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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Specialized Seminar I (Health and Welfare Industries Studies)

Pursuing global performance through technology and management

Kan Okamoto
4th-Year Student, School of Human Sciences

As Japan enters a super-aged society, the development of medical welfare and service robots has become an urgent issue. This seminar is a gathering of people who seek to respond to such needs and develop technology which will benefit society by helping those around us. The seminar develops a variety of robots, including one which prevents locomotive syndrome (increased risk of requiring nursing care due to trouble carrying out daily activities as the result of weakened functioning of joints and muscles due to aging). Specifically, we are developing a robot named Tocco-Chan to support training which is effective for preventing locomotive syndrome. We are also creating a robot called Jukusui-Kun which provides support for sleep apnea syndrome by detecting the sleeping condition of the patient from the sound of snoring and oxygen saturation. Jukusui-Kun then encourages the patients to assume a position in which natural breathing is possible.

Half of the seminar consists of fundamental knowledge for robot development, while the other half consists of discussion regarding practical business application. This discussion draws upon Professor Akiyoshi Kabe’s experience working at a major electronics manufacturer. Students are greatly stimulated by discussion themes on how to utilize technological ideas in actual business. Every year, students participate in a business plan contest as an opportunity to apply what they have learned. My seminar class won the 1st Waseda University Application Contest, marking a great achievement for Waseda University.

Our seminar class also traveled to Singapore this summer for a technical camp together with students at Nanyang Technological University. I am surrounded by outstanding classmates and respected senior researchers who are positioned at institutes throughout Japan and the world. The seminar has provided me with a very fulfilling experience.

Students are happy to display their completed robot at an international exhibition!

Seminar students form lasting friendships by overcoming difficulties together!