Kohtaro Ohba (Leader), the Ubiquitous Functions Research Group, Hiromu Onda (Senior Research Scientist), the Task Intelligence Research Group and Takeshi Sakaguchi (Senior Research Scientist), the Autonomous Behavior Control Research Group, the Intelligent Systems Research Institute (Director: Shigeoki Hirai) of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (President: Hiroyuki Yoshikawa) have developed several factors of the universal design for household robots in particular, with the cooperation of Takasuke Sonoyama of T-D-F/Robot & Interaction Design. This research was jointly conducted by the University of Tokyo, Toshiba Corp. and GNSS Technologies, Inc. in the project organized by the Next-generation Robots Coordination Program, Council for Science and Technology Policy - Coordination Program of Science and Technology Projects.
In conventional robotic development, a robot is built for a specialized purpose because its hardware is designed for a specific environment, and it is required to execute only a predetermined task in a specific environment. In practice, it is very difficult to develop a robot that can handle all the items found in a human living environment.
To overcome this difficulty, AIST devised some methods, as a part of environmental structuralization for the easy adaptation of robots to the human living environment, in which humans and robots can coexist. The methods include designing handles that are easily operable by robots, designing visual marks in order to provide the layouts and operating instructions of the handles, and building templates for the easy development of operation programs for robots. The introduction of a robot in households is expected to accelerate by the popularization of these methods.
The newly developed system will be presented in the third symposium of the Coordination Program of Science and Technology Projects, scheduled for October 23, 2007, and in the eighth symposium of the System Integration Division of the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE), scheduled for December 2022, 2007.