Week 5 – Country Research Japan

Product/Electronics Design (Robot suit)


Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL)

Design company : cyberdyne Co.

The suit, called HAL – or Hybrid Assistive Limb – is the work of Cyberdyne Corporation in Japan, and has been created to “upgrade the existing physical capabilities of the human body”. It is comprised of robotic ‘limbs’, and a backpack containing the suit’s battery and computer system. It is strapped to the body and controlled by thought. When a person attempts to move, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles, and very weak traces of these signals can be detected on the surface of the skin. The HAL suit identifies these signals using a sensor attached the skin of the wearer, and a signal is sent to the suit’s power unit telling the suit to move in unison with the wearer’s own limbs.

People with physical disabilities, such as stroke-induced paralysis or spinal cord injuries, can hire the suit at a cost of Y220,000 (£1,370) per month, and Cyberdyne Corporation believes the technology can have a variety of applications, including in physical training and rehabilitation, adding extra “muscle” to heavy labour jobs, and even in rescue and recovery operations.

HAL can help the wearer to carry out a variety of every day tasks, including standing up from a chair, walking, climbing up and down stairs, and lifting heavy objects. The suit can operate for almost five hours before it needs recharging, and Cyberdyne Corporation says that it does not feel heavy to wear, because the robotic exoskeleton supports its own weight.

It is designed for use both indoors and outdoors after all the suit was originally created the suit for climbing mountains.

Target market

It has a big market since it is a popular problem for disable or people after stroke during recover period. With this suit, they are able to train their muscles more efficient and getting recovered faster. Additionally, it can wear as a tool for extreme out door sport which enable those who are not really capable with to experience outdoor adventure.




Ultramodern Skinny Lot Home Built on slope- Rooftecture S
Designer :  Shuhei Endo

It is not only architecture, but also landscape design. The setting could not be more confined, the limitations more complicated, and yet out of a tiny wedge of a lot on the steepest of slopes has emerged this amazing work of architecture by Shuhei Endo that hugs its surroundings but also makes a bold visual statement from within its limited landscape. It is confined by a Y-shaped intersection on a triangular lot, tucked amidst old and crumbling residences and as narrow as 5 feet at points this lot is the last place most architects would want the challenge of building on. thin and varying footprint and other kinds of locational issues that would send most builders and buyers running. However, the resulting design is both beautiful and fully engaged with its environment, providing interesting on-site niches and views of the water below.

This architecture piece is rare and valuable in modern society because the concept behind has profound meanings. Since the population index is rising every year in every city, the idea of space saving and space rational usage is very important in the aspect of city development. This design is a good example of making use of every space even the area that you’d never consider useful can also be explored and develop.

Target market

Local resident and cities with high population but lack of urban space.

Craftsmanship  (Wood Joinery)


Designer : Hiroshi sakaguchi
Ki Arts : http://www.kiarts.com/index.html

Ki Arts is specialised in Japanese-style interiors, garden structures, soaking tub, and fine furniture designed and crafted by Japanese master woodworker Hiroshi Sakaguchi. Ki Arts has had many years experience adapting Japanese design to Western needs. the japanese word “Ki” means wood.

Since Japanese construction is a post and beam system held together by an intricate system of joinery, the components for interiors and garden structures are “pre-fabbed” by Sakaguchi-san at his Ki Arts workshop. They are then transported to the building site. This enables him to do Japanese carpentry anywhere in the world. Custom designed soaking tubs and fine furniture are made by him at the Ki Arts workshop and can be shipped to any location.

The idea of wood joinery is basically requires no nails and screws wherer natural wood pieces can be joint together and locked by wedging. Good example of wood joinery is very stable as if being screwed and can be applied in architectural constructional structure as well as furniture. It uses the natural frictional force of wood to get interlocked.

Tarket market

People that enjoys natural sense of living also places that rich in wood material.

City Infrastructure Development


Fujisawa sustainable smart town

Design company : Panasonic and eight other companies co-operation

Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town is expected to be one of the most advanced eco cities in the world in 2014. Located on the site of an old Panasonic plant, in Fujisawa, Japan, the mega neighborhood will be comprised of 1,000 homes as well as a few stores, healthcare facilities, a nursing home and public green spaces and parks. Each home would be equipped with the means to generate much of the electricity its members need to live, and the goal for the entire community is to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% and cut household water usage by 30% as well as electricity consumption by equipping a solar array that could provide about 70% of a household’s energy needs. In addition the the standard PV setup, owners could also opt for a fuel cell cogeneration system to provide additional power when the sun is not shining.

The idea is obviously aiming to establish a green eco friendly living environment that reduces as much artificial waste as possible. Wisely involving solar technolog to decrease the amount of generated energy consumption. Aslo, the city will be surrounded by trees and plants that hope to create a CO2 boost down.

Target market

It is definitely a potential and inspiring project, in the same time, a role model for the world to follow. We all know the importance of baring the idea of eco friendly but in reality how many countries will really put it into practise ? Japan is one of the very rare. If the project works like what they expected, a significant decedent in artificial power consumption and wastage generation, It will be another astonishing design based on sustainability design.


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