or free, and paid for by a high monthly subscription.

    As a result, older users, who tended to keep their handset even after the end of the contract period, subsidised students who got a handset every two years.

    But now those older users simply continue on their Y980 tariff after the price of the handset is paid off, and younger users, faced with the true cost of a new phone, are not upgrading as often. The average life of a Japanese handset has gone from two years and seven months to more than three years.

    The resulting fall in handset sales hurts even more because the industry is so fragmented. Only the biggest player, Sharp, has a market share of more than 20 per cent according to IDC Japan, and only Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC have more than 10 per cent.

    The rest of the market is shared between Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Casio Hitachi, LG, Nokia and several smaller manufacturers – not least Apple, with the Japanese launch of the iPhone.

    Profits at all of these companies are under intense pressure and one likely result is consolidation.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »