Keynote Speech

Robots in Imagination and Real World – From Greek mythology to TWENDY-ONE robot

Dr. Shiekegi Sugano
Professor and Dean of School of Creative Science and Engineering
Waseda University


Abstract: Many people have been interested in robots for a long, long time, and many kinds of robots always appear in the world of the imagination including Science Fiction. The origin of robots is a mechanical human so that mechanical design is a fundamental and important technology to build robots. On the other hand, the progress of computer technology including AI for approximately the past 30 years has brought substantial improvement in the functionality of the robots. Many kinds of industrial robots, medical robots, and home robots have been developed and spread out steadily in society. Integration of sophisticated mechanism and AI is required to realize practical and intelligent robots. In this presentation, I will look back at the history of robots including “Karakuri”, “Imagination” and “Philosophy” in addition to “Computer”. I will explain the origin of robots from the point of view of mechanism and control. As an example, I will introduce a human-symbiotic platform “TWENDY-ONE” and other new robots in my laboratory to present a design concept based on passive mechanism and control. I will also show several demonstration movies of human-robot coordination to assist humans.

Bio: Shigeki Sugano received the B.S., M.S., and Dr. of Engineering degrees in Mechanical engineering in 1981, 1983, and 1989 from Waseda University. Since 1990, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Waseda, where he is currently a professor. Since 2014, he has served as the Dean of the School/Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

His research interests include human-symbiotic anthropomorphic robot design, dexterous and safe manipulator design, and human-robot communication. He received many awards, and he is a fellow of the IEEE, SICE, JSME, and RSJ.

He served as an AdCom member of the IEEE RAS from 2008 to 2013. He served as the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Advanced Robotics from 2007 to 2012. He served as the President of the SICE in 2017. He served as the General Chair of the IROS2013 in Tokyo.