Photo © Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau

Talk1: Prof. Kenji Doya (OIST)

What it takes to create a humanoid

A humanoid can have different meanings and capabilities, including

  • Human-like morphology

  • Bipedal locomotion and manual dexterity

  • Modeling the world and society

  • Imagination, creativity and autonomy

  • Language, culture and institutions

This talk will try to present some observations and concepts from neuroscience and machine learning to help understand and create humanoids.

Kenji Doya is a Professor of Neural Computation Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University. He took his PhD in 1991 at the University of Tokyo and worked as a postdoc at U. C. San Diego and the Salk Institute. In 1994, he joined Advanced Telecommunications Research International (ATR) as a Senior Researcher and then served as a Group Leader of Kawato Dynamic Brain Project. In 2004, he was appointed as a Principal Investigator of the OIST Initial Research Project and started Okinawa Computational Neuroscience Course (OCNC) as the chief organizer. As OIST established itself as a Graduate University in 2011, he became a Professor and served as the Vice Provost for Research. He is interested in reinforcement learning in both natural and artificial creatures. He has served as a Co-Editor in Chief of Neural Networks from 2008 to 2021 and a board member of International Neural Network Society (INNS), Japanese Neural Network Society (JNNS) and Japan Neuroscience Society (JNSS), and the Chairperson of Neuro2022 Conference in Okinawa. He received INNS Donald O. Hebb Award in 2018, JNNS Academic Award, APNNS Outstanding Achievement Award, and the age-group 2nd place at Ironman Taiwan in 2019.

Talk 2: Prof. Shigeki Sugano (Waseda University)

Humanoid Design for Human-Robot Symbiosis

The goal of my research is to create a robot that can coexist with humans. In this presentation, I will discuss a number of subjects to realize a human symbiotic robot, including

  • What should it look like?

  • What functions and mechanisms should it have?

  • Should it be dry or wet?

  • Should it be emotionless or have empathy?

  • Should it have pseudo-familiarity or real familiarity?

  • Are there any ethical issues?

  • How can it be socially accepted?

  • etc.

Dr. Sugano received his B.S., M.S., and D.Eng. degrees in mechanical engineering from Waseda University. Since 1990, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Waseda, where he is currently a professor. From 1993 to 1994, he was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. From 2014 to 2020, he served at Waseda as Dean of the School/Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, and since 2020, as Senior Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. His research interests include human symbiotic anthropomorphic robot design, dexterous and safe manipulator design, and human–robot communication. He received numerous awards, most recently the 2016 Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Harashima Award and the MEXT Commendation for Science and Technology in 2017. Dr. Sugano is a fellow of four academic societies: IEEE, JSME, SICE, and RSJ. He served as secretary of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) (2006-2007); as an Administrative Committee Member of the IEEE RAS (2008-2013); and as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Advanced Robotics (2007-2012). He served as General Chair of the IROS2013. He served as President of the Japan Association for Automation Advancement from 2001 to 2010, and as President of SICE in 2017. He currently serves as Vice President of RSJ.