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Campus Now

May

NEWS REPORT

The human symbiotic robot TWENDY-ONE developed

Cutting-edge robot that flabbergasted the world

Sugano Laboratory

On November 27, 2007, the team led by Professor Shigeki Sugano of Department of Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering released the new human symbiotic robot TWENDY-ONE.

TWENDY-ONE was developed consuming about 7 years based on the technology used for Wendy, which was developed in 1999, and the collaboration among over 20 firms.

Student leader: Yasusuke Sugaiwa, 2-year doctoral student of Department of Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering

Human symbiotic robots are aimed at doing some kind of task with people for domestic affairs and nursing care, etc. Accordingly, human symbiotic robots need to have high safety and workability, but the technology for actualizing such robots has been considered difficult to develop. TWENDY-ONE is full of cutting-edge technologies, including the function to adjust to human motion and the fingers that move in a complex manner. In addition, the system integration technology for integrating these technologies is at a high level. This robot astonished the world, as a distinctive one compared with conventional robots.

To put it into practical use, we aim to introduce this robot to welfare facilities as a nursing-care robot in 2015. Professor Sugano mentioned their future mission as follows:

"TWENDY-ONE is the first prototype with which we can conduct the full-scale assessment experiment for coexistence with people. Our mission is to accumulate data and offer them to firms. We hope to make this robot useful in the world as soon as possible."

TWENDY-ONE website
http://twendyone.com/index.html

TWENDY-ONE R&D team

Comment from the professor

World-class robots increased again

Professor Shigeki Sugano
Department of Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering

After the 7-year incubation period, we finally made TWENDY-ONE debut. So, Waseda's world-class robots increased again. We are now receiving inquiries from around the world. This outcome is attributable to not only the TWENDY-ONE project team but also the continuous collaboration of the robot research teams in Waseda University. Students also broadened their research networks beyond departments and schools, exerting their power. Such Waseda's characteristic horizontal collaboration is a great strength.

History of robot research in Waseda University
  • 1970 When Prof. Ichiro Kato and Prof. Katsuhiko Shirai chatted, they saw a person kindly making tea, and then came up with the idea of "developing a robot that can assist people." After that, they embarked on the research into humanoid robots.
  • 1973 The world's first humanoid robot WABOT-1 was developed.
  • 1984 The keyboard instrument-playing robot WABOT-2 was developed.
  • 1996 The human symbiotic robot Hadaly-2 and the ambulatory robot WABIAN were developed.
  • 1999 Wendy was developed.
  • 2000 Humanoid Robotics Institute was established in Waseda University. (The TWENDY-ONE development project was commenced secretly.)
  • 2007 TWENDY-ONE was released.