Aichi Prefecture


Sony Envisions an AI-Fueled World, From Kitchen Bots to Games

#artificialintelligence

In 1997, Hiroaki Kitano, a research scientist at Sony, helped organize the first Robocup, a robot soccer tournament that attracted teams of robotics and artificial intelligence researchers to compete in the picturesque city of Nagoya, Japan. At the start of the first day, two teams of robots took to the pitch. As the machines twitched and surveyed their surroundings, a reporter asked Kitano when the match would begin. "I told him it started five minutes ago!" he says with a laugh. Such was the state of AI and robotics at the time.


Toyota group firms test out labor-saving prototype products at Gifu shopping mall

The Japan Times

Major component-makers of the Toyota group have launched an experiment of letting consumers and shop staff try their products under development at a shopping mall in the city of Gifu. Osaka-based Jtekt Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., based in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, introduced products designed to help reduce burdens on shoppers and staff at the Colorful Town Gifu commercial complex. After the experiment, which will run until the end of this month, user feedback will be reflected in the development of next-generation products. At a Nitori Co. outlet, a furniture and interior shop, a store staffer wore a Power Assist Suit while removing a large cardboard box from a push cart and putting it on a shelf. The suit is a Jtekt-developed wearable device that reduces the strain on the back when lifting heavy objects.


Toyota to cut managers' summer bonus by up to 5% due to high R&D costs

The Japan Times

NAGOYA - Toyota Motor Corp. will cut summer bonuses for some 9,800 managers by 4 to 5 percent, as it looks to tighten cost control in the face of high spending on developing technology for autonomous and electrified vehicles, a source close to the matter said Thursday. The decision comes even as the company expects a 19.5 percent rise in net profit in the current fiscal year, and reflects an uncertain business outlook due to the prolonged trade war between the United States and China, the source said. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Thursday at an annual shareholders' meeting that his company is boosting efforts in developing zero-emission vehicles including fuel cell vehicles. "We are facing a once-in-a-century transformation. I hope to build a mobility society of the future with our shareholders," Toyoda said at the meeting at its headquarters in Aichi Prefecture.


Teaching robots how to move objects

#artificialintelligence

With the push of a button, months of hard work were about to be put to the test. Sixteen teams of engineers convened in a cavernous exhibit hall in Nagoya, Japan, for the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge. The robotic systems they built were tasked with removing items from bins and placing them into boxes. For graduate student Maria Bauza, who served as task-planning lead for the MIT-Princeton Team, the moment was particularly nerve-wracking. "It was super stressful when the competition started," recalls Bauza.


Aichi team develops self-driving robots to tackle labor shortage in farming

The Japan Times

Amid a severe shortage of manpower, a team comprised of researchers from private companies and a university in Aichi Prefecture is working on developing a self-driving robot that uses cutting-edge technology to support flower-growing farmers. In fiscal 2019 the group hopes to start marketing automated, handcart-type robots that follow pickers of roses and chrysanthemums, carry the cut flowers, and deliver them to collection points. In a laboratory at Toyohashi University of Technology in Toyohashi, a roughly 1-meter-high handcart-type robot -- equipped with three cameras and two infrared radar devices -- moves back and forth, changing direction smoothly. The robot, which recognizes its location through camera footage, can self-drive on the farm grounds or inside greenhouses, follow flower pickers while keeping a certain distance, collect picked flowers, and carry them to designated collection points. Following flower pickers and transporting cut flowers became possible through the use of autonomous driving technology that involves the 3D mapping of farm grounds.


Teaching Robots How to Move Objects

#artificialintelligence

MIT doctoral student Maria Bauza is exploring providing tactile feedback to robots. With the push of a button, months of hard work were about to be put to the test. Sixteen teams of engineers convened in a cavernous exhibit hall in Nagoya, Japan, for the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge. The robotic systems they built were tasked with removing items from bins and placing them into boxes. For MIT graduate student Maria Bauza, who served as task-planning lead for the MIT-Princeton Team, the moment was particularly nerve-wracking.


Teaching robots how to move objects

Robohub

By Mary Beth O'Leary With the push of a button, months of hard work were about to be put to the test. Sixteen teams of engineers convened in a cavernous exhibit hall in Nagoya, Japan, for the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge. The robotic systems they built were tasked with removing items from bins and placing them into boxes. For graduate student Maria Bauza, who served as task-planning lead for the MIT-Princeton Team, the moment was particularly nerve-wracking. "It was super stressful when the competition started," recalls Bauza.


Japanese IT venture launches AI-aided foodie app in rapidly growing Myanmar

The Japan Times

YANGON, MYANMAR – A Japanese information technology venture in Myanmar has launched a gourmet information app assisted by artificial intelligence technology to cater to growing numbers of smartphone users in the country. World Street Myanmar Yathar Co., established by Aichi Prefecture-based advertising agency Nagata Co. as a major shareholder, says it recently kicked off an app named Yathar, which means taste in the Myanmar language, to offer personalized recommendations at eateries and post customer feedback. Shunsuke Ichikawa, CEO of the local venture, told NNA his firm is introducing the foodie platform in Myanmar because it is good timing to invest in the emerging economy in light of recent developments in its telecommunications infrastructure. The nation's telecom market liberalization in 2013 sharply boosted the smartphone penetration rate from 2 percent in 2011 to 95.6 percent in 2016, according to International Telecommunication Union data cited by the IT venture. Ichikawa said Yathar will provide users with fair and supportive information based on reviews of food services ranging from high-end restaurants to stall vendors.


Perception-Action-Learning System for Mobile Social-Service Robots Using Deep Learning

AAAI Conferences

We introduce a novel perception-action-learning system for mobile social-service robots. The state-of-the-art deep learning techniques were incorporated into each module which significantly improves the performance in solving social service tasks. The system not only demonstrated fast and robust performance in a homelike environment but also achieved the highest score in the RoboCup2017@Home Social Standard Platform League (SSPL) held in Nagoya, Japan.


Lee

AAAI Conferences

We introduce a novel perception-action-learning system for mobile social-service robots. The state-of-the-art deep learning techniques were incorporated into each module which significantly improves the performance in solving social service tasks. The system not only demonstrated fast and robust performance in a homelike environment but also achieved the highest score in the RoboCup2017@Home Social Standard Platform League (SSPL) held in Nagoya, Japan.