Researcher List

Laboratories in Department of Robotics

Network & Communication Robot Lab
Prof. Yuki INOUE

Network & Communication Robot

The real world robot challenge (RWRC) is a technology competition for autonomous robots wherein various research institutions and universities compete with the goal of developing the robots that “function safely and reliably” in the outdoor environments. Even in the crowded street, the robots estimate their present position by using the Laser Range Finder, GPS and a distance measuring device. These high reliable devices based on localization technologies will be incorporated into the near future service robots. Our laboratory is engaged in the realization of human support robots utilizing sensing technologies.

Medical Robotics Lab
Prof. Toshikazu KAWAI

Medical Robotics Lab

Laparoscopic surgery, which produces small scars, has become widespread because it has a cosmetic benefit. When performing surgery through small laparoscopic incisions, a surgeon must manipulate tools precisely to cooperate with assistants using an endoscope or forceps. Our laboratory proposes a new locally operated detachable end-effector manipulator (LODEM) that can act as a third arm for the surgeon in a sterile environment of an operating room. By integrating locally operated small surgical robots in the sterilized area, the surgeon working near a patient can perform a safe and accurate robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery.

Robotics Simulation Lab
Prof. Hiroyuki KURAMAE

Robotics Simulation Lab

The laboratory is also engaged in finding the numerical solution of various engineering problems using computer simulation based on the finite element method. In particular, work is going on to solve the “coupling problem,” where various phenomena concerning structural deformation, thermal, fluid, and magnetic fields occur concurrently. Such multiscale and coupled analyses call for large expenses in computational resources, and large-scale analysis has been performed by focusing on parallel processing using PC clusters.

Industrial Robot Lab
Prof. Akio NODA

Medical Robotics Lab

In order to realize the automation which expands the time which everyone can spend for the purpose of their life in this difficult age, mass-production robot with investment effect is thought to be a key technology for realizing the ideal world.

Therefore, we are working on R&D in following steps while closely contacting problems of the industrial field. Base on KOKOROZASHI (A high-level motive apart from self-interest), deep consideration that what and how should it be, in the first place and after all. Returning to the principles. Discovery of the real challenge. Formulation of the difficulty of the task. Derivation of the solution method. Quantification of results. For example, "Thinking Algorithm" and "System Design" are specific solution artifacts.

We create and run ideas that are not yet in the world by producing the actual prototypes and then using them to make sure that ideas work as intended (System Integration), try to explain why they work for products obtained by chance (Mechanism Analysis).

To this end, we emphasize scientific attitudes toward unsolved academic problems and actual implementation simultaneously.

Human Modeling Lab
Prof. Etsuko UEDA

Human Modeling Lab

Research is being conducted on robots based on information obtained from "visual" representations to promote the favorable acceptance of the robots in human society, its recognition as a useful and safe tool, and ultimately making it a part of human life. In particular, research is being pursued on the measurement and the analysis of human movements for modeling more complex human skills and the application of such models in producing robot movements.

Life Support Robot System Lab
Associate Prof. Yutaka HIROI

Life Support Robot System Lab

Robots supporting daily living are not accepted by the general public just because they have superior functionality. For the benefit of the user, the development of user-friendly robots that do not cause fear is necessary. Accordingly, our laboratory is engaged in research on the improvement of “affinity” in robots. Utilizing the outcome of such research, the development of robots to assist in daily living is being undertaken. Support for “manufacturing education” using robots is also being pursued.

Flexible Robotics Lab
Associate Prof. Hironari TANIGUCHI

Flexible Robotics Lab

The actuator needed in operating a robot is a device that converts energy into mechanical movements. The devices also called the driving source. In our laboratory, various actuators, such as a shape-memory alloy actuator, a pneumatic soft actuator, and a soft rubber actuator based on combination of magnetic fluids and rubber are being developed. Using these actuators, research is also being undertaken on developing pediatric power prosthetic hands, a hand and foot joint rehabilitation equipment, and jellyfish-type soft robots as medical/welfare/long-term care robotic devices.

Assistive Device Lab
Associate Prof. Masahiro YOSHIKAWA

Assistive Device Lab

Our laboratory conducts research on assistive technologies that support the living of the people with disabilities based on robotics, information science, and digital fabrication (3DCAD, 3D printer, and 3D scanner). We are focusing especially on developing prosthetic hands that are highly functional and look very similar to real hands.

Smart Material Actuator Lab
Associate Prof. Changan JIANG

Smart Material Actuator Lab

With the development of materials science, smart material actuators which can be driven by external stimuli, such as stress, temperature etc. have received tremendous interests for their potential applications in the field of robotics. In this laboratory, research focus on development of new style actuators based on various smart materials (Piezo, SMA, DE etc.) for biomimetic robot, soft robot or some tactile devices. For guaranteeing the performance of developed smart material actuators, control methods on compensating nonlinear effect from smart materials are being considered.