28th International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics
AROB 28th 2023
8th International Symposium on BioComplexity
6th International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics
January 25-27, 2023
B-Con PLAZA, Beppu, JAPAN and ONLINE (Zoom)

Invited Speakers

*All time is in Japan Standard Time (GMT+9).

January 25, 2022, 9:00 - 9:30
OS13 AROB: Control System Security and Encrypted Control

Kiminao Kogiso

Associate Professor, The University of Electro-Communications, Japan

Encrypted Control: Secure Implementation of Digital Controllers

The cybersecurity of networked control systems is a matter of critical importance. Many cyberattacks targeting control systems have been reported, such as the controller parameter falsification attack by the “Stuxnet” computer worm and the false data injection attack suffered by the Ukraine power grid. These incidents have motivated research into the prevention and detection of cyberattacks against networked control systems. In this talk, we present a new concept of encrypted control to enhance the cybersecurity of networked control systems and introduce how to encrypt a linear controller using our modified homomorphic encryption schemes based on public-key encryption systems. A remarkable advantage of the controller encryption is to conceal information processed inside the controller device, such as controller parameters, references (recipes), measurements, control commands, and parameters of plant models in the internal model principle, maintaining an original function of the controller. Even if malicious users hacked the controller device by unauthorized access, it would take much time and cost to decipher and steal the control system’s information. Furthermore, by introducing our recent achievement of a dynamic-key encryption scheme, we discuss the possibility of creating a new academic field to develop control-oriented dynamic-key homomorphic cryptosystems, which it enables to push into practical use.


Dr. Kogiso is an Associate Professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering and Intelligent Systems, The University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Osaka University, Japan, in 1999, 2001, and 2004, respectively. He was a postdoctoral researcher of the 21st Century COE Program and became an Assistant Professor in Department of Information Systems, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, Japan, in 2004 and 2005, respectively. In March 2014, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Intelligent Systems, The University of Electro-Communications. From November 2010 to December 2011, he was a visiting scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology, GA, USA.

Dr. Kogiso currently serves as an Associate Editor for SICE Journal of Control, Measurement, and System Integration.

January 25, 2022, 9:30 - 10:00
OS13 AROB: Control System Security and Encrypted Control

Jun Ueda

Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Safe, Secure, and Stable Motion Control of Telemanipulators

Industry 4.0 will transform the conventional automation systems to efficient cyber-physical systems by taking advantage of today’s information technology. Rapidly transforming automation system architecture introduces cybersecurity risks that did not exist in the past. While protection of cyber-physical systems at the communication level has been extensively studied, there is a void in the study of protection at the motion control level. Allowing malicious system identification and data breach attacks to a motion controller would result in a) leaking of controller architecture, gains, and models, b) interception of motor commands and monitoring signals, and c) system disruption due to falsification of controller gains. Research is needed to establish control theoretic methods to enhance cyber security for networked motion control systems that are tightly coupled with other control requirements such as stability and safety. This talk with provide an overview of the speaker’s recent research activities on safe, secure and stable motion control of networked robotic manipulators. One of the projects encrypts control algorithms, sensor signals, model parameters, and feedback gains, and perform necessary computation of motion commands to servo systems in the ciphertext space without a security hole. Encrypted motion control may be applicable to systems including unilateral remote assembly systems and bilateral teleoperation systems. Another project studies spectral performance measures for a manipulandum-type telemanipulator that physically interacts with a human operator.


Dr. Jun Ueda is a Professor in the G.W.W. School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Ueda received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, in 1994, 1996, and 2002 all in Mechanical Engineering. From 1996 to 2000, he was a Research Engineer at the Advanced Technology Research and Development Center, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan. He was an Assistant Professor of Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan, from 2002 to 2008. During 2005-2008, he was a visiting scholar and lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor in 2008. He served as the Director for the Robotics PhD Program at Georgia Tech for 2015-2017.

Dr. Ueda currently serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and the Chair of the Conference Editorial Board for the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM). He is the author of Cellular Actuators: Modularity and Variability in Muscle-Inspired Actuation, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2017, and Human Modeling for Bio-Inspired Robotics, Academic Press, 2017. He received the Fanuc FA Robot Foundation Best Paper Award in 2005, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award in 2009, Advanced Robotics Best Paper Award in 2015, and Nagamori Award in 2021.

January 25, 2022, 18:55 - 19:25
OS35 SWARM: e-ASIA Joint Research Project 2: Informational system for management of flood and landslide disaster areas using a distributed heterogeneous robotic team

Evgeni Magid

Kazan Federal University, Russia

e-ASIA Joint Research Program: Recent progress in development of an international collaborative informational system for emergency situations management of flood and land slide disaster areas

East Asia is a region that is vulnerable to natural disasters, including floods, land slides and earthquakes. Every year such disasters take human lives and bring significant economic losses. Therefore, it is important to develop technological solutions, which could employ robots and informational systems in order to help predicting natural disasters and negotiating with their consequences.

The project "Informational system for management of flood and land slide disaster areas using a distributed heterogeneous robotic team" is supported by e-ASIA Joint Research Program. Our joint project includes research teams from Russia, Thailand, and Japan, each contributing unique experience and expertise toward achieving common research goals. Based on our experiences of different disasters response, we develop a joint international operation framework for a disaster site management with distributed heterogeneous UAV/UGV/UUV/USV robotic teams. The robot-based information system considers interaction protocols, thematic mapping approaches and map fusion processes. Each team uses different robots to maximize available sensors usage and create a separate thematic map, following joint framework rules. We target to construct and test an informational system that creates a large joint thematic multi-layer map for management of a disaster site.

Japanese team designs control strategies for heterogeneous UAVs/UGVs, graphical user interfaces and Geological Information System that can handle collected data flexibly. Russia team develops a robot simulator in Gazebo and simultaneous localization and mapping technologies. Thailand team develops a new terrestrial mobile robot with rough terrain mobility and manipulation capability and its teleoperation system.

The project provides a new working framework and control strategies for heterogeneous robotic teams’ cooperative behavior in sensing, monitoring and mapping of flood and landslide disaster areas. The new control strategies, interfaces, and communications protocols will be extensively tested in simulations and verified in field experiments. The project improves the understanding of mechanisms involved in technologically supported decision-making for the efficient management of emergency situations. The project affects industrial and technological advancements through the development of autonomous robots and their components, and contributes to society needs through creating a new generation of technological tools for international and national emergency centers.

This talk will summarize the goals, the framework, a recent progress and achievements of the project.


Professor Evgeni Magid is currently an acting Head of Intelligent Robotics Department, a Professor, a founder, and a Head of Laboratory of Intelligent Robotic Systems (LIRS) at Kazan Federal University, which is one of the top 10 Russian universities and the third oldest university in Russia. Professor, founder and a Head of Intelligent Robotic Systems Laboratory at Innopolis University, Russia. He worked at University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK; Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, USA; University of Tsukuba, Japan and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan. He earned his Ph.D. degree (2011) from University of Tsukuba, Japan, and Master (2006) and Bachelor (2002) degrees from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel. Senior member of IEEE, member of ACM and INSTICC. His research interests include urban search and rescue robotics, mobile robotics, path planning, robotic teams, and human-robot interaction. He authors over 200 publications in English, Russian and Japanese languages and 5 patents. As a PI, he conducted over 20 research projects with governmental and industrial external funding, including 3 international projects that engaged foreign research partner teams from top universities of India, Israel, Japan and Thailand.

January 26, 2022, 13:15 - 13:45
OS14 AROB: Human-Centered Robotics-I

Ali Israr

Research Scientist, Facebook Inc., USA

Haptic Information Systems in XR Horizons

Haptic feedback is a powerful medium for information communication, yet current XR technologies underutilize the capacity and capabilities of the haptic system in everyday applications. In today’s consumer industry, simple vibrotactile actuators are commonly incorporated in handheld devices, controllers and wristbands to provide feedback for low information throughput of tactile contacts, impacts, icons, button clicks, and surface texture. Complex and dynamic haptic events, such as object stiffness, shape, and weight during real and virtual object manipulations; spatiotemporal tactile guidance for instructions and user navigation; rich tactile messages for language and interpersonal communication; and haptic feedback for user wellness and well-being, are limited to academic investigations and institutional research. Lack of haptic proliferation in XR landscape is mainly due to the challenges in the size, weight, power, conformability, safety and form factor of the haptic delivery system, while maintaining robust and repeatable performance in the broad dynamic range of haptic perception for high information transfer rates. In this presentation, I will dissect these challenges and review recent developments in actuation technologies and haptic perception studies to realize potential haptic solutions for XR applications.


Ali Israr is an engineer and researcher, leading haptics research and development in Facebook Inc., USA. Ali’s interests are in the field of haptics and physical sensory feedback, and explores the use of "touch feedback" technologies in entertainment, assistive, educational, social, therapeutic, virtual and everyday settings. Ali has engineered tools and technologies for interactive sensory experiences, developed solutions for seamless flow of sensory information between a user and their devices, and authored technical publications in numerous conferences and journals. Before joining Facebook, Ali led haptic research as in Imagineer in Disney Research, Pittsburgh, USA. Ali received his B.Sc degree from UET, Lahore, Pakistan and MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, USA.

January 26, 2022, 16:20 - 16:50
OS11 AROB: Brain Theory from ALIFE

Nathaniel Virgo

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Bayesian agents in a physical world

Agents, whether living organisms or artificially constructed robots, have a dual nature. On the one hand they are physical systems; we believe that their behaviour can, in principle, be explained entirely in terms of physical laws. On the other hand, calling something an agent implies that it has some goal that it is trying to fulfil, or that it has some beliefs about the world that it might update in light of new information. These two views seem to live in different mathematical worlds: the physical world is one of coupled dynamical systems, while the intentional world is one of goals, beliefs and actions.

These two views must presumably be compatible, since a human-built robot is a physical system and can also be interpreted as an agent that achieves some degree of success at a given task. However, in order to produce a theory of the brain and other living systems it will be crucial to develop a mathematical understanding of how these two distinct but mutually compatible worlds relate to one another. I will present some progress toward a detailed mathematical understanding of their relationship.

In particular, we explore what it means for a physical system to be interpreted as reasoning in a Bayesian way, using a prior to represent its uncertainty and updating it to a posterior using Bayes' theorem. We propose a mathematical definition of such an interpretation. One interesting consequence is that while such interpretations often exist they are essentially never unique, suggesting that the relationship between the physical world and the cognitive world might be much more subtle than a simple one-to-one mapping. I will also touch on the meaning of goal-directedness and the possible implications of the work for machine learning and robotics.


Nathaniel Virgo is an Associate Professor at the Earth Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo. He has had a long term interest in understanding the living world through mathematics and computer simulation, including research on ecology, cognitive science, nonequilibrium thermodynamics and the origin of life, as well as contributions to the field of Artificial Life more broadly. As part of this long-term research theme, his current interests are in using the tools of information theory, category theory and artificial life to understand the nature of agency. He holds a doctorate in Informatics from the University of Sussex in the UK, as well as a masters in mathematical ecology. He is a also a fellow of the European Centre for Living Technology (ECLT) in Venice.

January 26, 2022, 18:00 - 18:30
OS15 AROB: Human-Centered Robotics-II

Leonardo De Mattos

Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

Novel devices for microsurgery and challenging medical operations

Robotics has large potential to enhance the overall capacity and efficiency of healthcare systems. Robots can help surgeons perform better quality operations, leading to reductions in the hospitalization time of patients and in the impact of surgery on their post-operative quality of life. In particular, robotics can have a significant impact on precision medical treatments, such as microsurgeries. These operations present stringent requirements for super-human precision and control of the surgical tools, which makes them prime application areas for robotics. However, the gap between ultra-performing new technologies and their real use in clinical practice is often very difficult to be overcome. The reasons are varied – from regulatory to economical – but they all contribute to a challenging and very long time-to-market. On the other hand, relatively simple technologies can have a much faster way into the market and yet largely improve clinical performance. In this talk, I will present translational research being conduct at IIT to address major issues in precision medical treatments using robotics technologies. This includes innovations in mechatronics, perception and surgeon-robot interfaces aimed at introducing novel computer and robot-assisted technologies into demanding surgical specialties such as laryngology and pediatrics. Specifically, two main applications will be discussed: Transoral laser microsurgery and peripheral intravenous catheterizations.


Leonardo De Mattos is a Permanent Researcher and Head of the Biomedical Robotics Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT, Genoa). His research background ranges from robotic microsurgery and assistive human-machine interfaces to computer vision and micro-biomanipulation. Leonardo received the B.Sc. degree from the University of São Paulo (USP, São Carlos, Brazil) in 1998, the M.Sc. degree in 2003, and the Ph.D. degree in 2007, both in Electrical Engineering from the North Carolina State University (NCSU, Raleigh, USA). Leonardo worked as research assistant at the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (CRIM, NCSU) from 2002 until 2007. Since then he has been a researcher at IIT’s Department of Advanced Robotics. Dr. De Mattos collaborates closely with other institutions, including hospitals and industry. Leonardo was the PI and coordinator of the European project µRALP – Micro-Technologies and Systems for Robot-Assisted Laser Phonomicrosurgery, and of the TEEP-SLA project (dedicated to the creation of new communication interfaces and assistive systems for ALS patients). He is currently the PI and coordinator of the translational project Robotic Microsurgery and of two other industrial projects in the areas of robotic surgery and smart medical devices. Leonardo has graduated 16 PhD students and is currently supervising 5 PhD candidates. He is the author or co-author of more than 170 peer-reviewed publications, and has been the chair and main organizer of several international scientific events, including the 4th and the 9th Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery (CRAS 2014 and CRAS 2019), the IEEE BioRob 2014 Workshop on Robotic Microsurgery and Image-Guided Surgical Interventions, and the IEEE BioRob 2012 Workshop on Robot-Assisted Laryngeal Microsurgery. He is current serving as Editor for Applied Sciences, Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, IEEE ICAR 2021, and IEEE IROS 2021, and Guest Editor for Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

January 26, 2022, 19:15 - 19:45
OS38 SWARM: Snake Robots

Kamilo Melo

KM-RoBoTa Sarl, Renens, Switzerland and EPFL, Biorobotics Laboratory, Lausanne, Switzerland

Robust undulatory swimming generation in lampreys, eels and Robots.

Undulatory swimming is a prevalent locomotor mode for a variety of animals that live in aquatic environments. Both vertebrate as well as invertebrate species rely on this particular motion pattern and control their muscles through an interplay between central and peripheral mechanisms. Corresponding studies have helped to unravel distinct building blocks of this neural control system that includes distributed central pattern generators and mechanisms for intersegmental coordination. However, given that undulatory animals perceive their hydrodynamic environment by means of specific sense organs that provide information about fluid flow and pressure, it remains unclear how these exteroceptive sensor modalities influence or possibly even help to generate undulatory swimming. In this talk, I will show with the use of a robot and additional simulated fluid-body interactions that simple local synchronization of body actuation with hydrodynamic forces can lead to robust self-organized undulatory swimming. In this work, we demonstrate that these conceptual synchronization mechanisms have both the ability to provide motion coordination between body segments in the absence of internal neural coupling, and to spontaneously generate oscillations in the absence of explicit central pattern generators. In particular, experiments with the robot and in simulation, show that undulatory swimming can in principle be generated by either purely central or purely peripheral mechanisms, and that the combination of both is remarkably more robust against lesions in control circuits than any of these mechanisms alone. Our findings foster new hypotheses on how animals potentially use local feedback to master swimming, clarify the benefits of combining central and peripheral control mechanisms, and provide new perspectives for the design and control of swimming robots based on self-organizing principles.


Kamilo Melo designs, builds and maintains advanced bio-robotic systems for scientific research and industry. In parallel to his work as director of KM-RoBoTa, he currently is scientific advisor of the Biorobotics Laboratory of EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. The focus of his work is the creation of animal-like robots and automated machines informed by real animals and other biological organisms, to be used in different fields. These include academic research, industrial inspection and intervention, disaster response, art and entertainment. He has carried out important research in bio-robotics that has been featured in the cover of prestigious scientific journals including: Science Robotics (08.2021), Nature (01.2019), and the JRSInterface (07.2016). Among his robots (https://km-robota.com) there is a crocodile robot broadcasted in the BBC’s documentary “Spy in the Wild” in 2017, and several art pieces commissioned by artists like Pamela Rosenkranz (2019) and Nina Canell (2021). Kamilo has a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, a PhD in Robotics, and several years of postdoctoral training with Profs. Raja Chatila (Paris Sorbonne, France), Antonio Bicchi (University of Pisa, Italy) and Auke Ijspeert (EPFL, Switzerland). With KM-RoBoTa, he currently leads research in the USA, Singapore and Colombia, and performs tech-transfer from research to products and services in robotics across Europe, Asia and Latin America markets.

January 27, 2022, 9:15 - 9:45
OS32 SWARM: Collective Intelligence in Living/Non-Living agents

Deborah M. Gordon

Stanford University, USA

Variation among ant colonies in collective behavior

Collective behavior operates without central control, using local interactions among participants to allow groups to respond to changing conditions. Ant colonies function collectively, and the enormous diversity of more than 14,000 species of ants, in different habitats, provides opportunities to look for general ecological patterns. For example, harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) live in the desert, where water is limited but conditions are stable. Foraging activity is regulated to manage the tradeoff between water loss when foraging and obtaining food, using brief olfactory encounters between returning and outgoing foragers. Colonies differ in how they regulate foraging in dry conditions. These differences among colonies are important for colony reproductive success, in offspring colonies. Thus natural selection can act on interactions to shape collective behavior.


Deborah M Gordon received her PhD from Duke University, then did postdoctoral research in the Harvard Society of Fellows, at Oxford University, and the Centre for Population Biology at the University of London, and joined the faculty at Stanford in 1991. She is the author of two books, Ants at Work (Norton 2000) and Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior (Primers in Complex Systems, Princeton University Press, 2010), and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and the Quest award of the Animal Behavior Society.

January 27, 2022, 10:45 - 11:15 -> 10:00 - 10:30
OS4 AROB: AI in Life Sciences 2 -> OS3 AROB: AI in Life Sciences 1


Director and Professor
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Learning from Intelligence of Insects
~ Odor Source Orientation Robot Based on Insect Sensory and Neural System ~

To elucidate the dynamic information processing in a sensor and a brain underlying adaptive behavior obtained through evolution (i.e., biological intelligence), it is necessary to understand the behavior and corresponding neural activities. This requires animals which have clear relationships between behavior and corresponding neural activities. Insects are precisely such animals and one of the cadaptive behaviors of insects is high-accuracy odor source orientation, which is not yet available in conventional approaches. Insects are valuable model systems in neuroscience due to the balance between the moderate complexity of their nervous systems and a rich behavioral repertoire. Insect brains contain on the order of 105 to 106 neurons. The concept of individually identifiable neurons and small networks composing functional units have been vital for understanding insect brains. Insects are also uniquely suited for multidisciplinary studies in brain research involving a combined approach at various levels, from molecules over single neurons to neural networks, behavior, modeling, and robotics.

To examine the neural basis of the odor-source orientation behavior, we have employed a strategy that tackles the question at multiple levels, from genes, single cells of the neural system to the actual behavior. We implemented a model of the neural circuit reconstructed from single neurons, and integrated it with a mobile robot and a drone. We have developed an insect-robot hybrid system, which moves depending on the behavioral or the neural output of a brain, as a novel experimental system. The robot is controlled by the behavior of an insect tethered on the robot or by the neural activity of the insect brain. This system has contributed to better understanding of the behavioral and neural basis of adaptive behavior. We also have developed highly sensitive olfactory sensors based on olfactory receptor proteins of insects using a genetic engineering.

At first in this lecture, strategy of odor navigation of a male silkmoth and its neural basis revealed by using multidisciplinary approaches will be shown. Second, the extent of adaptation in the behavioral strategy, as governed by the neural system and investigated via a robotic implementation, will be introduced.

Our multidisciplinary research will enable us to use the full potential of the features of insect sensors and brains as model systems for understanding the dynamical sensory and neural substrates of adaptive behaviors (i.e., biological intelligence). As well as being of biological interest, this topic is also of interest for engineering including robotics and AI, because they also need to execute tasks in changing environmental conditions. The bottom up and top down interdisciplinary studies are key and fundamental approaches to understand the biological intelligence acquired through evolution.


Ryohei Kanzaki is currently a director and professor of Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), The University of Tokyo. He is interested in biological intelligence (BA) developed through evolution and in reconstructing BA using multidisciplinary approaches. He is a Program Officer of JST PRESTO "Bio-Multisensory Systems" from April 2021.

Ryohei Kanzaki received his B.S., M.S. and D.Sc. degree in Neurobiology from University of Tsukuba in 1980, 1983 and 1986, respectively. From 1987 to 1990 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, University of Arizona. From 1991 to 2003 he was successively an assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba. From 2004 to 2006 he was a professor at Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo. Since 2006 he is a professor at RCAST. Since 2016 he has been a director of RCAST. He was a president of the Japanese Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (JSCPB) from 2012 to 2015. He received an honorary degree from the University of Milano-Bicocca in computer sciences in 2019 and was awarded the Wakayama Prefecture Cultural Prize in 2020. He is also contributing to art and science education project of children by JST project as a chair.

January 27, 2022, 13:00 - 13:30
OS40 SWARM: Swarm and Bio-inspired Systems 2

Masahiro Takinoue

Department of Computer Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

DNA nanotechnology for soft micromachines and molecular robots

A living cell is a soft microrobots constructed with biological information molecules. Inspired by the living cells, the bottom-up construction of cell-like molecular robots and artificial cells has been actively challenged. Our group has been studying nano to micrometer sized molecular robots based on DNA nanotechnology and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. In this presentation, we would report two topics:
(i) DNA-based molecular robots: Recently, the development of DNA-based molecular machines and robots has attracted much attention due to their promising applications in medical, agricultural, and environmental technologies. DNA nanodevices and nanomachines have been constructed based on DNA sequence design, which enables us to program functions and to control the devices and machines according to the program. Here, we will report a DNA droplet produced through liquid-liquid phase separation of a DNA nanostructure (named DNA Y-motif) solution [1,2]. In this study, we found that the fusion of the liquid-like DNA droplets could be controlled based on the sticky-end sequence and that the autonomous fission of DNA droplet could be achieved with enzymatic reaction. These results show that the condensed soft matter phase of DNA nanostructure can be used as a molecular robot body that has the integration ability of functional molecules such as proteins.
(ii) autonomous collective motion of microparticles: In nature, collective behaviors of living systems are often observed such as ant colony, flocks of birds and fish, self-organization of cellular slime molds, and group locomotion of human beings. The collective behavior is an emergent phenomenon produced from many elements with only a few simple functions. Since it is generally difficult to implement very complex function into nano to micrometer-sized robots, the concept of collective behaviors is important for the construction of molecular robots. Here, we will report an autonomous collective motion of microparticles. The microparticles were placed under a stationary asymmetric sawtooth-like electric field in an oil phase with a surfactant. Even though the electric field was not changed, the microparticles exhibited autonomous unidirectional collective motion through particle-particle interaction when the microparticles were crowded condition. This phenomenon is considered to be caused by a novel principle, which we named an auto-flashing ratchet model, and to be achieved due to a nonequilibrium electron transfer through the surfactant micelles. This principle will be applied to transport various microparticles and micromachines in the future.

  1. 1. Sato, Y., et al., Science Advances, Vol. 6, no. 23, eaba3471 (2020).
  2. 2. Kurokawa, C., et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 114(28), 7228 (2017).
  3. 3. Hayakawa, M., et al., Advanced Intelligent Systems, 2, 2000031 (2020) (cover picture).


Masahiro Takinoue is a biophysicist studying artificial cell engineering and DNA molecular robotics. He received a B.Sc. in Physics in 2002, M.Sc. in Physics in 2004, and Ph.D. in Physics in 2007 from The University of Tokyo, Japan. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow of Research Fellowship for Young Scientists of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at the University of Tokyo (2007-2008), a postdoctoral fellow at Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kyoto University, Japan (2008-2009), an assistant professor at Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan (2009-2011), he has been an associate professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan (2011-). He joined École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France as an invited Professor (2018). He won several awards such as Outstanding Researcher Award on Chemistry and Micro-Nano Systems from the Society for Chemistry and Micro-Nano System, Japan (2021) and The Young Scientists’ Prize from MEXT, Japan (2017).

January 27, 2022, 15:00 - 15:30
OS41 SWARM: Swarm and Bio-inspired Systems 3

Hiroto Tanaka

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Penguin-mimetic robotic wing mechanism

Penguins are wing-propelled diving birds who are capable of high-speed foraging, agile maneuver, and deep diving by the flapping wings. Considering their compact size as well as the swimming ability, penguins are promising models for mobile biomimetic underwater robots. The biomechanics and hydrodynamics studies of penguin swimming, however, are sparse to date, remaining the details of the propulsion mechanism unclear. Here, our research group conducted the first 3-D motion analysis of flapping-wing swimming of penguins at an aquarium. Based on the results, an electric 3-DoF penguin-mimetic wing mechanism was designed and created. ‘Flapping’ produces hydrodynamic force, while ‘feathering’ adjusts angle of attack and force magnitude. ‘Pitching’ of the flapping axis largely changes the direction of the force. The performance of the wing mechanism was evaluated by a water tunnel experiments. The above biomimetic robot can contribute to both robotics and biological studies in swimming penguins.


Hiroto Tanaka received the BSc degree in mechanical engineering at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 2003, MSc degree in information science and technology at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan in 2005, and the PhD degree in information science and technology at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan in 2008. He was a JSPS research fellow in Isao Shimoyama lab at The University of Tokyo from 2006, to 2009, a postdoctoral fellow in Robert Wood lab at Harvard University from 2009 to 2011, and an Assistant Professor in Hao Liu lab at Chiba University from 2011 to 2015. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. His current research interests include biomechanics, biomimeitcs, and soft robotics of flying and swimming animals. He is leading one of the teams of JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) KAKEHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Science of Soft Robots” since 2018.

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