Tech

A gold catalyst is used for energy conversion.

Turning CO2 into energy

Toshiba brings tech closer to commercialization

TOKYO -- Toshiba has developed technology to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into an energy source at the highest efficiency to date, with a goal of commercializing it in 2020. The artificial-photosynthesis technology combines a semiconductor...

  • Automotive technology

    Toyota R&D center working on car battery of the future

    TOKYO -- At its Higashi-Fuji Technical Center at the foot of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture, Toyota Motor has long developed eco-friendly car technologies. Now the Japanese automaker is working on what it calls "the ultimate next-generation batter...

  • Digital retinas

    New hopes for the visually impaired

    TOKYO -- Today's digital world has raised risks of eye disease caused by heavy strains due to constant PC and smartphone use. Currently, about 300,000 people in Japan are estimated to have lost their eyesight. To help restore their vision, even p...

  • Avoiding a crash

    Toyota targets collision-free cars

    NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor is experimenting with driverless car technology at its research centers in the U.S. Its focus is on developing what it calls "self-judging" cars that can avoid traffic accidents. Other major auto and information technology comp...

  • Floating solar panels to cut CO2 at Thai shrimp farms

    TOKYO -- Japanese renewable energy company InterAct will work with Thai solar power giant SPCG to bring floating solar panels to shrimp farms in the Southeast Asian country, a project that could significantly reduce carbon emissions. Tokyo-based ...

  • Samsung's 3-D camera puts real life into virtual reality

    PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Samsung Electronics on Wednesday showcased a 360-degree 3-D camera that can re-create a virtual world for anyone wearing a specially designed headset. The device, unveiled at its developers' conference in San Francisco, incorp...

  • Chinese makers seek success in drone market

    TOKYO -- Emerging Chinese drone maker DJI in September drew international attention at Photokina, the world's leading imaging fair, in Germany. DJI displayed more than 30 of its camera-equipped drones, which it claims can shoot images that have t...

  • New technique shines light on life at molecular level

    TOKYO -- Makio Tokunaga of the Tokyo Institute of Technology wants to peer deep into life. Very deep -- below the cellular level -- to see how events at the scale of individual molecules affect genetic activity. To do that, Tokunaga has devised ...

  • New flying rescue robot can open doors to enter buildings

    TOKYO -- A team of Japanese scientists have developed a flying rescue robot with a device that can open doors to enter buildings hit by earthquakes or accidents. The robot was developed by Hideyuki Tsukagoshi, an associate professor at the Tokyo ...

  • The next LED challenge

    TOKYO -- The blue LED was a milestone development, but now the race is on to manufacture the next leap in lighting technology. Producing blue, green and red light-emitting diodes from the same set of materials will mean being able to make integra...

  • Japan's next taste treat: Citrus-flavored red sea bream

    MATSUYAMA, Japan -- Researchers here think they might have hit on a way to get more female and young consumers to eat red sea bream. Just add a citrus scent to it. The particular scent is that of the iyokan, a fruit grown mainly in Ehime Prefectu...

  • Sharp's new LCD panel slashes power consumption

    TOKYO -- Sharp has developed a liquid crystal display panel for wearable computer devices, such as smartwatches, that consumes 0.1% the energy of current panels. The Japanese electronics maker will mass-produce the panel in Japan by next spring a...

  • Google could be your doctor, too

    SILICON VALLEY -- Google already has a way to zoom in and view the world at street level, but now the Internet search giant is developing a way to view health at the molecular level. The U.S. company is researching technologies for so-called nano...

  • Japan's 'muscle men' reshaping robotics

    TOKYO -- Recent advances in the development of artificial muscles by Japanese researchers may soon bring big benefits to such fields as nursing care, medicine, and search and rescue. Artificial muscles are materials and devices that contract an...

  • Komatsu to crank out automated excavators

    TOKYO -- Construction machinery maker Komatsu will introduce automated excavators in Japan, the U.S. and Europe later this year, which could help make up for a shortage of experienced workers in advanced economies. The new excavators will level o...

  • TDK develops wireless charging for electric vehicles

    TOKYO -- Japanese electronic components maker TDK has developed a wireless charging system for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which it hopes will be in use around 2018. The system allows for charging a parked car without using a cable or ...

  • Hitachi's cryptography to protect power plants from cyberattacks

    TOKYO -- Hitachi has developed a new encryption technology designed to safeguard power plants, railways and other key public facilities against cyberattacks. The technology increases by tenfold the information processing speed of a surveillance s...

  • Gov't OKs JR Tokai's maglev train project

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government on Friday approved an application by Central Japan Railway Co. to build a magnetically levitated train line linking Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027 in a costly project that faces significant technical hurdles. The company...

  • Mitsubishi Chemical doubles OLED panel's life span

    TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Chemical has developed an organic light-emitting diode panel with a life of 30,000 hours, twice that of conventional OLED panels. The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings unit changed the composition of the panel's materials, solving...

  • Japan's new eye in the sky

    TOKYO -- The Himawari-8, a new weather observation satellite developed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric, was lifted into orbit Oct. 7. The satellite's image recognition sensors and other technology are so advanced that if tested on Ea...