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Giving Shape to Eco Technologies for the Future
-New Eco Business-

Feasibility Studies of New Environmental Technologies


The RICOH Eco Business Development Center serves as a location for demonstration experiments concerning advanced environmental technologies in the areas of resource conservation, energy creation (utilizing renewable energy), and energy conservation toward the creation of new eco businesses. These trials include a waste plastic oiling technology that re-generates and extracts fuel oil and metals from waste toner cartridges as well as a forest biomass model that ranges from procuring thinned wood to generating energy from it using locally produced and locally used infrastructure.
With these two areas as our main pillars, we are also contributing to resource conservation and energy creation focusing on energy recycling, as well as realizing energy conservation mechanisms through advanced technologies. Through open innovation in collaboration with other players from industry, public institution and academia, we are actively exchanging knowledge and technologies among diverse experts and further accelerating our feasibility studies within a range of research themes.

Major Feasibility Study Themes at the RICOH Eco Business Development Center

Resource Conservation

Energy Creation

Local-production-for-local-use model covering various processes from procuring thinned wood to generating energy from it

Collaborating with the local government and forestry companies, we have simultaneously achieved forest management and energy creation. We will create a recycling model for forest biomass energy that utilizes unused materials in Gotemba. The model is expected to contribute to job creation and revitalization of the area.

imageEForest biomass utilization

Power generation system that utilizes water flows in various locations

A micro hydroelectric power generation system utilizes numerous water flows that exist as an unused resource in agricultural fields, town areas, buildings and factories. Based on our exclusive technology acquired through development of high-precision devices including photocopiers and cameras, we plan to develop a compact, lightweight and stable power generation system at a low cost in order to construct locally produced and locally used energy infrastructure.

imageEMicro hydroelectric power generation

Complete solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell with high conversion rate even from indoor lighting

We produce a safe and durable solar cell that enables stable and permanent operation of sensors without any external power supply from a wall socket or battery. The cell is expected to be a clean and smart independent power source to contribute to spread of the Internet of Things (IoT).

imageEEnergy-harvesting lighting devices

Energy Conservation

Battery with rapid charging and high-current supply capabilities (Field trial with automatic guided vehicles)

This rechargeable battery is capable of fast charging and instantaneous supply of large current. The battery is a result of the application of our material technology cultivated through photocopier toner development. Its low-heat nature minimizes deterioration from repeated use. Thus the battery is expected to contribute to a drastic productivity improvement in robotics and transportation.

imageEDual-ion rechargeable battery

Applying machine vision technology to autonomous driving

Ricoh has commercialized an industrial stereo camera. Installing this camera on an electric vehicle to monitor surroundings, we are conducting autonomous driving trials. We aim to realize a highly reliable autonomous driving system by applying our established machine vision technology.

imageEMachine vision system (on electric vehicles)

Applying machine vision technology to autonomous flight without accessing GPS

Conventional drones were required to be manually operated if the GPS was not accessible. Utilizing Ricoh’s “eye, Ean integration of our long-established optical and image processing technology, we hope to expand the uses of drones.

imageEMachine vision system (on drones)

Producing and extracting functional ingredients from plants

To contribute to health and beauty promotion and add value to botanical specimens, we plan to develop a system that enables the rapid growth of plants and extraction of high-quality functional ingredients from them at a lower cost. We are also working on minimizing the energy investment into the system by utilizing energy-saving lights and unused energy sources.