Control systems to achieve a networked society that’s friendly to people and the environment
At Keio University, the Ryogo Kubo Laboratory, in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (Faculty of Science and Technology), aims to help achieve a society that’s friendly to people and the environment from the viewpoint of infrastructure services. The Laboratory does research in the fields of control engineering, to enable systems to be operated freely, and information and communications engineering, to connect multiple systems through networks.
"As the performance of systems increases, it becomes possible to implement services that couldn’t be achieved before, such as electric power management and data communication services, to provide more options in daily life. And because it’s essential to make society sustainable, rather than just improving convenience, we’d like to help achieve a variety of services that also reduce energy consumption."
The networked society of the future will emerge through research in many different disciplines. By combining control engineering with information and communications engineering, the Ryogo Kubo Lab is doing R&D on two new technologies.
"One of our research projects involves controlling motors and other actuator equipment via networks. To achieve that, firstly, in terms of information and communications, on the network side, we need to achieve low delay or low packet loss. In terms of control, we need to achieve high-precision, stable control, even if there’s delay on the control side.Another thing we do is research on energy-saving in networks. One specific example is technology for saving energy by using sleep mode; the idea is to put network equipment into sleep mode when there’s no traffic. But traffic flows continuously, so using sleep mode has to be scheduled effectively. We’re considering what methods are needed to do that, primarily from the viewpoint of control engineering. In our lab, we combine those fields to take a two-sided approach: The idea is to minimize delay and packet loss on the network side, and compensate for unavoidable delay or loss on the control side."
The world of networks evolves from day to day. Controlling networks efficiently makes it possible to suggest a variety of services, and to reduce energy consumption, helping to make society both sustainable and full of benefits. By researching two technologies – control engineering and information and communications engineering – the Kubo Laboratory is contributing to the world, in partnership with various institutions and academic societies.
"We do a lot of systems research, especially. In systems research, it’s important for us to work hard, doing research and study day and night, but that’s not all: I think we need to bear in mind that systems are used in society, and someone will benefit from the related services, so we have to be aware of how systems are used. Accordingly, in our research, we need to consider how the systems we construct are useful to society, what features are necessary right now, and how they might be necessary in the future."