A team from Tohoku University has won first prize at the 2015 International Contest of Application in Nano-micro Technology (iCAN), held in Anchorage, Alaska on June 21.
The 4-person team, led by 3rd year engineering student Kaho Matsuda, topped the field of 19 with its innovative device - a sensor-embedded tea whisk called "Anywhere Sado." The point, Matsuda says, is to give anyone, anywhere, the chance to make a perfect cup of tea.
The device is a bamboo whisk - like the sort used to make traditional Japanese tea - with three sensors embedded into the bottom. The sensors monitor the stirring speed and tea temperature, and send data on the user's tea-making technique into a computer. The technique is then graded on a 100-point scale.
Since winning the Japan qualifiers with the device back in April, Matsuda has been widely featured in local and international media, many of whom praised "Anywhere Sado" for successfully fusing traditional Japanese culture with modern technology.
Teams from Tohoku University have reached the final of iCAN four times over the years, but this is the first time a team has won the first prize.
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