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Date : March 26, 2010

Video Report:March 26, 2010【Gifu Press Tour】

post date : 2013.08.30

■ Gifu Press Tour ~Cutting-edge Technology and Traditional Culture in Gifu Prefecture~(March 26, 2010) 





(Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta) 
Gifu Prefecture is situated right in the middle of Japan and is known for Hidatakayama, a tourist destination with three Mishran stars, and World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go. Around Mino City, which you visited today, is the center of population of Japan.



【Mino City -A town of "washi" and "udatsu"-】


(Voice:Ms. Noriko Furuta, Director of the Mino Washi Akari Art Museum)
"Udatsu," shaped like a small roof, was originally a plastered wall built on a house roof to prevent fires from spreading. This wall first appeared in the Edo Period and gradually became a symbol of wealth for merchants, who competed to make elaborate udatsu. Mino City is known as the most beautiful town with streets of udatsu houses


Every autumn, Mino City collects artistic lanterns made of washi paper from the public all over the country. In recent years, we receive around 500-600 lanterns each time. We display all of those lanterns in the streets of traditional houses. This event is called "Mino Washi Akari Art Exhibition." 


(Ms. Noriko Furuta, Director of the Mino Washi Akari Art Museum)
If too many tourists flock to Mino, the city might lose its appeal. This may be too much to ask, but I would like a moderate number of people to come. 



【Yamazaki Mazak Optonics Corporation Phoenix Laboratory
-No Need for Air-conditioning: the Eco-Factory Slashes Energy Usage by 95%-


(Voice: Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta)
With Toyota Motor Corporation and other global enterprises in the neighborhood, our prefecture is home to many world-class SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises). Especially in the field of specific precision components, we have many manufacturers that boast a world-class market share. 


Yamazaki Mazak Optonics Corporation, a laser processing machine manufacturer, has a factory called Phoenix Laboratory. Its most distinctive feature is that the entire facility, except for the pyramid-shaped entrance, is completely hidden underground. This has provided a highly dustproof environment, which is essential for a precision machinery factory, and has also made it possible to create an eco-friendly factory that uses geothermal heat instead of air-conditioning.


(Voice: Mr. Kazutoshi Okuda, Assistant General Manager of Phoenix Laboratory of Yamazaki Mazak Optonics Corporation) 
One of our main themes was to create a factory that blends in with the surrounding environment. Second, we aimed to build a factory in a way that utilizes the land effectively. We also tried to make a clean factory. "Clean" in this case means creating a factory with clean air. Fourth, we tried setting an eco-friendly temperature environment by utilizing geothermal heat. 



【Kawasaki and Mouri Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Gifu University


Professor Haruhisa Kawasaki believes that unless you study the mechanism of hand motion, you can never develop a robot useful in daily life. His laboratory is researching on a robot hand capable of complicated and dexterous work just like a human being's.


(Voice: Professor Haruhisa Kawasaki at Gifu University) 
For dexterous machine operations, we needed a robot hand that can move like a human’s. But such a hand did not exist in the world. That’s why I decided to develop a hand like this. This has almost the same functions as a human hand. When you move your hand, the robot hand moves in the same way. 



In many cases, a therapist will move a patient's hand during the rehabilitation, and the patient just moves his hand without making any conscious effort. But with this robot, a patient needs to think for himself during the rehabilitation. This, I believe, will lead to the patient's quick recovery. 


Robot: Please keep holding the object for two seconds. Please pick it up. 



(Voice: Professor Haruhisa Kawasaki at Gifu University) 
When you dock with this robot, you can "feel" virtual things as if you were actually touching them. 


Medical students must acquire the technique of palpation, but it is very difficult to train with actual patients. I thought it would be helpful if I could create a model in a virtual world so that medical students can do simulations and training with it. 



【New Growth Areas】


Gifu Prefecture is witnessing a Gifu-iPhone Project in progress, which is aimed at promoting regional development by using iPhones. Sekai Camera created by TonchiDot Corporation was the only Asian nominee for the 2009 Crunchies Awards, which is dubbed Academy Awards for IT business in the US. 


(Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta) 
If you hold this mobile phone up, for example, in the town of Takayama, an "air tag" comes up on the screen. The tag shows a description of the place as well as comments from other users who have been there before. With this application, we would no longer need guidebooks. In this way, Gifu is becoming a hub of IT application software development.

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