Director

Hiroshi Sato, Ph.D. Director
Hiroshi Sato, Ph.D.
Director

Human Informatics Research Institute (HIRI) covers holistic research on deepening our understanding of the human functions and their applications to human-centered design in the industrial products, services and social eco-system. Human-centered design requires scientific investigation of human functions such as the brain system, sensations, body, behaviors and even to the social participation. Additionally the variations of those human functions depending on the individuals should be clarified. In recent years, these human functions have partially become to be able to measure through the daily lives by wearable sensors and IoT, then store the data as big-data. But the most important functions, such as internal body functions and psycho-cognitive functions are remained untouchable due to the difficulty in measuring. HIRI focuses on collecting the high-quality data (a.k.a. deep-data) for modeling and integrating with the big-data of human functions, as to create the human-centered products and services achieving the safety, comfort, health-care, wellness, social participation and social cognition. HIRI pursues to collect the deep-data strategically for developing computational models, and to provide human-centered products and services through the collaborating industrial partners. Our challenge is to establish the economical sustainability of those products and services in the society, the social implementation. Through those researches, HIRI aims to build the universal society for the minorities of human functions (i.e. children, elders, disables) embedded in the sustainable economic system.

Introduction

Technology for Human Life and Neuroscience

This figure consists of the following four pictures. The first picture shows the human sleep experiment in the climatic chamber. The second picture shows that neuroscience, measurement and evaluation, and intervention technology circulate in the neurorehabilitation research. The third picture shows a screen of the database of sensory characteristics of older persons and persons with disabilities. The fourth picture shows the multimodal measuring by MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of 3 tesla magnetic field.

In order to provide safe, secure, healthy and comfortable living in a sustainable society, it is important to understand the interactive relationships between people and the adequate products or/and the living environment. We develop technologies that comply with various human functions, neurophysiological systems, and biomedical properties, by integrating relevant knowledge with data acquisition and analysis.

We focus on the following areas: (1) measurement and assessment of cognitive function, (2) psycho-physiological adaptability to environmental change, (3) recovery or substitution of lost abilities, and (4) technology to facilitate independence for the elderly and disabled. We also contribute to support Japanese Industrial Standards / International Standards, and to build the guidelines for designing industrial products and assistive medical devices.

New projects are forthcoming, including neuro-rehabilitation technology based on neurological mechanisms, communication technology via direct connection between brain and machine (brain-machine interface), and fundamental technology to connect medical devices to clinical information networks (IoT, Internet of Things).