Japanese Invents Device That Transmits Force

January 27, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. distant /ˈdɪstənt/ (adj.) – something that happens with a far distance
Example: Going from Japan to America is a distant travel.

2. force /fɔrs, foʊrs/ (n.) – strength or energy that can be applied
Example: Leo used great force to push the car.

3. unit /ˈyunɪt/ (n.) – single device or machine that is usually part of something bigger
Example: My computer needs repair because the sound unit is not working.

4. lever /ˈlɛvər, ˈlivər/ (n.) – bar that helps something to be moved by force
Example: Seesaw is a simple way to show how lever works.

5. instantaneously /ˌɪnstənˈteɪniəsli/ (adv.) – happening quickly
Example: The chemical reaction happened instantaneously.


Read the text below.
Transmitting physical force can now be possible through the invention of a Japanese scientist.

System design engineer Kouhei Ohnishi [ko-hey oh-ni-shi] of Keio University calls this device “force transceiver.” His creation consists of two units that work together through wireless Internet connection or Wi-Fi. The first unit is where the operator puts the pressure. The other receives the force and applies it on a subject.

Force transceiver requires a Wi-Fi connection that is many times faster than the Internet connections available for homes. It also needs a more advanced computing technology than ordinary computers.

During a demonstration of his invention, Ohnishi placed a fork and an apple on the second box and then asked a news reporter to operate the first box. When the operator moved the lever on the first unit, the lever on the second box pushed the fork instantaneously into the apple as if the two units were connected together.

The device also allows the operator to increase or decrease the amount of force being applied. This is possible through a feedback system, in which the second unit sends to the first unit the information on the hardness or softness of the subject.

This invention can be helpful in working in dangerous areas like those with high temperatures or levels of radiation. In addition, difficult operations in distant areas can be done through a robot that has force transceiver. Construction workers can also use the device for challenging tasks.

Medical practice can also benefit from this technology. Patients need not travel anymore as long as the device is operated well. Physical therapists can remotely treat their patients who have injuries.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What can be the disadvantages of this device?
·         In your opinion, how else can this device be useful?

Discussion B

·         How can scientists be encouraged to develop more inventions?
·         If you can invent a device, what would that be? Why?


January 27, 2014