Japanese Calligraphy Robot Uses Modern Tech to Preserve Ancient Traditions
One of the things that I love about Japanese culture is how comfortably it occupies both the past and the future, how its reverence for the tradition does not prevent a whole-hearted embrace of innovation and technology.
The Japanese often complain that sending e-mails and texts erodes their skills in writing the thousands of kanji, or Chinese characters, they learn in school. Some are maddeningly complex and, if rarely used, easy to forget.
But brush-painting kanji calligraphy is also a centuries-old art form. Keio University engineering professor Seiichiro Katsura has a way to help preserve it with his Motion Copy System robot.
The machine has a master-slave system that can reproduce brush strokes by a user with surprising similitude and subtlety. It uses a motion-capture system and old-school brush and ink to write beautifully.