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Research Topics


We aim human-robotic systems collaborative interaction in daily living environments in order to support and enhance human activities. The robotic systems are required to behave in a daily living environment autonomously. Intelligence Space (iSpace) is one of the effective approaches to realize autonomous robots in a dynamic environment. As iSpace is a technical platform for autonomous robots, we are working on long-term and sustainable human-robot communication in a daily living environment as shown below. Through these researches, we aim to realize assistive robotics to socially and cognitively support and enhance human activities.

Current research topics

[iS] Intelligent Space (iSpace) as a platform to realize autonomous robotics in daily living environments

Intelligent environments are being studied to support and enhance human activity by observing subjects using distributed networked sensors, recognizing human activity, and providing services using distributed actuators such as displays and mobile robots. To observe the dynamic environment, many intelligent devices, called distributed intelligent network devices (DINDs), are placed in an intelligent environment. We named this space “Intelligent Space” (iSpace). The DIND, a basic iSpace element, consists of three basic components -- sensors, processors, and network devices.

Communicating with individual DINDs enables iSpace to apprehend and understand events in this space and to activate intelligent agents such as mobile robots, computer devices, and digital equipment to provide information and services to users based on observed information.

  1. Autonomous mobile robot navigation i daily living environments
    1. Grid-based map including moving objects to represent a dynamic environment
    2. Multiresolution map for an efficient representation of a daily living environment
    3. Collision avoidance in a daily living environment
  1. Activity recognition in a daily living environment
    1. Spatial memory-based activity recognition

iSpace concept Environment map including moving objects

[Etho] Ethologically inspired human-robot communication

To realize long-term and sustainable human-robot communication, we build a robot behavioral model inspired by human-dog relationships. Dogs are able to build social relationships with humans. Humans are also able to interpret dogs' behaviors according to their context. Therefore, we try to apply dogs' behaviors to human-robot communication.

  1. Modeling of human-dog attachment
  2. Ethologically inspired human-robot communication for a monitoring support system in iSpace
  3. Robot behavioral model including the difference of behavioral characteristics

 Human-robot communication  Ethologically inspired robot behavioral model

[P] Personal Mobility Tool: cooperative smart electric wheelchair

We aim to enable a user to operate an electric wheelchair without continuos input to reduce physical load of its operation. Therefore, we integrate direction input from the user and autonomous mobile robot navigation, name it PMT (personal mobility tool). Here, the user hardly predicts the PMT movement when it moves autonomously. To help the user predict and understand the PMT movement, we design mutual interaction between the user and the PMT. The PMT provides feedback to the user, for example, sensing result (distance to obstacles) and traveling direction.

  1. Cooperative electric wheelchair integrating direction input and autonomous mobile robot navigation

    1. Development of a new input device
    2. Estimation of an indicated destination based on direction input and an environment map

  2. Mutual interaction and ride quality improvement

    1. Feedback of environment and traveling information using a sead-type vibrotactile interface
    2. Path planning and motion control to improve ride quality
    3. Quantitative evaluation based on biological information

       input devices and a seat-type vibrotactile interface  Personal Mobility Tool as a smart electric wheelchair

[Cog] Assistive robotics for cognitive infocommunication

Human perception and cognition enhancement using robotic systems is also one of our research areas. Sensing and recognition techniques are applied to bridge sensory information between a human and a robotics system.

  1. Mental map building based on auditory information
  2. Tactile sensation using vibrotactile stimuli
  3. Remote monitoring of industrial robots based on cognitive info communication

     Mental map building based on auditory information  Vibrotactile glove  Remote monitoring of industrial robots based on cognitive info communication


(June, 2013)

 Ultrasonic 3D positioning system
  1. Sensors
    • 屋内用レーザレンジファインダ 3台
    • 屋外用レーザレンジファインダ 5台
    • IEEE1394カラーカメラ 2台
    • ステレオカメラ 1台
    • 深度センサ 2台
    • 超音波式3次元位置計測装置 1式(5.5 m × 8 m × 2.7 m)
    • モーションセンサ(3軸加速度,3軸ジャイロ,3軸地磁気センサ搭載) 2台
    • 全身計測用モーションセンサ 一式
    • 温度,湿度,3軸加速度センサを搭載した小型無線ネットワークデバイス 15個
  2. Robots
    • レゴマインドストーム NXT 1台
    • ヒューマノイド型ロボット nuvo 1台
    • 人間搭乗可能な移動ロボット 2台
    • 電動車いす 1台
    • 小型知的移動ロボット 1台
  3. Devices
    • 振動触覚グローブ
    • シート型振動触覚インタフェース
    • コミュニケーションロボット
      • パンダぬいぐるみロボット
      • ナバズタグ 改
    • プロジェクタ
    • スピーカ
  4. Others
    • パソコン 1人1台
    • 実験用PC/ロボット制御用ノートパソコン  多数 
    • 3D対応ディスプレイ 1台
    • カラーレーザプリンタ 2台
    • 複合型カラープリンタ(コピー,スキャナ,プリンタ) 1台
    • 工作環境も充実中

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