Special Issue on Self-Organization System
Prof. Toshio Fukuda and Dr. Mitsuo Wada
This special issue was planned a year ago by Prof. T. Fukuda and Dr. M. Wada to promote the research works in new robotics and mechatronics fields from the perspective of systems theory and engineering. There have been several leading works in Japan, most of which were published in Japanese. Thus this special issue is aimed at making these works available to the world. Self-organizing systems were once studied in late 1960s and early 1970s by many scientists, who were inspired by the research work, “Cybernetics” and “Perceptron” (later Neural Networks). However, because of the lack of computational capabilities, those works provided less useful theories and results, and they left obstacles for actual implementation. Today’s computational power realizes a new dimension to solve those problems through the advanced technologies and to provide new system concept and architecture based on the “distributed autonomy”. The “massive parallel and massive distributed system” concept, which is made possible by today’s technologies, is one of the good examples from the perspective of the computer information, advanced communication, and software technologies. These concepts are creating great incentives to the “New Self-Organizing System” in the modern robotic and mechatronics technologies. In this issue, the authors first discuss the relationship between the multiple robot system and the human society from the perspective of the selfevolving system of robotics in the light of information science and sociology. Then, many applications will be described in which the self-organizing system is applied to the system coordination and cooperation of the multiple robot system from the perspectives of sensing, neuro-fuzzy control, system architecture, mobile robots, intelligent communication, multiple manipulator control, and microtechnologies. Because there are many potential application fields for these concepts, including the power supply network and plant control system, we expect that through this special issue there will be more active discussions concerning these topics around the world and that there will be more growing contributions to this field.