Human Robotics

Research Staff

  • Professor Takahiro WADA

    Takahiro WADA

  • 平岡 敏洋

    Affiliate Professor
    Toshihiro HIRAOKA

  • Associated Professor Hailong LIU

    Associate Professor
    Hailong LIU

  • Assistant Professor Yasuaki ORITA

    Assistant Professor
    Yasuaki ORITA

  • Assistant Professor Sumitaka HONJI

    Assistant Professor
    Sumitaka HONJI

Research Areas

Our research focuses on the study of robotics and human motor intelligence aimed at enhancing and improving human functions and capabilities through machine systems.
 With the advancement of intelligent machine systems including robots, humans have become capable of performing tasks previously unattainable alone, such as driving at speeds over 100 km/h, moving heavy objects with construction machines or power assist systems, and enhancing reality primarily from a sensory perspective using AR technology.
However, excessive enhancement of human capabilities can sometimes reduce work performance. Moreover, over-reliance on machines may decrease abilities of humans when not using the machine systems. Additionally, achieving physical movements not possible with the human body alone can demand cognitive and decision-making processes beyond the usual scope, increasing the workload and potentially leading to motion sickness (such as carsickness, VR sickness, or simulator sickness).
Our lab aims to improve human-machine system performance and reduce negative impacts (e.g., high workload, motion sickness) through understanding and enhancing the human perception-motor control loop, and by designing and controlling human-machine and human-robot interactions based on this understanding.

In this laboratory, we conduct research on the following topics:

1. Understanding the human perception-motor control loop, and the effects of function enhancement during machine operation, vehicle riding, human-robot collaboration, etc.
2. Establishing design and control methodologies for human-machine interaction and human-robot interaction based on this understanding, aimed at improving human’s functions and capabilities (such as rehabilitation, improving skills of machine operation, etc.) and reducing negative effects (such as motion sickness, VR sickness, etc.).
3. Realizing machine intelligence to support the above.

Below are examples of current or past research themes.

Human Modeling

  • Experimental research and computational modeling of human sensory information processing and motion sickness (carsickness, VR sickness, space sickness) (Figure 1).
    - Modeling of motion perception and sensory integration.
    - Modeling of motion sickness considering vestibular and visual sensory integration.
    - Modeling of visually induced motion sickness.
  • Vehicle motion control and methods for generating visual stimuli to reduce motion sickness using motion sickness models.
  • Countermeasures against motion sickness caused by machine operation (e.g., underwater robot sickness).
  • Challenges in modeling space sickness.
  • Methods for identifying operator skills in controlled machinery and their application to human-machine adaptation.
  • Dynamic understanding of the dexterity (motion intelligence) possessed by multi-link structures.

Fig.1 Computational models of human motion perception/motion sickness for predicting.

Human-Robot Interaction

  • Smooth and Intuitive Human-robot collaboration (Figure 2).
  • Studies on control theory to achieve stability and safety in human-robot collaboration.
  • Advancement of remotely operated robots (including cooperative control such as Haptic shared control) (Figure 3).
  • Guidance robots (Figure 4).

Fig.2 Research on human sensory augmentation for smooth human robot collaboration

Fig.3 Remotely operated underwater robots

Fig.4 Guiding robot research. Control of guiding robot considering human-robot interaction

Human Vehicle Interaction

  • Interaction between Automated Personal Mobility Vehicles (APMV) and humans (Figure 5).
  • Research on various Human Vehicle Interactions with automated vehicles and driver assistance systems (Figure 6) (smooth handovers/takeovers, motion sickness reduction, driver skill and driving modeling, etc.).

Fig.5 External Hman Machine Interface(eHMI) for APM, considering personality of passengers etc.

Fig.6 Research on human factors/human vehicle interaction with automated vehicles /advanced driver assistance systems

Research facility

  • Various motion devices for motion perception research (9m linear motion sled, two 6-axis motion platform, yaw rotation chair, etc.)
  • Three underwater robots
  • Arm robot manipulators
  • Quadruped robot
  • Large water pool (4m x 3m x 2m, owned by the Information Science Division)
  • Motion capture systems
  • Driving simulators
  • Automated Personal Mobility System

Key Features

The human robotics lab. is a new laboratory established in April 2021. Regardless of academic backgrounds, students motivated to create intelligent robots, understand human behaviors, and achieve comfortable human machine systems are always welcome.