Tag Archives: Information Science

Team NAIST-Panasonic joins the Amazon Robotics Challenge 2017

Team NAIST, winners of the Airbus Shopfloor Challenge 2016, have partnered up with Panasonic to participate in the Amazon Robotics Challenge 2017, a competition about warehouse automation to be held at RoboCup in Nagoya from July 27-30. Team leader Gustavo Garcia presents the team and their robot.

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TEAM NAIST-PANASONICはアマゾンロボティクスチャレンジ2017に参加します!

Airbus Shopfloor Challenge 2016で優勝したTeam NAISTが、今回はPanasonicと共同でアマゾンロボティクスチャレンジに参加します。アマゾンロボティクスチャレンジとは7月27日から30日まで名古屋で開催されたRoboCupでの倉庫の自動化を目的としたコンペティションです。チームリーダーのGustavo Garciaさんがチームと彼らのロボットを紹介してます。

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From Philippines to NAIST: Story of an internship

Every year, several students from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines take the opportunity to come in Nara to take a grasp of research at NAIST in particular, and life in Japan in general. This experience helps them to decide if they want to enter NAIST in the future, after their undergraduate or master’s course. We interviewed one of the interns (who prefers to remain anonymous) to know more about how the Filipino interns spend their time at NAIST.

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CICP 2016: Posters, presentations and workshop

NAIST students are encouraged to pursue their own research projects. One of the avenues that NAIST offers is the CICP (Creative and International Competitiveness Project), a 6-month program in which students assemble a team, apply with a proposal and independently manage research funds to realize their project. At the CICP workshop, students present their progress.

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Fire Drill 2016: Live exercise

Japan is a country with regular earthquakes, natural disaster, and mass sudden death. As such, it is important to keep in mind the necessary procedures to keep oneself and others safe. Institutions like NAIST regular hold drills to ensure the timely evacuation of their buildings. This year’s fire drill was aimed at the staff and foreign students of the Graduate School of Information Science.

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Robotics Lab at Japan Robot Week 2016

NAIST fosters exchange between academia and industry, and welcomes industry collaborations. The Robotics Laboratory of the Graduate School of Information Science went out to represent NAIST at the Keihanna Business Messe in Kyoto Prefecture and the biannual Japan Robot Week in Tokyo. Read more about their experience below.

Japan Robot Week is a biannual robot exhibition held at the Tokyo Big Sight. It alternates every year with the equally renowned International Robot Exhibition (iREX), and attracts tens of thousands visitors each year, making it one of the biggest robotics exhibitions worldwide.

The Robotics Laboratory booth at JRW 2016.
The Robotics Laboratory booth at JRW 2016.

This year, the Robotics Laboratory demonstrated a robot arm that can play a game of ball with visitors. The robot catches balls thrown by visitors and throws them back to them. “We prepared a demo that is both approachable for children, and which we use to teach high school students about physics and programming as well. With more and more young people shying away from engineering studies, it is important to show them that there is no magic in technology, and they can take part in making it happen.”, PhD student Felix von Drigalski mentions.

But is a robot that catches and throws balls really that useful? “Naturally this project is insular, but it aligns with our research on household robots.”, Assistant Professor Ming Ding says. “We want to develop robots that support humans in every stage of their life, be it at work, at home or during nursing care and rehabilitation.”

Master's student Sung-Gwi Cho explaining the 3D-printable prosthetic hand Finch designed for amputees.
Master’s student Sung-Gwi Cho explaining the 3D-printable prosthetic hand Finch designed for amputees.

“Most people have few opportunities to see complex robots in action, and seeing them up close and approachable always leaves a smile on their faces,” the team remarks. On the last day of the event, a TV crew from Mezamashi TV (めざましテレビ) came by to play with the robot. A TV personality happily volunteered to play ball with the robot and spread the word about the inevitable future in which it is our robot overlords who entertain our children.

The Robotics Laboratory is highly international and regularly receives exchange students. You can find out more about their research activity on the laboratory’s website.