Research Fields

Our research fields seem to be spread out from the original purpose of anthropomorphic robots and environmental media as communicative media. The communication media include the interactions between human-human, human-things, human-object, things-things, object-object, things-object, and so on. We especially focus on subjective (anthropomorphic) media, environmental media, and human media in such communication media.

> Subjective Media Environmental Media User (Human Media) Human Computer Interaction / Human Interface Communication Design MX (Media Experience) Human Agent Interaction Multimodal Interaction xR (VR, AR, MR, etc.) Environmental Sensor Network 3D localized sound Human Information Science Cognitive Science Psychology Brain Science Neuroscience Engineering

Subjective media are including robots, virtual agents as presences with active thoughts, motivations, and desires for their own active actions.
Environmental media are including VR, sensor networks, environmental intelligence, and smart environment which are enabling to beholding people.
The subjective media and the environmental media interacting each other could become communication media for humans; that is able to accept and react to humans emotional states and actions.

Based on the interest in the relation and interaction among human and these media, our research fields require various and inter-disciplinary viewpoints. For examples, robot engineering, information science such as image/speech processing, cognitive science, psychology, brain science, and medical engineering are related to our fields from the basic theory to the appilcation scenes. In an extreme instance, our dreams spread out to create human-like presence or realistic environment.

(1) 'Subjective media:' Anthropomorphized presence and behavioral design of robots and virtual agents from basic research to application systems.

We challenge various trials for realizing super-partner presense in robots and virtual agents. Various expressive modalities and internal parameters like emotional or physiological states simulating humans are considered toward creating realistic behaviors of the artificial presence. The application systems are aiming to become partner or intermediary for elderly people or children especially who need extra support in daily life.

Keywords: Multimodal communications; Daily-like support; Underconscious/conscious induction; Emotional expressions; Emotional understanding; Gaze; Speech; Para-linguistic intonation; Intermediary presence; Super-partner/ultla-partner presence;

  • (1)-1 Physical contact robot with user-robot bidirectional and emotional touches
  • (1)-2 Physiological expressions for artificial presence to be treated as living-being like presence
  • (1)-3 Spatial extensity of virtual agent to become realistic presence
  • (1)-4 Agents and robots supporting cooperation and individual actions by preceding behaviors
  • (1)-5 Daily-life support and unconscious behavioral change of elderly people by partner agents and robots

(2) Environmental media toward media experience (MX) - Mediated communications in parallel to real-world interactions using audio visual AR and VR

We aim at intelligent and intuitive environmental media for supporting presently existing communications among people and subjective media. Currently we are focusing on one-to-many communication such as lectures or talks in conreferences with multiple participants. Bidirectional, multimodal, ambient and free interactions in parallel to the current talks would support deep understanding and knowledge creations. Basically auditory environment including 3D sound and AR projection methods are adopted to our systems to create ambient stimuli expressing information based on automatic extraction of audience states. We also started a project to change a limited space into various unlimited environments using audio-visual AR. The different environments for discussions, meetings, relaxing, sleeping, and so on, are expected to be switched by our AR methods. These systems are considered to arrange the users phychological state and behaviors indirectly. So the results could be applied to furnishings, educational systems and daily support systems.

Keywords: multiple participants; mixed reality; augmented reality; virtual reality; environmental intelligence; sensor networks; 3D sound; overlayed representation; five senses devices;

  • (2)-1 Applications of 3D AR sound space to support communications; in classroom, conference talks, or personal voice memos
  • (2)-2 AR projection to support understanding; time sequential AR for pointing gestures, showing another being, ....
  • (2)-3 Switching AR multiple environments in a personal desk space by half-transparent partition
  • (2)-4 Environmental and intelligent support of creative disscusion for virtual learning commons

(3) Human media: clarifiying human-human communication and human being toward integrated media experience

Keywords: ; ;
  • (3)-1 Extend social network media and human-human relationship in online communications
  • (3)-2 Model establishment and simulation of human consciousness: attention, interest, desire and ownership of real-world object.
  • (3)-3 Communication support system based on humans relationship in real world

(4) Creation of new communication media and applications

Entertainment, interactive art experiences, advertisement, guide systems, elderly cares and observation, children intellectual training, and complementarity for challenged people, are included in this field extending (1) to (3). Five senses devices and appropriate representation of subjective and environmental media are designed to be suitable for each context or each user.

Keywords: entertainment; education system; e-learning; elderly care system; intellectual toys; new musical instruments; music interaction; conceptual arts; five senses devices; 3D sound; voice memos;

  • (4)-1 Voice sticky: AR auditory space memo
  • Voice memos recorded to various relative position in a virtual auditory space were discussed to become new media to memorize multiple items with high browsability in auditory mental space.

  • (4)-x Support systems for visually impared people
  • We aim to develop systems for visually impaired persons to be easy to act alone without anxiety even in environments without special signs such as braille blocks or sign sounds. Collaborative works with Dr. Yu Enokibori and Dr. Naoto Yoshida.

    Keywords: haptic devices; virtual wall surface; virtual braille blocks;

      (4)-x-1 スマート白杖を通じたバーチャル壁面による安全な歩行の支援


      (4)-x-2 足裏のモータアレイによるバーチャル点字ブロックの可能性の検討