Masakatsu G. Fujie, Professor of Creative Science and Engineering, Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering
Paolo Dario, Professor of Biomedical Robotics, Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna (SSSA), Pisa, Italy
With the advent of a super-aging society, Robot Technology (RT) is expected to be applied practically in lifestyle-support fields such as healthcare and welfare. It could also contribute for the creation of new industries. As Japan is the leading country in RT, it is essential to develop RT further and integrate it into social infrastructure. It is therefore urgent that Japanese young scientists to be nurtured for RT programme. There are several areas of social and public policy where the EU is a leader from which Japan must learn, but in this field the opposite is true.
Professor Fujie has been chosen as the project leader of 'Global Robotic Academia' which has been recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as a Global Centre of Excellence (COE) Programme. As a hub for international RT education and research, this centre will work to organise RT, to create a systematic theory of RT that fashions a new relationship between people/society and machine systems, and to evolve robotics from an aggregate of several fields into an integrated science of technology and engineering. The Centre aspires to the creation of a new model of engineering which would contribute to academia, industry, and society as a whole.
In May 2004, the establishment of the Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care, Waseda University (ASMeW) was also funded by MEXT as a Program for the Strategic Development of Research Centers (Super COE). The ASMeW International Symposium was held on 27-28 August 2008, and Professors Fujie and Dario, respectively, presented their papers. Academic exchanges between them have already started, and will continue under the auspices of the 'Global Robotic Academia' Global COE programme.