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Robotics: Challenges & Opportunities in the 21st Century

RoboticsRobotics is now faced with new challenges to develop applicable and profitable robotic devices for domains less constrained than the industrial ones. There is, here, a major challenge for the 21st century Robotics that can be only overcome through the tight collaboration between academic and industrial partners. The goal of the session is to discuss current progress in robotics research and emerging application areas arising from the demographic shift of the society. Existing cooperation work from the HeKKSaGOn network will be presented. Furthermore, we will discuss the different possibilities for collaborative start-up projects between Japanese and German Universities. 



  • Prof. Tamim Asfour, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Chair)
  • Prof. Kazuhiro Kosuge, Tohoku University (Co-Chair)
  • Prof. Shinya Aoi, Kyoto University
  • Prof. Minoru Asada, University of Osaka
  • Prof. Essameddin Badreddin, University of Heidelberg
  • Prof. Fumitoshi Matsuno, Kyoto University
  • Prof. Satoshi Tadokoro, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Florentin Wörgötter, University of Göttingen
  • Prof. Kazuya Yoshida, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Katja Mombaur, University of Heidelberg

Published Work

Collaboration between Kyoto and Göttingen: The work with between Kyoto (Prof. Matsuno) was the successful attempt to implement neural controller from Göttingen (Prof. Wörgötter) onto the snake-like screw-drive robot (name: Nejihebi Robot) from Kyoto. This was the work of Timo Nachstedt who spent 8 weeks there and used these results for his Master's thesis. During this time general reactive control has been achieved, but still no goal directed movement. This was complemented by Yuichi Ambe from Kyoto, who joined the group in Göttingen for about 4 months to work on adaptive control of multi-legged and compartmentalized robots and used this work for his PhD, which is about to finish now. The work on the on the Nejihebi was continued by Sromona Chatterjee during her Master's thesis, where she implemented advanced reinforcement learning mechanisms (using the PI^2 algorithm) to achieve in simulation goal-directed movement of the robot. She went to Kyoto for two weeks to successfully implement this on the real machine. All in all this collaboration has led to three joint publications between Kyoto and Göttingen.

Conferences & Symposiums

The working group participated actively in all previous HeKKSaGOn Presidents Conferences. In addition, several meetings between members of the groups took place in conjunction of international robotics conferences (ICRA, IROS, Humanoids).