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

Sigma dp2 Quattro Interview - AkihabaraNews.com

Wild form factor for a very traditional albeit high tech tool.

Yoriko Takahashi - March 28, 2014

With Thanko's Night-Vision Scope Camera, you can see clearly something that you cannot usually see in the dark.

There is a 7-level adjustable infrared mode to see objects in dark places. A 3X power telescope and 2X digital zoom lens enable you to observe distant objects. Also, you are able to shoot still/moving images with it so that it might be fun to use it on your friends - scare them at night-time and record their reaction!

It is also usable in the day time as well by using the infrared cut filter attached to the body.
 

You Tell Us: Did Sony's Sexed-Up PS Vita Ad Deserve to be Yanked? - AkihabaraNews.com
The YouTube spot features(ed) a seductively fem-British medical professional breathily placating and reassuring an implicitly male patient struggling with uhhh...struggling with himself...a little too much. It’s well beyond innuendo, but then in the reveal it turns out she’s not talking about self-interfering at all (watch below).
Polysis, a specialist developer of polyurethane resins and resin products, markets haplafreely, a plastic that turns to clay when heated to temperatures above 60°C.
REVIEW: Casio Selfie-Cam (Me, Myself & I)

The Casio EX-TR35 is a peculiar beast...
Were you to look at the specs, you’d see a 12 megapixel 1/23 inch backlit CMOS sensor mated to a 3.8mm (Full frame equivalent of 21mm) lens in a small, but not particularly impressive, plastic body.

Editor - July 08, 2015

A Japanese candy company, UHA Mikakuto, has released salt-grilled salmon flavored gummy candy. There are salmon flakes in the center of the candy - UHA Mikakuto pursue real salmon flavor fearlessly. It's probably a super fishy candy so you might want to eat it with rice. Indeed, welcome to Japan.

Editor - December 10, 2014

Top 5 Japanese Tech Videos of the Week - AkihabaraNews.com
1. Shoulder Bag-Based Pop-Up Tablet Mount; 2. Odaiba in 4K; 3. Amazingly Choreographed Christmas Lights; 4. Remembering the Father of Video Games; and 5. Put a Wirelessly Controlled HD Cam in Anything!
[ALERT: MORE DORKY THAN DORKY - ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK] At JIMTOF 2014, Kitagawa Iron Works exhibited the DLL chuck, a new chuck that eliminates the need for setup by further enhancing the conventional jaw based parallel draw-down type chuck that secures a workpiece to chuck surface.

Editor - February 02, 2015

Top 5 Japanese Tech Videos of the Week - AkihabaraNews.com
Here's What We've been Watching for the Past week: (1) Cars and Women; (2) 147" 4K Projector; (3) Casio's Chordana App; (4) TokyoStreetView's Beautiful 4K Park; (5) Seriously Do We Really Need That Many Kinds of Squid-Based Snacky Snacks?
Dyson's 360 Eye Robo-Vacuum Arrives Late, and That is Totally Fine
This is really a high-end home appliance - as a product, more akin to a washing machine or refrigerator than a smartphone - and in this realm, a brand new line being six months late is better than on-time but undercooked. We see here some real competition for the company than currently owns the Japanese market.
AkihabaraNews on YouTube!

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! 

Editor - April 28, 2014

AkihabaraNews on YouTube!

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! 

Editor - June 23, 2014

AkihabaraNews on YouTube!

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! 

Pages