Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro received a D.Eng. in systems engineering from Osaka University in 1991. He teaches in the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, where he is the group leader of the Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR). His research interests include distributed sensor systems, interactive robotics, and android science. He has published more than 300 papers in major journals and conferences. Ishiguro has developed many humanoids and androids, called Robovie, Repliee, Geminoid, Telenoid, Elfoid and Hugvie. These robots have been featured in major media outlets such as the Discovery Channel, NHK and BBC, and Ishiguro received the Best Humanoid Award four times in RoboCup. In 2007, Synectics Survey of Contemporary Genius 2007 named Ishiguro one of the Top 100 Living Geniuses. In 2011, he won the Osaka Cultural Award presented by the Osaka Prefectural Government and the Osaka City Government for his contribution to the advancement of culture in Osaka.
Dr. Ishiguro directs the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, aims to develop technologies that support future generation information infrastructures based on computer vision, robotics and Artificial Intelligence. With this goal in mind, the laboratory focuses on the research and development of two main platforms: Perceptual Information Infrastructure and Intelligent Robot Infrastructure. Through this research, the laboratory hopes to create robots that can successfully co-exist with humans. The Perceptual Information Infrastructure platform monitors and recognizes environment patterns through sensor networks. These sensor networks track people in real-time and recognize human behavior, providing rich information for understanding real world events and how people and robots can work together in actual situations. The Intelligent Robot Infrastructure platform is an interaction-based infrastructure. By interacting with robots, people can establish nonverbal communications with artificial systems. The laboratory's research on the coexistence of humans and robots is closely linked to the fundamental question of "what makes humans human?" The Intelligent Robotics Laboratory also conducts experiments on street corners and in hospitals to assess how robots might assist humans in everyday life. Applying research results in actual situations allows the laboratory to continue working to find a perfect model for the application of information infrastructures in near future society.
About the Robots:
Geminoid F (Sayonara) is a female type tele-operated android that resembles the person it was originally modeled after. Geminoid F is equipped with 12 motorized actuators powered by air pressure, which allows it to mimic human facial expressions. Geminoid F is more cost efficient and lighter weight in comparison to the other model, the Geminoid HI-2. With these features, the Geminoid F has potential to go beyond an experimental platform and become a commonly used robot in human society. Geminoid F made its theatrical debut in Sayonara.
Robovie R3 (I, Worker) is a life-sized robot invented to research communications between humans and robots. Robovie R3 was released in the market in April 2010 as the successor of Robovie-R ver. 2, a high-performance robot designed to perform daily activities. Robovie R3 was developed to be able to move over raised marks on the sidewalk (designed to assist visually-impaired individuals) and down slopes at the speed of 2.5 km/h, making it able to provide services such as accompanying and navigating in daily activities. Additional functions can be achieved by Robovie R3 by adding parts such as a wireless controller commonly used for home video games, a gripping-hand extension and an omnidirectional device that allows the robot to move in all directions. Robovie R3's theatrical debut was in October 2012, in the production of Three Sisters, Android Version, written and directed by Oriza Hirata.
Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced more than 600 of Japan's finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. Programs range from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku and kabuki to cutting-Edge Theater, dance and music. The Program also commissions new works to non-Japanese artists, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs. "At once diverse and daring, the program stands toe to toe with some of the most comprehensive cultural exchange endeavors today." --Back Stage.
A slate of standout programs follows Seinendan Theater Company and Osaka University's Robot Theater Project in the Spring 2013 Performing Arts Season. In March, Japan Society delivers Nocturne: Reemergence through Music, part of a programming series commemorating the two-year anniversary of 3/11, a concert featuring acclaimed Amsterdam-based pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama's Nocturne project; Macbeth, featuring kyogen star Mansai Nomura in a production that blends the tradition of kyogen with a contemporary take on a Western classic; and SANBASO, divine dance, co-presented with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in their Rotunda, as Mansai Nomura performs Japan's oldest celebratory dance featuring accompaniment from noh musicians, in a stage set designed by internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. Completing the Spring season, a popular event returns in April, as the Annual Play Reading Series: Contemporary Japanese Plays in English Translation showcases Strolling Invader by Tomohiro Maekawa, translated and directed by NY-based theater artist Aya Ogawa.
Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.
Performances are Thursday, February 7, Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9 at 7:30pm* *Thursday, February 7 performance followed by MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception. *Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9 performances followed by Q&A with Oriza Hirata & Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro.
Tickets are $28 / $25 Japan Society members. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 212-715-1258 or in person at Japan Society (M-F 11:00am - 6:00pm and Sat-Sun 11:00am - 5:00pm). Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second Avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.
Lecture: How to Create Your Own Humanoid: Robot Science Made in Japan
Tuesday, February 5 at 6:30pm
Tickets $12 / $8 Japan Society members
In How to Create Your Own Humanoid: Robot Science Made in Japan, Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro lectures on his research and appears in conversation with Marilyn Monrobot founder Heather Knight to discuss topics ranging from practical uses of humanoids to the burgeoning science of brain-machine interface that can remotely operate machines. Moderated by IEEE Spectrum's Erico Guizzo, the talk takes place Tuesday, February 5, 6:30 pm at Japan Society and is followed by a reception.
Workshop: Exploring Naturalism: Acting Workshop with Oriza Hirata
Saturday, February 9 from 1:00 - 4:00pm
Tickets $30 / $25 Japan Society members
Oriza Hirata (founder, writer, director), Seinendan Theater Company, leads his trademark workshop in investigating methods of naturalistic acting. Through the use of simple dialogue, he delves into the subtle craft of recreating and re-enacting everyday life on stage.
Maximum 20 people. Some acting experience preferred.
Observer tickets may be available for this workshop after regular tickets have sold out.
Robot Theater Project six-city North American Tour:
January 31 - February 2 Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH)
February 7 - 9 Japan Society (New York, NY)
February 15 - 16 Philadelphia Live Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
February 21-22 Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT)
February 26 - March 2 Canadian Stage (Toronto, Canada)
March 8 - 9 Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA)
Pictured: "I, Worker", Wakamaru, Hiroshi Ota. Photo Credit: Osaka University & Eager Co. Ltd.