Special Issue on Ambient Intelligence
Mihoko Niitsuma and Tamio Tanikawa
With research on human-assist robot systems increasingly using distributed sensors and actuators, robots are expected to provide appropriate real-time real-life support to users. Ambient intelligence, an approach important in realizing human-robot coexistence, helps robot devices adapt and act in real environments, since ambient intelligence is a technology basic to providing such abilities. Flexible, reliable system integration based on environment size and purpose is important in realizing ambient intelligence. The 8 papers in this special issue, all of which explore cutting-edge research, present the latest in ambient intelligence and its applications. The first three papers propose real-world observation in ambient intelligence. One example of major research topics in observation functions is the localization of human beings and objects, including mobile robots. Object recognition also is an important issue in supporting human beings. Papers 4 and 5 cover observation system design issues, including optimizing sensor arrangements to classify activities and for flexibly and efficiently integrating multiple distributed sensors. The last three papers discuss ways to automatically build ontology to help robots understand user intent, frameworks for flexibly and scalably integrating distributed robot technology elements, and strategy and mechanism design methodology for robot systems transferring and storing objects in home environments. We thank the authors for their invaluable contributions in submitting their latest research results to this issue. We are grateful to the reviewers for their precious time and effort. We also thank the Editorial Board members of the Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics for helping make this issue possible.
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