Special Issue on Human Oriented Technology in Robotics and Mechatronics
Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita-13, Nishi-8, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060 Japan
As a desire for leeway and richness in human living rises with the twenty-first century close at hand, the following problems are becoming social subjects of discussion; a rapid progress in the coming of the advanced aged society, a large number of women’s participation to the society, and the internationalization of our life; a decrease in population of the young generation , an increase in the responsibility of an age of DANKAI (people who were born in a baby boom just after the World War II), and an increase in handicapped people caused by the rising accidents. In such circumstances, the technology that is based on the society and can cope with the various needs result from the transition and diversity of value judgment in our life is requested. This technology includes how to live healthily, how to lead a worthwhile life, how to make the most of spare time, reduction of domestic affairs, prevention of stress, realization of the safe and received social life that occurs no accidents, consideration on a global scale to our environment and so on. Therefore, in point of the human oriented technical development in the fields of robotics and mechatronics, development and realization of the “human friendly”, “reliable” technology are greatly expected that considers the mind and the intellect concerning human nature and sociality and especially thinks highly of human individuality. The human oriented technology in robots and machines is a technology to join men ourselves, life and technology at a “mind” level. Its produce a new technological paradigm that changes household products and industrial technology from the usual state of being based on the advanced technological development in property and efficiency to the state of being basd on human life side on the basis of health, safety, convenience, and confort. This special article has been organized from the point of view of such human oriented technology, specially in the field of robotics and mechatronics. I would like to express my thanks to those who have found time in their busy lives to express my thanks to this special article. There are more papers that were presented at the various symposia in Japan, so only a function of them were included in this article because of the limitation of space. And it will be my great pleasure if readers can understand the latest situation of the research in this field from this issue. Finally, my thanks are also due to Dr. Makoto Shimojo (National Institute of Bio-sciences and Human-Technology) who helped in editing this article.