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Monday, November 24, 2008

Japan's Age of Machines

Japan is the country in which most of us knows that have great expertise in creating innovations, specifically robots and machines.

I chose to make a time line of few of Japan's greatest achievements. Here is my compilation:

1945. The United States dropped the uranium A-bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki is devastated by the plutonium A-bomb "Fat Man" on August 9, leaving Japan to surrender on the war and to start all over from scratch.

1950. Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corp. (or Sony later) develops the G-type, Japan's first magnetic tape recorder.

1952. The debut of Astro Boy, a hero by manga guru Osama Tezuka. He is considered as more than just a fictional character but has become a cultural icon for the country.

1953. NHK begins TV broadcasting!

1955. Sony releases the TR-55, Japan's first pocket sized transistor radio after buying the license for transistor.

1957. Casio releases Casio 14-A, the world's first compact electronic calculator.

1960. Sony comes out with the world's first all transistor television set.

1964. First scheduled service of the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) began.

1966. Middle-class consumers aims to get the "Three Cs" - a car, a color television and an air-condition.

1969. Kawasaki Heavy Industries begins manufacturing Japan's first industrial robot, Unimate 2000, primarily used to weld automotive parts together.

1970. Fujiko Fujio's comic strip about Doraemon, a robot cat from the future, debuts.

1973. NTT started offering fax services in all of Japan.

1976. JVC launches VHS-format video recorder.

1979. Sony releases its portable Walkman.

1981. Fujitsu Fanuc begins using robots to manufacture robot parts.

1982. Compact Discs and CD players go on sale, developed simultaneously by Sony and Philips.

1983. Nintendo releases Family Computer, also known as the Nintendo Entertainment System, bringing videogames to the living room.

1989. Nintendo comes out with portable Game Boy.

1994. Sony releases PlayStation game system.

1996. Nintendo 64, first 64-bit game system, goes to the market; DVD player released by Toshiba and Matsushita simultaneosly.

1997. Honda develops P3, a humaniod robot.

1999. Sony releases the Aibo robot dog.

2000. SoftBank cheif Masayoshi Son surpasses Microsoft's Bill Gates in paper wealth briefly.

These is just a brief summary and I may have left out some details. But if you wanted to add something, just leave out a comment. Thanks!

Sources: Time Magazine, May 2000 issue and Wikipedia.org

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