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Home / Technology / The Panasonic device’s ‘magic hand’ grabs the AirPods from the train tracks

The Panasonic device’s ‘magic hand’ grabs the AirPods from the train tracks



Panasonic has developed a special vacuum cleaner for sucking in dropped headphones.

The device is being tested at Japanese train stations, where nearly 1,000 pairs of headphones have crashed on rails in just 3 months.

In the past, train workers had to use a grabbing tool to collect headphones.

According to the staff, the process is very ‘heavy’ because small audio devices get stuck in the gravel.

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Panasonic has developed a new vacuum device that sucks headphones off train tracks.  It is being tested at JR East's Ikebukuro Station, a major line in North Tokyo

Panasonic has developed a new vacuum device that sucks headphones off train tracks. It is being tested at JR East’s Ikebukuro Station, a major line in North Tokyo

The customer was asked to notify the railroad staff of the dropped objects instead of trying to pick them off on their own.

According to Japanese railway operator JR East, about 950 pairs of wireless headphones fell on tracks at 78 stations between July and September 2020, covering a quarter of the total number of dropped items. , The Japan Times reported.

To solve the problem, JR East has partnered with Panasonic and is using the company’s vacuum equipment at Ikebukuro Station, a major road in North Tokyo.

Until now, vacuums work much faster than traditional vacuums.

Traditionally, workers would have to use 8-foot-long tongs to grab AirPods and other devices.  The staff said the process was 'heavy' as the headphones would get stuck in the gravel

Traditionally, workers would have to use an 8-foot claw machine to grab AirPods and other devices. The staff said the process was ‘heavy’ as the headphones would get stuck in the gravel

According to Japanese railway operator JR East, about 950 pairs of wireless headphones fell on tracks at 78 stations between July and September 2020.

According to Japanese railway operator JR East, about 950 pairs of wireless headphones fell on tracks at 78 stations between July and September 2020.

In the test, the Panasonic vacuum cleaner retrieves much faster than using a claw machine

In our test, the Panasonic vacuum cleaner retrieves things much faster than using a claw machine

But dropping Apple’s $ 160 AirPods on subway tracks isn’t unique to Japan: the New York MTA considered a special announcement warning passengers not to take off their headphones when boarding or embark.

‘It’s a very simple announcement: If you drop your AirPods on the rails, tell the staff. We will get your property back for you, ‘the former New York City Transport Authority president Andy Byford said last year.

‘We may not be able to get it back right away. But the other message is, no matter what you do, don’t even think about jumping off the rails to get your possessions. Don’t, ‘he added. ‘Never, don’t ever do that. You cannot rely on guessing when the next train might show up. Make sure you tell a staff member we will get back to you and we will keep you safe. ”

Byford said the MTA will never stop its training service to recall the AirPods, but will do its best to collect them afterwards.

The AirPods retail for as little as $ 160.  'They are more valuable to them [commuters] more than their lives, 'said an MTA employee.  'Just last week I had to stop a man from going down [to] Subscribe to get it '

The AirPods retail for as little as $ 160. ‘They are more valuable to them [commuters] more than their lives, ‘said an MTA employee. ‘Just last week I had to stop a man from going down [to] Subscribe to get it ‘

Between March and mid-July 2019, MTA filings show that subway employees grabbed 84 AirPods – along with hundreds of other items listed as’ earbuds’, ‘earpods’ or’ ears listen’.

According to The New York Times, from September to December, this number increased to 1,220 people.

‘They are more valuable to them [commuters] more than their lives, ‘a subway cleaner told The New York Post. ‘Just last week I had to stop a man from going down [to] songs to get it. I told him to go upstairs to the booth and report. ”

Ashley Mayer, from New York, recalled her AirPods on the subway using a broom and some duct tape.  MTA officials recommend that passengers notify staff about dropped items instead of attempting to retrieve them themselves.  'You cannot rely on guessing when the next train might show up.  Make sure you tell a staff member we'll get back to you and we'll keep you safe, 'said Transportation Agency President Andy Byford

New York resident Ashley Mayer recalled her AirPods on the subway with a broom and some duct tape. MTA officials recommend that passengers notify staff about dropped items instead of attempting to retrieve them themselves. ‘You cannot rely on guessing when the next train might show up. Make sure you tell a staff member we’ll get back to you and we’ll keep you safe, ‘said Transportation Agency President Andy Byford

In July 2019, New Yorker Ashley Mayer restored a pair of shoes from the tracks by creating a DIY pickaxe using a broom with duct tape at the end.

Recounting her subway adventure on Twitter, Mayer said she cleaned her AirPods at home and they ‘worked great.’


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