An Amazing Quality Of Life Enhancing Invention

We can only think about the possibility. Basically it started with 6 Million Dollar Man and then Robocop. The whole idea germination came to him when he read Asimov. Dreams visionary dreams. But he had to work his ass off to get to the current stage. To pinpoint how the brain signals control the various nerves dictating the motion. The invention is amazing for stroke victims, even paralysed patients to a certain degree. I believe he will be able to further improve it for dexterity and mobility. By using brain signals, it connects the brain to the sensors at various robotic joints, amazing. Its also commercially available but production is only 500 a year for now.

Dr. Sankai, who introduced the 'Robot Suit', something unfamiliar to the world, established CYBERDYNE Inc. in June, 2004.
Dr. Sankai in primary 3
Dr. Sankai in primary 3

What led you to the development of the 'Robot Suit'?

I read this book called 'I Robot' by Isaac Asimov, when I was in 3rd grade. There appeared a doctor and the robots that the doctor created. The doctor looked as if he was a magician who could create everything out of nothing to me, and always did right things, something beneficial to human beings. 'So cool!!' I though, and made up my mind to be a scientist who creates robots like the doctor when I grew up. I had locked myself in my room, and carried out odd experiments day after day. My brain was swelling with knowledge in electric engineering when I graduated primary school. There was a cartoon on the air at the same time, called 'Cyborg 009' which also influenced me very much. And now, I'm developing the 'Robot Suit' that has both advantages of a robot and a cyborg.
High school
High school

Why 'Robot Suit', not a robot?

I have always been concerned with the relationship of human beings with technologies. Human only gets older and weaker after they grow up, and it is unavoidable. To be able to live a meaningful remaining time depends on the existence of technologies. I thought that to support human beings using technologies will improve the relationship of human beings with technologies. However, human bodies are filled with wonders. The bio-defensive system of the human body rejects everything that tries to enter the skin. Within the skin, or out of the skin. I had come to conclusion that the skin is the significant border. I tried to stick the technology on the border, the skin. That is the 'Robot Suits'.
Dr. Sankai hard working for PhD
Dr. Sankai hard working for PhD

How does the 'Robot Suit' work?

Faint bio-signals appear on the surface of the skin when the human brain tries to move the exoskeleton. The signals are detected and the 'Robot Suit' moves to support the action. The 'Robot Suit' moves the body of the human, and the information comes back to the brain. This interactive spiral loop of the human and the robot/information system is what I think, will be the core technology to develop the world of the next generation.
With Dr. De Baykey at Baylor College of Medicine
With Dr. De Baykey at Baylor College of Medicine

I'm sure you have come across some difficulties?

To achieve this cycle of the human and the technologies, I needed to overcome many challenges. Humans can feel discomfort when the 'Robot Suit' is added to the body, as it acts as a sensor, and also as equipment to control the whole body. This affects us both physically and mentally. To minimize the size and the weight was a big challenge, and the individual body differences needed to be considered as well. To attempt all of these needed knowledge not only in engineering, but in the fields like behavioral science, cranial nerve science, physiology, psychology and so on. Even if the 'Robot Suit' itself had completed, law, ethic and safety requirement needed to be met in order to contribute to the world. I strongly felt the need of an academic system that includes a number of fields combined. I have named and established this academic system, 'CYBERNICS'. The academic system 'CYBERNICS' is now chosen as an international base (Global COE Program) for the academic area. 'Robot Suit HAL' is the out come of sleepless research.
With lab members at Baylor College of Medicine
With lab members at Baylor College of Medicine

How do you think 'HAL' contributes to the world?

We are now aiming for mass-production of 'HAL' to be used in the medical and personal care fields. Rehabilitation, ADL, and caring support will be the application in medical and personal care fields. The workers working under harsh conditions could also use 'HAL' to support their work. The increase in the average working age caused by decrease in birth rate and aging might be eased using technologies like the 'Robot Suit'. To enjoy is as important as to work in order to live a happy life. 'HAL' is expected to be in full activity in the fields other than medical or caring fields like heavy labor support, the entertainment field and also rescue field operations. Engineering and medicine is meaningful if it helps human beings. To supply the leading edge technology to the person who really needs it, and to exploit the future by a hearty science technology. That is what I am aiming for, and I think that is the purpose of my existence. I will develop technologies that make people smile, and create a future world that nobody had seen before.

  • "Robot Suit HAL" is a cyborg-type robot that can expand and improve physical capability.
  • When a person attempts to move, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles via motoneuron, moving the musculoskeletal system as a consequence. At this moment, very weak biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. "HAL" catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer. Based on the signals obtained, the power unit is controlled to move the joint unitedly with the wearer's muscle movement, enabling to support the wearer's daily activities. This is what we call a 'voluntary control system' that provides movement interpreting the wearer's intention from the biosignals in advance of the actual movement. Not only a 'voluntary control system' "HAL" has, but also a 'robotic autonomous control system' that provides human-like movement based on a robotic system which integrally work together with the 'autonomous control system'. "HAL" is the world's first cyborg-type robot controlled by this unique Hybrid System.
  • "HAL" is expected to be applied in various fields such as rehabilitation support and physical training support in medical field, ADL support for disabled people, heavy labour support at factories, and rescue support at disaster sites, as well as in the entertainment field.

HAL-5 Type-B Speficications

wearable robot
Height 1,600mm
Full Body Type approx. 23kg
(Lower body approx. 15kg)
Battery Drive
Charged battery( AC100V)
Continuous operating time
Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes
Daily Activities( standing up from a chair, walking, climbing up and down stairs)
Hold and lift heavy objects
and more...
Hybrid Control System
Working Environment
Indoor and outdoor

Love It When Family Argues

This is what we have .... calling the opposition:

Pondan (effeminate)
Bangsat (bastard)
Bapok (transvestite)

First of all, is there anything wrong in being a bapok or pondan? It reflects totally on the prejudices, warped mind, uneducated misfits of those who utter those words and wanted them somehow to be "cruel and mocking" to the other person.

Of course Nga was wrong to call someone metallic black, ...  ingenious, but unnecessary. Good that he has apologised publicly. 

These are the people from the ruling party, aren't we glad we have such refined fuckers. You fucking morons, if you want to scold, scold properly .. you fucking mangkuks yang berhayun....

p/s  the language is getting coarser, the racial card is played a lot more, scare tactics abound... election must be fucking near

Going Holistic, Organic and Vegan ......

p/s  Guys, we know we all watch Nigellea Lawson cook on TV, but why the food sound so sexy and R rated when she describes her ingredients and when she eats??!!

Shortlist For Shorting Stocks (Updated)

Well this was posted back in June 2011, which in itself was an update from December 2010. Almost 6 months now, KNM is now 97 sen which meant that it lost more than 50% (so how, Simon, where are the back stoppers ... just a shoutout to one of the commentators). Of course if taken with the original posting, the stock would be considered decimated from the RM2.89 level when i first wrote the shorting post.

Green Packet is more resilient. Its now at 59 sen, meaning it lost just 21%.

Would these two still be worth shorting at current level? Even if they were worth shorting, are they still the best stocks to short from the whole of Bursa?

The answers is Yes and Yes. Green Packet is more an Angry Bird stock, you have to keep hitting the walls, and the walls are creaking and moving ... you sometimes have to wait for the egg to explode for the thing to crumble.

Friday, June 03, 2011

I think this was posted last year 29 December. KNM closed yesterday at RM2.01. Green Packet closed at 0.75. GPacket is doing very well price wise, we'll see, we'll see... Anyways, some friends visited a recent exhibition in KL where KNM had a booth. The picture may tell a wonderful story of the company ... (click for larger image to read the inscriptions).


29 December 2010

Unfortunately, we don't get to short stocks in Malaysia, and in many markets actually. When we think of shorting stocks, it is very easy to pick the highly speculative ones with zero fundamentals. Its a no brainer to lump stocks such as Maxbiz, Compugates or Tejari and the likes to the category of stocks to short. In fact, if you try to short these stocks, they will come back to bite you as they are highly speculative and share prices could double or triple for no reason if they "manage" the stock price well enough.

A genuine stock shorting process involves company that is running on supposedly good fundamentals, but you do not think that that is the case in reality. Some will ask, why even talk about them and make enemies. I think its pathetic to only talk about good stocks. Sometimes its good to have an opinion of stocks you do not like.

However, to save myself, I will not elaborate on why I think they are my favourite stocks to short, but let me assure you that I stand behind my views 100%. I will check back on their respective share prices every 3 months and see how they fare. I think both are excellent stocks to short on a 1-2 year time horizon.

The stocks on my list that no one wants to be in:

KNM ($2.89)

Green Packet ($0.71)

I am sure plenty will differ in their views, and thats what makes a good liquid market place, there are always buyers and sellers. If you go long, please rub it in my nose 3,6,9,12 months down the road if they continue to perform well. I will accept the dressing down gleefully.

NOTE: The above opinion is not an invitation to buy or sell. It serves as a blogging activity of my investing thoughts and ideas, this does not represent an investment advisory service as I charge no subscription or management fees (donations are welcomed though). The content on this site is provided as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content, shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial instrument. The ideas expressed are solely the opinions of the author. Any action that you take as a result of information, analysis, or commentary on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.

No Point Diversifying?

There are still some who think it is worthwhile to diversify their stock holdings into various countries. If we were to look at the falls from highs to lows during the subprime crisis (USA) in 2008-2009, and the recent sell down owing to the Euro-crisis (July till now), there is really nowhere to hide.

The drop from highs to lows during the USA Subprime mess:

United States (SPY): -47%
Canada (EWC): -54%
Mexico (EWW): -59%
Brazil (EWZ): -59%
Chile (ECH): -51%
Comment: The US markets actually held up pretty well, it is their neighbours that fared poorly. I guess if you are smallish and is largely dependent on trade/tourism/consumption by the bigger affected country, you will be marked down heavily.
Germany (EWG): -54%
France (EWQ): -51%
Italy (EWI): -60%
Netherlands (EWN): -57%
Spain (EWP): -57%
Austria (EWO): -64%
Belgium (EWK): -62%
Comment: Surprisingly, Europe fared a lot worse that the US. There could be a multiple of factors, some of the subprime mess did occur in EU nations and a large number of big EU banks were involved as well. However, methinks the biggest pull down must be due to a selling of equity positions to stem the tide of outflow of funds to compensate those who withdrew monies from managed funds. Again, the smaller you are, the bigger the hits (Austria, Belgium, Italy).
United Kingdom (EWU): -53%
Switzerland (EWL): -44%
Sweden (EWD): -50%
Russia (RSX): -74%
Comment: Herein lies the big difference for countries which chose NOT to be in the EU. They did remarkably better. Yes, they did not have as large a banking exposure (even though UK did) but each country gets their report card assessment based on their own economics and their ability to adjust and tweak their financial levers - something the EU countries could not do so easily. Russia is a completely different kettle of fish of course.
Turkey (TUR): -66%
Israel (EIS): -40%
South Africa (EZA): -53%
China (FXI): -52%
Japan (EWJ): -39%
Hong Kong (EWH): -48%
Taiwan (EWT): -46%
Malaysia (EWM): -34%
Singapore (EWS): -53%
South Korea (EWY): -57%
Australia (EWA): -54%
India (EPI): -54%
Thailand (THD): -51%
Comment: Most also will fall in tandem. Japan fell the least, probably because it was already falling for the past 15 years and did not really perk up prior to the crisis. Plus the yen was seen as the next best safe haven after the USD. Malaysia fell the least after Japan, wonderful fundamentals? I believe it says a lot about the "lack of foreign institutional investors" in Malaysian stocks. Secondly, the way big local funds have been controlling more and more of the indexed stocks. Both are highly not positives.
The drop from highs to lows from July 2011 till now:
United States (SPY): -21%
Canada (EWC): -28%
Mexico (EWW): -27%
Brazil (EWZ): -34%
Chile (ECH): -37%
Argentina (ARGT): -41%
Colombia (GXG): -23%
Peru (EPU): -25%
Comment: The Euro-crisis is just dragging along everything.
Germany (EWG): -38%
France (EWQ): -36%
Italy (EWI): -39%
Netherlands (EWN): -30%
Spain (EWP): -32%
Austria (EWO): -44%
Belgium (EWK): -29%
Ireland (EIRL): -27%
United Kingdom (EWU): -23%
Switzerland (EWL): -23%
Sweden (EWD): -34%
Russia (RSX): -42%
Norway (NORW): -35%
Poland (EPOL): -41%
Comment: This time around a Euro-crisis will drag also those which chose not to be in the union, so the markets are affected whether you are in it or not, at least the country would not be burdened with "funding the bailout".
Turkey (TUR): -33%
Israel (EIS): -32%
South Africa (EZA): -25%
Egypt (EGPT): -38%
China (FXI): -34%
Japan (EWJ): -19%
Hong Kong (EWH): -30%
Taiwan (EWT): -26%
Malaysia (EWM): -23%
Singapore (EWS): -30%
South Korea (EWY): -34%
Australia (EWA): -28%
India (EPI): -33%
Thailand (THD): -32%
Indonesia (IDX): -58%
New Zealand (ENZL): -24%
Vietnam (VNM): -26%

So, there is really no good reason to diversify anymore? I guess you must still diversify, but NOT across countries. You need to diversify and pick the industries. If you are in developed nations banking, you are dead. But if you are in palm oil, you are still OK.  Diversification has a lot more to do with the industries you select rather than the countries you invest in. 

The other thing to remember is that correlation will be very high during the initial weeks and months of extreme volatility, investors will only try to distinguish between valuations proper after the volatility has subsided.

Diversification for currencies exposure, thats a potent subject. I think its only worthwhile to consider that if your portfolio is more than a couple of million USD. Safest havens: the HKD, the SGD, the Ringgit. HKD because it is still stupidly pegged to the bloated USD, thus undervaluing the real HKD effectively. Very soon, they will have to switch the HKD peg to a basket of currencies which will include the yuan, the euro and the yen - which in effect will be a sizable revaluation.