Venue: University of Tokyo
Building robots with brain-inspired control structures is one of the central goals of the members working in the Neurorobotics sub-project of the HBP. They are, however, not alone in this task and so it should come as no surprise that also other researchers have made great progress in recent years. Research teams in Japan have made astonishing discoveries and provided fascinating insights into complex matters concerning biological systems such as brain structures and musculoskeletal models.
So, with researchers both in Europe and in Japan making great steps towards a better understanding of biological systems, the Japan-EU Workshop on Neurorobotics held in Tokyo aimed at bringing those experts together. Presentations from both sides gave an overview of their work and highlighted their latest achievements. The presentations were followed by lively discussions, which allowed the participants to engage and fully comprehend the potential advantage arising from gaining access to both sides’ resources.
To give a practical impression of what the University of Tokyo brings to the table, the students presented their research and the hydraulic robot Hydra (see Figure below).
With researchers from many different backgrounds and with various fields of interest a wide foundation was laid for further ventures. And even though the research was overlapping in some aspects, the large number of areas of expertise made it apparent how both parties in this workshop might benefit from the opportunities offered by a cooperation.
A big step in the direction of working together in the future was made and it stands to reason that a joint research is not far now and that the two teams can join forces in the near future to ultimately unravel the mysteries of the human brain in all its complexity.
Pictures, presentations and links to publications relevant to the workshop can be found on the SP’s homepage http://www.neurorobotics.net