Waseda University has been one of the leading research sites for anthropomorphic robots since the late Prof. Ichiro Kato and his colleagues started the WABOT Project in 1970. Since then, just about ten years, by integrating the latest key technologies, we have developed a variety of humanoid robots including WABOT-1 which is the first full-scale human-like robot made in 1973, the musician robot WABOT-2 in 1984, Hadaly-2 which works together with a human partner and the biped walking robot WABIAN in 1997. Not only a lot of fundamental technology was created but also the many talented engineers and scientists were nurtured from these activities.
Based on above results, Waseda University established the Humanoid Robotics Institute in April 2000 to promote research activities which aim to construct a new relationship between humans and machines in the advanced information society. Essentially, it is expected that a robot will provide assistance in housework, for aged people and for entertainment to keep up the amenity of life and human environment in the next century. A type of human robot, a Humanoid is expected, to work together with human partners in our living environment, and it will share the same working space and will experience the same thinking and behavior patterns as a human being. The robot will integrate information from sensors and show coordinated actions which realize a high level of communication with a human without any special training using multimedia such as speech, facial expression and body movement.
This homepage introduces the recent results of individual research groups. Although Robotics is essentially an interdisciplinary engineering, it is vital that humanoid research be done in cooperation with biology, psychology, sociology and medicine. The Humanoid Robotics Institute will open the door for researchers from both inside and outside of the university to serve not only the academic and industry worlds but also society as a whole.