Toyota Motor Corp. will test its automated highway driving assistance systems on this vehicle from next month. (Hirobumi Ohinata)
Toyota to sell self-driving cars by 2017
Toyota Motor Corp. plans to commercialize by 2017 cars equipped with automated assistance systems capable of self-navigating on one lane of a highway and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
Cocoons woven by silkworms containing spider genes (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Project under way in Kyoto to commercialize spider-silkworm thread
KYOTANGO, Kyoto Prefecture--A government-academic collaboration project plans to commercially develop high-performance silk created through genetic engineering between spiders and silkworms in about five years.
A facial recognition test is conducted at Narita Airport on Aug. 4. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan to use facial recognition screening at airports
The Justice Ministry plans to introduce an automated facial recognition system for Japanese travelers at airports to slash the waiting time in screening procedures to enter the country.
An artist's conception of Shimizu Corp.'s Ocean Spiral structure (Provided by Shimizu Corp.)
First deep-sea city of the future could be reality by 2030
Residents could be living in a massive eco-city extending thousands of meters beneath the ocean's surface within 15 years, according to a plan unveiled Nov. 18 by a leading Japanese construction firm.
Toshiba Corp. has developed a system to produce hydrogen from water using sunlight. (Provided by Toshiba Corp.)
Toshiba develops portable solar-powered hydrogen system for use in fuel cells
Toshiba Corp. has developed an energy supply system that may be the ultimate in eco-friendliness because it uses only sunlight and water, with no carbon dioxide emissions, to produce hydrogen.
Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC3) missile interceptors are deployed on a Defense Ministry compound in Tokyo in April in preparation for a possible launch of a North Korean missile. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan plans to load sensor on satellite to better detect N. Korean missiles
The Defense Ministry is developing an infrared ray sensor for early warning satellites to help Japan detect ballistic missile launches on its own.
The Procyon microsatellite developed by the University of Tokyo and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in Tokyo on Nov. 5 (Akemi Kanda)
3 microsatellites to 'rocketpool' with Hayabusa 2 asteroid explorer
Researchers on Nov. 5 unveiled a microsatellite that will hitch a ride aboard an H-2A rocket to explore an asteroid in orbit between Earth and Mars.
Shunji Sakurazawa, head of design and development at Xenesys Inc., with equipment used to produce power through ocean thermal energy conversion technology in Imari, Saga Prefecture (Shinya Haraguchi)
Saga plant riding the wave of the future in ocean thermal energy conversion technology
IMARI, Saga Prefecture--Unlike solar and wind power output, there is a renewable energy source that is not at the mercy of the weather and can supply electricity around the clock.
The screen shows how an artificial intelligence program solves English questions. After the questions are translated by humans into computer language, the program selects questions and seeks methods to solve them. (Hisatoshi Kabata)
Researchers: AI program smart enough to enter 80% of private universities
An artificial intelligence (AI) program can now pass the entrance examinations of 80 percent of private universities in Japan but still falls short of acceptance to the nation’s most prestigious school, researchers said.
A newly developed yellow morning glory, left, with a cream-colored variant used in the project (Provided by the National Institute for Basic Biology)
Researchers bring extinct vibrant yellow morning glory back into bloom
OKAZAKI, Aichi Prefecture--A long-lost yellow morning glory believed to be extinct has been brought back to life, thanks to the creative work of a national research team.
A newly developed device determines the safety of liquids stored in bottles in seconds. (Hisatoshi Kabata)
Research team develops liquid bomb detector that works in seconds
Japanese researchers have developed a counterterrorism device that can quickly determine if the liquid inside a bottle or can is explosive or flammable, which could greatly speed up baggage inspections at airports.
A memory component made with fused silica glass (Hisatoshi Kawabata)
Hitachi high-density data storage chip set to take ride on rocket
Hitachi Ltd. announced Oct. 20 that it has developed technology that can write data onto highly heat- and radiation-resistant fused silica glass that is capable of storing data for up to 300 million years.
Kao Corp. is looking into algae as a potential source of surfactants for shampoo. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kao in a lather over algae-based shampoo
Household goods maker Kao Corp. may soon be using algae to produce cleansing agents for its products, specifically shampoo.
A human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell (Provided by Shinya Yamanaka)
Cosmetics maker Kose uses iPS technology to take 30 years off man's skin
Cosmetics maker Kose Corp. has succeeded in taking the equivalent of about 30 years off the life of skin samples from a 67-year-old man using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, the company said Oct. 15.
Murata Manufacturing Co.'s dancing robotic cheerleaders perform with other robots at the company's booth at the CEATEC Japan expo in Chiba on Oct. 7. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)
Robots steal the show at electronics expo in Chiba
CHIBA--Robots, not household electronics, are the main attraction at a key electronics fair now under way at the Makuhari Messe convention complex here.
The H-2A rocket carrying the Himawari-8 weather satellite lifts off from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, at 2:16 p.m. on Oct. 7. (Koichi Ueda)
H-2A puts next-generation weather satellite into orbit
TANEGASHIMA ISLAND, Kagoshima Prefecture--Japan sent a next-generation weather observation satellite into orbit on Oct. 7, just two days after a typhoon threatened to cancel the launch.
A 3-D human face appears on the front side of the ring. (Provided by Omron Corp.)
Omron develops technology to project 3-D images at fraction of normal cost
OSAKA--Electronics equipment maker Omron Corp. has developed a new technology to enable three-dimensional images to appear if a light-emitting diode (LED) is shone on a transparent plastic board.
Japan Airlines Co. conducts a biofuel test flight at Haneda Airport in January 2009. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Biofuels planned for skies over 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Airlines, universities and other organizations have started an initiative to produce and supply biofuels in Japan, with a target of having commercial flights using such fuel by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Murata Cheerleaders team of dancing robots (Provided by Murata Manufacturing Co.)
Robot cheerleaders show off advanced synchronization technology
Despite fumbling a bit on their routine, 10 small “cheerleading” robots received a round of applause after completing a dance using advanced group control technology designed to achieve perfect synchronicity.
Panasonic Corp.’s latest robot is designed to help those in need of personal care get up from bed and use toilet facilities on their own. (Kohei Kondo)
Panasonic robot helps elderly stay mobile
Panasonic Corp. unveiled a robot Sept. 24 that is designed to help ease the burden on caregivers assisting Japan’s growing elderly population.

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