What do you specialize in?
My main research field is intelligent robotics. My research themes include sensing, recognition, machine learning, action planning, end-effectors, and system integration for robots.
Why did you become a researcher?
Originally, I was interested in automatic machines that are useful in people's lives, so I chose a university where research in the robotics field is active. After that, I became very interested in human wisdom. Therefore I decided to become a researcher because I wanted to pursue the creation of intelligence for automatic machines that work wisely and help people.
Could you give us examples of some moments you enjoy as a researcher?
When I was studying an image recognition method for cloth materials, I proposed and verified various image features. In the end, I couldn't achieve much accuracy for my original purpose. However, on a data analysis that was done casually, I found that one of the features proposed there was very useful for another purpose. In this way, I feel joy as a researcher when I conduct trial and error having various options and then can make good use of them. Robotics is a comprehensive field that incorporates knowledge from various research fields, so I am uplifted when I discover new research themes through discussing with researchers from different fields. Recently, I was able to propose a new theme with a researcher specializing in neurophysiology.
Do you have a goal you are currently working toward?
Currently, my main research theme is to construct intelligent systems for dexterously manipulating flexible objects such as cloth and strings. If it can be done, the manipulation target and target work of autonomous robots can be greatly expanded. Also, it will be a basic technology that can be applied in situations such as product manufacturing, retailing, living support, and medical care. I am happy if I can clarify the technical path.
Could you tell us about three items such as work tools, books or souvenirs you purchased on your trip to academic meetings?
The first is a small case that holds personal computer peripherals. With this, most troubles can be solved.
The second is coins (though this is not purchased). I have been collecting old coins since I was a child. On overseas business trips, I can't resist collecting coins from the country I went to.
The third is the magnets. When I go on a business trip, it is customary to buy magnets that are unique to that country or region. These are souvenirs for my wife :-)
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