Designing systems that help people and society through model-based control

At Keio University, the Takahashi Laboratory, in the Department of System Design Engineering (Faculty of Science and Technology) is doing research to develop products and systems that are useful to society, through an approach called model-based control.

In model-based control, the controlled system, such as a spacecraft, automobile, or robot, is modeled mathematically, and control technology is developed for the model. While this method has the advantage of enabling control technology to be fine-tuned while doing simulation, the technology may not work as planned with the simulation if the precision of the model is low, or the operational environment differs from the actual one. For this reason, it's important to achieve accurate modeling that anticipates the operational environment, and highly robust design that can respond to changes in the environment.

"In our lab, we handle a very diverse range of systems, including spacecraft and aircraft. We also handle ordinary means of mobility, such as automobiles and wheelchairs, as well as vibration control in buildings. The range is so diverse, at first glance, our research might seem a "mixed bag." But because moving objects are based on certain physical phenomena, if we can describe those physical phenomena mathematically, we can build models. And if we apply control theory based on those models, we can obtain the desired control performance."

This is a walking measurement robot, developed to prevent elderly people from falling. It uses a laser rangefinder to measure through a range of 240 degrees and 4 meters. In this way, it estimates the position and velocity of both legs, while detecting and tracking the characteristic shape of a leg. From that information, this system enables walking to be measured while guiding the user, by building in control technology to maintain a specific distance and velocity.

To achieve high-precision model-based control, it's essential for modeling to include the operational environment. An especially difficult aspect is anticipating how users will act. To achieve that, it's necessary to predict and evaluate human behavior, and respond appropriately.

In research on controlling inverted-pendulum-type mobility systems, such as the Segway, the Takahashi Lab conducts verification tests by people using actual machines. The aim is to propose human models and to analyze how control systems affect the behavior of people, in order to suggest safe, comfortable means of mobility.

"Our aim is to be helpful to people and society. So, the first thing we do is field research, to find out what technologies are actually needed. For example, when we take robots into hospitals, to develop robots that can carry medicines, various requirements emerge. We're moving ahead with our research in ways that could resolve each of those issues while utilizing control technology."

"For example, regarding wheelchair research, quite a lot of people can't use a joystick. As the population ages, there'll be a rapid increase in wheelchair users, so new user interfaces will appear. Accordingly, specialists in signal processing are creating various technologies, such as measuring brain signals, voluntary blink signals and so on. But in many cases, they don't have technologies relating to mobility, so I think that's one strength of our laboratory. By teaming up with signal processing specialists, I think we can develop means of mobility, such as automobiles and wheelchairs, with new user interfaces. Regarding the measurement of walking, we'd like to focus on collaboration between healthcare and engineering specialists. When users actually gather to discuss this topic, we don't have much knowledge of how to feed the results back to users. So, we'd like to pursue that aspect of the research by bringing in expertise from people in the Faculty of Medicine."

 

Source: 

Related Articles

Christmas Lights & Illumination in Tokyo - AkihabaraNews.com
Forgive, if you will, the on-the-way-home, low-q, but high-res video. This illumination as animation display is one of Tokyo's most original and entertaining, and we had to share.

Lotte Fit's recent cutest, oddest, and fluffiest commercial

TokyoStreetView - April 26, 2015

TokyoStreetView: Akihabara! (4K VIDEO)
It was after the second world war that Akihabara became Tokyo’s hottest market for electronics and other household goods, but it wasn’t until around 1980 that Akihabara started to became the place to go for all your computer needs - and then, it changed again...
Top 5 Japanese Tech Videos of the Week - AkihabaraNews.com

AkihabaraNews on YouTube
The weekly roundup of our new, original tech videos from here in Tokyo and all over Japan, plus favorites from our partners and the best clips from the past week's posts - subscribe and automate! 

Christmas in Japan - AkihabaraNews.com

"Christmas in Japan," by Paul Anka

Wow. This exists.

Whether it's accurate or not is hard to say, but according to the YouTube:

Editor - January 20, 2015

Thanko released a super-rugged IP68 waterproof/dustproof iPhone case. With it, you have no worries to play with your iPhone with the case, for example, in the bathtub, and at the beach or snowy mountain.
Top 5 Japanese Tech Videos of the Week - AkihabaraNews.com
1) Traditional Japanese dolls being traditional, (2) Micro-optical resonators creating wallets for light, (3) Teaser video for live action Attack on Titan movie, (4) CASIO throws down on the G-SHOCK marketing, and (5) Summer taiko drumming performance in Ebisu!
Game Life Asagaya: Nintendo Famicom Exhibit

From Contributor Reece Scott; be sure to check out the full-sized images below. Old-school gaming nostalgia in 3...2...1...  
-Ed.

•••

Honda Made a Manga - AkihabaraNews.com

The Road to Dakar
Chapter 2 - All for the Win...

Honda’s released the second chapter of the manga detailing their return to the world’s toughest rally raid. 

At the Manufacturing Business Matching Fair, Kuwana exhibited high performance electroless nickel plating that does not include harmful substances in the membrane.
Toshiba REGZA Super Serious - AkihabaraNews.com

Unflinching Dedication to High-Def
Okay, so be forewarned that this isn't really news, we just want you to watch this video because it's funny how serious this CEATEC spokesdancer was about Toshiba 4K TVs. She was unshakable. Like a rock. She believed in the power of TV with resolution that's beyond the perceptive capability of the human eye!

Bonsai Lab, Inc. has released the reasonably-priced compact 3D printer BS01 on April 1.

In December, 2013, 3D printer BS01 was sold for 3 weeks only at the cloud funding site "kibidango". It collected the targeted amount of money after just 2 days, and reached about ¥10,500,000 funding in 3 weeks, an amount about 5 times more than their targeted amount.

 

The Hairlytop Interface is an interactive surface display made of soft solid-state actuators and optical sensors which react to light. Jointly developed by the University of Electro-Communications and Symphodia Phil, when placed on an iPad that is playing a video, it moves organically, like a living thing, in response to changes in the brightness of the screen.

"One feature of this system is that the motion is very cute, like that of an animal. Another feature is that it can be used extremely freely in terms of design."

Pages