Vestfyn Aikikai – going to Japan

Vestfyn Aikikai – going to Japan

Well.. I finally scraped enough money together to pay for my bi-annual trip to Japan. This time with Aikido as the main purpose, as it has been before – yet never to this extend.

Previously I have been a student in other dojo’s and when I went there in 2009 it was strictly business. The same in 2011, but this time – I am actually the dojo-cho of Vestfyn Aikikai, and to my good fortune I even managed to convince one of my students to tag along. He is a 3. kyu and very hooked on aikido, and I look forward to introducing him to a row of great senseis over there.


Aikido on west Fuen

This just to toot my own horn. A year ago now I have started a dojo in my hometown of Vissenbjerg on Vestfyn (West Fuen). The name of the dojo is Vestfyn Aikikai. We practice Nishio style Aikido, aiki toho, ken-tai-ken and ken-tai-jo.

Read more about here: www.vestfynaikikai.dk or on our Facebook group.


it’s the season…

Ho ho ho… who wouldn’t want a robot under the christmas tree this year? I know at least a handful of different ‘bots’ that I would enjoy unwrapping, and no.. the Roxxxy is NOT one of them. Frank Tobe from The Robot Report has assumed the holliday spirit and have created a list of robot-presents for all the members of the family… He suggests:

The Robot Report’s 2010 Robotic Xmas Gifts Picks List:

… For all ages: Parrot’s AR.Drone iPhone-controlled quadcopter.
… For Mom: a robotic vacuum from Neato or iRobot.
… For Dad: the adaptive cruise control option for his new car.
… For Grandparents and their grandkids: Pleo, the baby dinosaur.
… For little kids: Zhu Zhu pets.
… For pre-teen boys: RoboRaptor.
… For pre-teen girls: Bossa Nova’s Penbo robot and her baby Bebe.
… For robotically-interested 10 yo and older: LEGO Mindstorm robot kit.

I highly recommend you subscribe to his newsletter if you are interested in robot technology. Mr. Tobe has quite a lot of experience with robots, and his newsletter is alway interesting to read.


A little lower please…

One of the few perks of being hospitalized is the sponge baths by beautiful nurses… I admit I have never tried it myself, but maybe that makes the thought even more appeling.

Now I could understand if a japanese company would come up with a sponge bath giving robot, since a lot of japanese people can be a little shy, but the americans came first. Georgia Institute of Technology have developed ‘a robot nurse’ that can give you a sponge bath. Compared to the airflow robot shower that will wash you all over with steam, soap and water, this is a probably further away from being used in real life, since the robot is able to wash the area of the patient pointed out by the operator… later it will probably be able to decide what parts to wash – or it could be equipped with an interface (eg. by speech recognition) so that you could control it yourself. Then I can see some real scenarious for use in daily life…. and the vivid imagination can think of other applications, but we will leave that to the more dubious companies in the robotics industry.

Read more about the sponge-o-bot at gizmag by clicking the picture.


First part of the elephant is ready

Well… Festo is by far one of THE coolest robot inventing companies in the world. They have made loads of erally cool projects – including air sting ray and artificial penguins able to swim and … yes… fly…

Now they have obviously started out creating a robot elephant.. they just start out with the part that is most likely to be usefull in other applications.. the front tail… aka the Trunk. Actually they call it a robot arm, but it is so much inspired by the trunk, that it is obvious where they get their inspiration from. It still lacks a bit in precision as far as I can judge from the videos on YouTube, but it has definate potential.

The project seems to lend some inspiration from the VGT projects like the one performed at the RoboLab at University of Southern Denmark. Click here to read more about it.

To see more of this new project from FESTO go to Youtube and search for Bionic handling Assistant.. (or simply click this link)


coffee lends me a hand… litterally

I have seen many research projects concerned with how to create a gripping technology like an arUniversal gripper 2tificial hand. It is extremely difficult to do so. Tendrons, sense of feeling and many other factors needs to be taken into account before you can handle something without destroying it.

Sometimes though… there is a much simpler soloution. At Cornell University two guys have created a gripper, that can grap most things that the human hand can grab.. and it is made from… coffee… that is coffee grounds, a balloon and a vaccum pump. Stock items in most households… well at least two out three should be.

I t works by having the coffee wrap itself around the item you wish to pick up, and then remove the air in the balloon. Thereby causing the coffee grounds to become a solid structure instead of a semi liquid material. It is so simple it is close to genious.

In a previous post I wrote about a sweedish guy who had a robot hand as a replacement for his real hand which was destroyed in an accident… maybe in a not so distant future we can have prostetic hands build on this principle… that would be very practical, cheap and faster to implement – albeit not quite as pleasing to the eye. Nothing is said regarding the color of the balloon though, so you could choose a color that goes well with your outfit…


Denmark and Japan closer after personal initiative

A contact of mine in Japan has created a great initiative. Naoya Segawa is one of the few japanese people I have meet who is fluent in Danish. He was kind enough to show me and some colleagues around in Kyoto in 2009, and we had a great day with many good experiences.

He wishes to tie closer relations between Japanese people and the country of Denmark, and I can only encourage this. If japanese people will be as fascinated about Denmark as I am about Japan, then there is great possibilties for us to learn from each other.

Read more about this initiative here: http://smile-isles.com/da/welcome.html 

Japan-Denmark relations organisation

Japan-Denmark relations organisation