Robot Innovation Research Center
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Service Robotics Research Team

Our mission is to develop assistive robots and assistive technologies aiming at the improvement of QOL and efficiency of service provision in our aging society. We aim at realization of such technologies through analyzing our daily lives, implementing prototype systems, evaluating in field experiments, and collaborating with companies.

Research areas:

  • Technologies for designing and evaluating assistive technologies
    (Analysis of daily activities and requirements, evaluation of benefit and cost)
  • Technologies for implementing assistive robots
    (intuitive interface, visual sensing)
  • Medical and welfare applications
    (communication support by android robots, rehabilitation assistance)

News

Apr/01/2017 Personnel New member Dr. Shinya Ogaya joined the team

Research Projects

Robot Care Project
Robot Care Project

Robot Care Project

Japanese government (METI and MHLW) has formulated the priority areas in "Robotic Care Equipment Development and Introduction Project" to which Nursing Care Robot Technology is to be introduced. The project supports the development and introduction of robotic devices for nursing care, which will contribute to the independence of the elderly as well as to reducing the burden on caregivers, aiming to create a new market for robotic care devices through subsidizing the enterprises. Our group promotes this project as a member of consortium for evaluation and standardization. (more info)

High-accuracy visual marker
High-accuracy visual marker

High-Accuracy Visual Marker

Visual marker is a useful tool assisting easy pose recognition by a single camera. We developed novel visual markers which utilize variable moire patterns, and achieved the world's highest accuracy pose estimation in the field of planar visual markers. We are working towards realization useful in practice, along with the application developments to various fields, e.g. robotics, measurement, and AR. (more info)

Fig.2
Android robots (female and male version)

Android Robotics

We are developing android robots to realize harmonized interaction with human. Our androids have an appearance resembling human, and can exppress "smiling" expression. We have implemented synchronizing behavior on it, and investigating the psychological effects of the robot through experiments. We are recently collaborating with medical doctors and teachers to apply such communication robots to children with ASD.

Interface for operating a robot arm
Interface for operating a robot arm

A robot interface using projection

We are currently researching a robot interface to support daily activities in the environment of everyday life. We developed an interface where users can provide input by moving their hands over the image of a monitor projected onto the surface of their bedsheet. From their bed, by hand movements alone, the user can operate a robot arm fixed onto an electric wheelchair, and carry out actions such as fetching a plastic bottle from the other side of the room.

Visualisation of ground reaction force
Visualisation of ground reaction force

Visualising human motion based on images

In order to improve the walking ability of disabled and elderly people, it is important to understand the dynamics of the body in real time. In this research project, posture information gathered from subjects using KINECT distance image sensors was combined with a dynamics model to develop a technique to visualise in real time the motive counterforces working on the soles of their feet. By visualising data on people's movement in a simple way, and by presenting this information in an intuitive fashion, we aim to contribute to improving the quality of rehabilitation.

Electric prosthetic hand
Electric prosthetic hand

Research related to practical application in welfare

We are conducting a broad range of research on engineering technologies to support the lives of disabled and elderly people. Particularly in the areas of electric prosthetic hands, operating interfaces for severely disabled people, and tools to provide operating support for people with higher brain dysfunction, we do not only develop high-tech solutions but are also developing evaluation techniques. For example, to reduce the burden of operating an electric prosthetic hand, we are building an operating framework based on the interaction of environmental factors. We are also carrying out an analysis of evaluation tools which can be used within occupational therapy and other fields.

Rehabilitation robot
Rehabilitation robot

Research related to practical application in rehabilitation

Aiming at the practical application of robot and mechatronic technology in the field of rehabilitation, we are both developing a device for passive exercise training focusing on ankle joint flexion and dorsiflexion, and also carrying out a study of guidelines for evaluating the effects of passive exercise training carried out with devices. In addition, we are engaged as an administrative bureau in drawing up development guidelines for robotic medical instruments which can be used in the field of rehabilitation.

Research related to implementation in society

Not all engineering technologies using high-tech research and development are turned into products which become established in society. In order to ensure that more engineering technologies are put to practical use in society, we investigate the issues related to the process of implementing them in society, and carry out analyses of social structure and modeling. We apply knowledge based on behavioural science, and analyze people's activities related to 'information' as 'information cost'.

Members

photo position & name field of expertise email address (+@aist.go.jp)
Team Leader
Yoshio MATSUMOTO
Assistive robotics, android, face & gaze tracking, navigation email addressyoshio.matsumoto
Senior Researcher
Keiko HOMMA
Rehabilitation robotics and mechatronics email addresskeiko.homma
Senior Researcher
Yujin WAKITA
Coexistent robot, Human interface email addresswakita.y
Senior Researcher
Isamu KAJITANI
Myoelectric prosthetic hand, Development, evaluation, and implementation of assistive technology email addressisamu.kajitani
Senior Researcher
Hideyuki TANAKA
Environment structuring, Vision, Assitive robotics, Navigation email addresshideyuki-tanaka
Researcher
Shinya OGAYA
Clinical Biomehcanics, Rehabilitation device email addressshinya.ogaya
Researcher
Kunihiro OGATA
Modeling of human body and motion, and its application to assitive technology email addressogata.kunihiro
Postdoc Researcher
Jun YAMAGUCHI
Evaluation of Assistive Robot, Study on introduction of assistive robots in foreign countries email addressjun.yamaguchi
M1 Student (Tsukuba University)
Itsuki YAMADA
email address
Engineer
Satoshi IWAI
email addresssatoshi-iwai
Engineer
Yoshinari OOMORI
email addressoomori-yoshinari
Engineer
Mika OOSATO
email addressmika.oosato
Assistant
Izumi OYAMA
email addressiz.oyama