Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending one of ITK Japan’s talk (during Hyper Japan Christmas 2012) which focused around their new update on their flagship product; Handroid (a remotely-operable five-finger movable robot hand)
Led by Shintaro Iwata, ITK Japan took to the stage to introduce the history of the development of handroid. They also highlighted the current issues with the latest 3d finger tracking software. I had a chance to speak with them after the show, and they mentioned that ITK Japan was concieved after a project with Louvre (which involved applying Louvre’s research into Shintaro et al’s technology). After this, ITK Japan had been formed and the handroid was the lovechild of a research collaboration with Tokyo University. I shook their hand and wished them all the best of luck in their handroid project. I hope to see them again next year!
Proprioception and locomotive sensory information within robots have always been incredibly complex, and it was certainly evident during the live stage demo of the handroid. However, as new neuroscientific research into proprioception unravels itself over the next coming decade or two, the science of robotics will be refine itself over time.