Human Augmentation

Research on systems to be attached to human, in order to enhance and empower human functions

By conducting research on wearable sensors, robots, VR devices, and also deeply understanding human sensation, dynamics and psychological functions, we aim for realizing systems to be attached to human, in order to enhance and empower human functions.

Faculty Members

Human augmentation is a new research field for enhancement of physical and psychological functions of humans through wearable sensors, VR / AR, robots, etc. In our laboratory, elemental technologies are integrated for improving physical ability, willingness to continue, and cognitive ability based on an active model (Action-Perception) in which a person changes the environment by his / her own actions with augmented ability and perceives the change. The Human Augmentation Laboratory has been established in the AIST Kashiwa Center at the Kashiwa II Campus, and three researchers belonging to Human Augmentation Research Center of AIST have been assigned as visiting professors. Our research interests are related to nursing care, health, and work situations. We set concrete research topic through collaboration with companies and medical institutions.

Human augmentation research based on the Action-Perception model

As human augmentation of life functions using robotics technology, we are conducting research on assistive robotics for daily activities and elderly care. Research topics includes the development of novel assistive systems such as android robots to support communication skills of ASD children, and robotic suits for walking support. We are also conducting research on the evaluation of assistive robots, for example, by estimating daily activities based on collected usage data from IoT function embedded in robots, and by analyzing change of physical and living conditions based on log-term care insurance receipt data. We have found that the long-term use of assistive devices such as walkers affects the maintenance of the physical abilities of elderly people and their ability to keep living at home.

Augmentation and evaluation of life functions using robotic technologies

Human augmentation technology augments human motor and sensory capabilities by designing their interactions. This technology consists of ① daily multimodal measurement, ② modeling, analysis, and simulation, and ③ kinodynamic / cognitive control and real-time intervention. ① involves a development of human measurement technology using an image recognition by machine learning technology and wearable devices using flexible sensors, ② involves a development of musculoskeletal knodynamic analysis technology based on biomechanics and motion generation technology using deep learning technology, and ③ involves a development of real-time intervention system using environmental kinodynamic / cognitive control based on robotics technology. Real-time loop of ①-②-③ would modify human behaviors and realize human augmentation technology.

Interaction Design for Human Augmentation