|Site: ||Nagoya University
|Date Visited: ||30 May 1997|
|Host: ||Toshio Fukuda, Professor
Head, Micro System Control Laboratory
Department of Micro System Engineering
Department of Mechano-Informatics and Systems
Building of Engineering No.3, Room #209
Tel: 81 52 789 4478 (FAX: 81 52 789 3909, 3115)
The city of Nagoya has many electro-mechanical companies located around it and is a center of robotics, machinery, automobile, and aerospace industries in Japan. The Micro System Control Laboratory is part of the Micro System Engineering Department of Nagoya University. That laboratory was established in the 1950s and was taken over by the current faculty about six years ago.
Since then it has grown rapidly. At the time of this WTEC visit it had three faculty members, one engineer, eight PhD students, 12 Masters students, 11 undergraduate students, and visiting research fellows from industry. Between 1990 and the date of this visit, the laboratory had 26 PhD students completing their dissertations.
The main characteristic of the laboratory is strong interactions with industry, something that is relatively unusual in Japan. Additionally, the laboratory participates in national large-scale projects, such as MITI's Micro-Machine Technologies and the Intelligent Manufacturing System (IMS) programs. The laboratory, and Professor Fukuda personally, have been driving forces in stimulating research in mechatronics. It was partly responsible for the inauguration of the IEEE/ASME journal Mechatronics, started in March 1996.
The laboratory has many publications, averaging about 100 articles published mostly in English in refereed journals. There are currently 26 major research projects; each project is associated with a Masters or PhD student. A list is provided below with a short summary for a selected few:
- Cellular Robotic System (CEBOT). CEBOT is a self-organizing robot system proposed by Professor Fukuda that consists of many simple (identical) robotic units, called cells. The CEBOT can reconfigure the whole system depending on given tasks and environments, and organize or "swarm" intelligence, modeled much like ants or biological units. Several prototypes have been demonstrated. Many applications are being studied, including use in agriculture, space, medicine, construction, and other areas.
- Microrobotic System. Research being carried on includes analysis, development, and control of microactuators, micro mobile robotic systems, and micromanipulator systems.
- Micro Robotic System Based on Micro Physics. This project's aim is to analyze the physical dynamics of micromachines, while studying the physics of small scale interactions, such as forces, stress and strain. Silicon technology and techniques are used in the program.
- Multimedia Tele-Medicine System.
- Intelligent Human Machine Interface. The goal of this project is to interactively adapt the interface between operators and machines utilizing the user's skill and psychology. Galvanic skin reflex is used to determine the state of the operator.
- Image Processing Using KANSEI Engineering.
- Emotional Robotic System.
- Biped Locomotion Robot.
- 6-leg Omnidirectional Walking Robot with Manipulator.
- Optimization of Intelligent System by Genetic Algorithm.
- Robot Applied Under Hazardous Environment.
- Hierarchical Intelligent Control by Artificial Intelligence.
- Sensor Integration System.
- Machine Learning for Intelligent Robot.
- Manipulator/Vehicle System.
- Parallel Link Manipulator.
- Man-Robot Cooperation Type of Manipulator System.
- Skill-Based Control Manipulator.
- Single-Master Multi-Slave Manipulator System.
- Coordinated Motion Control of Dual Manipulators.
- Optical Servo System.
- Neural Network Using Incremental Learning.
- Force/Impact Control of Robotic Manipulator.
- Image Processing for Bio-Engineering Technology.
- Self-Organizing Manipulator System.
Published: September 1998; WTEC Hyper-Librarian