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Experiences and Message from JSPS Fellows

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Dr. Jorge Solis Alfaro


Profile

Nationality

Mexico

Pre-fellowship host institute

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento

Host institute

Waseda University

Host researcher

Prof. Atsuo Takanishi

Fellowship period

2004/07/21 – 2006/07/20

Research field

Interdisciplinary and Frontier Sciences

photo

Research title

Study of Human Motor Control and Learning by Using Humanoid Robots as Transfer Skill Systems to Improve Learner’s Performances and Understand the Parameters that May Lead or Break Down the Learning Process

 

The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research

Basically, Japan is one of the most advanced places for doing research on Humanoid Robots. I have two previous experiences of doing research in Japan at high advanced research institutes; where thanks to the great support from my previous host researchers for conducting my research I have obtained fruitful experiences in both technical and cultural. That is one of the main reason I chose to continue my research in Japan. As a JSPS post-doctoral fellow and due to the excellent environment and the facilities for conducting research in Japan, I strongly believe it will be a great opportunity to improve my technical skills and to strength my relations with the Japanese researchers. Finally, as personal interests, I would like to improve my Japanese speaking/reading and to understand deeply the essence of the Japanese culture.

Research achievements

During my research at Japan as JSPS fellow, I have been working with a Humanoid Robot which is able of playing the flute as similar as human. In particular, the main topic of my research is based on the introduction novel applications of Humanoid Robots as tutors able of transferring skills to unskilled persons. For that reason, I have implemented an autonomous teaching system which adds the robot further cognitive capabilities (i.e. melody recognition, vision and audio processing, etc.) to interact with learners and improves some of the components of the control system. At the moment, I am working in implementing the proposed autonomous teaching system using other humanoid robots (i.e. biped robots, talking robots, etc.). As a result of my research, the anthropomorphic flutist robot has enhanced the interactivity with learners that will be an important issue for transferring the skills from the robot to unskilled persons. The results of my research are published in several scientific papers at domestic and international conferences and four international journals are under review.
I specially would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Atsuo Takanishi from Waseda University for his unconditional support to achieve my research objectives as JSPS fellow and to my colleges at the laboratory for they help and friendship during my research.

Advice to new fellows

I strongly believe this fellowship is a great opportunity for developing our professional skills and for learning about other ways of thinking and acting. In order to have a fruitful experience, I recommend to the new fellows to respect as much as possible the Japanese culture (starting from learning some basics of Japanese) inside and outside of your laboratory or research area. During your fellowship, it is also important to make new connections with other Japanese researchers and friends outside from your institute. Finally, enjoy the beautiful nature of Japan, the cuisine and its traditions.