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University of Electro-Communications e-Bulletin: Controlling Snake-like Robots for High Mobility and Dexterity
[September 11, 2019]

University of Electro-Communications e-Bulletin: Controlling Snake-like Robots for High Mobility and Dexterity

TOKYO, Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- University of Electro-Communications publishes the September 2019 issue of UEC e-Bulletin.

The snake-like robot T2 Snake-3 from reference [1]

The September 2019 issue of the UEC e-Bulletin includes short videos of UEC researchers describing their activities on 'control and applications of 'snake-like' robots', Motoyasu Tanaka; and 'Nanotribology: Controlling friction on the nanometer scale', Naruo Sasaki.

Research highlights are 'Control of snake-like robots for high mobility and dexterity', Motoyasu Tanaka; 'Time-saving simulation of peeling graphene sheets', Naruo Sasaki; and 'Convenient synthesis of biopharmaceutic-Fc conjugates', Masumi Taki.

The Topics section features research on 'Social informatics: Innovative information systems to connect humans and social infrastructure', by Kayoko Yamamoto'.

News and Events: UEC will host the Irago Conference 2019 on 29 October 2019; the visit by a delegation from Tamkang University (TKU) in Taipei and faculty members from Wuhan University of Science and Technology (WUST), China.

September 2019 issue of UEC e-Bulletin

Research Highlights

Control of snake-like robots for high mobility and dexterity

Snake-like articulated mobile robots can enter narrow spaces and climb obstacles using their long and thin bodies and are effective for inspection of narrow spaces and search-and-rescue operation on disaster sites. However, it is difficult to control their precise movements because they have so many actuators.

The snake-like robot T2 Snake-3 from reference  [1]


[1] M. Tanaka, M. Nakajima, Y. Suzuki, and K. Tanaka: Development and Control of Articulated Mobile Robot for Climbing Steep Stairs, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol.23, issue 2, pp.531-541, 2018. DOI: 10.1109/TMECH.2018.2792013

[2] M. Tanaka, K. Tadakuma, M. Nakajima, and M. Fujita: Task-space Control of Articulated Mobile Robots with a Soft Gripper for Operations, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol.35, issue 1, pp.135-146, 2019. DOI: 10.1109/TRO.2018.2878361

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Time-saving simulation of peeling graphene sheets

Control of atomic-scale friction and adhesion is critical for effective manipulation of the motion of nano- or micro-meter scale objects at interfaces. For example, in nanotechnology controlling adhesion during the peeling process of graphene sheets plays a very important role in manipulation and fabrication. Graphene is a promising material due to its mechanical, electronic, magnetic, spintronic, and optical properties. In previous work, a comparison between simulation and experiment of peeling graphene has revealed its unique frictional and adhesive properties.


Ryoji Okamoto, Koki Yamasaki and Naruo Sasaki, New potential model for atomic-scale peeling of armchair graphene: toward understanding of micrometer-scale peeling, Materials Chemistry Frontiers 2, 2098-2103 (2018).

(DOI): 10.1039/c8qm00267c

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Convenient synthesis of biopharmaceutic-Fc conjugates: Semi-synthesis and evaluation on the extension of their circulating plasma half-lives

Biopharmaceutics consisting of middle molecules, for example, peptide or nucleic-acid aptamers, have been attracting attention as promising molecular modalities in current drug discovery.


Shigeo Hirasawa, Yoshiro Kitahara,Yoriko Okamatsu,Tomohiro Fujii, Akira Nakayama, Satoko Ueno, Chiori Ijichi, Fumie Futaki, Kunio Nakata, Masumi Taki, Facile and Efficient Chemoenzymatic Semisynthesis of Fc-Fusion Compounds for Half-Life Extension of Pharmaceutical Components, Bioconjugate Chemistry, in press (2019).

(DOI): 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.9b00235.

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Researcher Video Profiles

Motoyasu Tanaka, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Intelligent Systems Engineering

Motoyasu Tanaka is devising high precision methods to control snake-like robots. "Although actual live snakes do not have legs and hands, they can perform a wide variety of motions," says Tanaka. "In addition, their slender bodies enable them to go into narrow spaces where humans cannot enter."

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Naruo Sasaki, Professor, Department of Engineering Science, The University of Electro-Communications

Naruo Sasaki is developing a system or guiding principle for controlling friction. "Friction is a daily phenomenon that occurs between two sliding surfaces," says Sasaki. "Friction appears at multi-scale from nano to macro, so controlling friction plays a very important role from several standpoints."

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Kayoko Yamamoto
Professor, Graduate School of Information Systems, The University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo.

Social informatics: Innovative information systems to connect humans and social infrastructure

"The Great Hanshin Earthquake 1995 that centered on Kobe triggered my interest in using information technology to connect humans with their environment," says Kayoko Yamamoto, a professor at the Graduate School of Information Systems, UEC Tokyo. "After a huge earthquake hits a highly populated city, such as Kobe, it is critical to find safe and open spaces to mitigate danger due to aftershocks. One of my projects is focused on providing such disaster-response information via smart phones where photographs are over laid onto real time maps of the local area. So people can see and recognize their immediate surroundings and follow instructions to move to safe spaces and designated evacuation areas. I refer to this as 'social informatics'."

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News and Events

Irago Conference 2019

UEC will host the Irago Conference 2019 at the Chofu campus.
Main theme: Insights into the Sustainable Development Goals: What About The Earth Resources?
Date: 29 October 2019
Place: Auditorium, UEC Tokyo, Chofu
Further information

Delegation of TKU visits UEC

On July 4, 2019, President Keh and six other delegates from Tamkang University (TKU) , in Taipei, visited the University of Electro-Communications. President Fukuda and four executive board members and professors of UEC welcomed the delegation, and they had active discussion to enhance collaboration between the two universities."

Delegation from WUST visits UEC

On June 12, 2019, a delegation of five members led by Professor SHENG Jianlong, the vice president of Wuhan University of Science and Technology(WUST)visited the University of Electro-Communications.

About the University of Electro-Communications

The University of Electro-Communications (UEC) in Tokyo is a small, luminous university at the forefront of pure and applied sciences, engineering, and technology research. Its roots go back to the Technical Institute for Wireless Commutations, which was established in 1918 by the Wireless Association to train so-called wireless engineers in maritime communications in response to the Titanic disaster in 1912. In 1949, the UEC was established as a national university by the Japanese Ministry of Education and moved in 1957 from Meguro to its current Chofu campus Tokyo.

With approximately 4,000 students and 350 faculty members, UEC is regarded as a small university, but with expertise in wireless communications, laser science, robotics, informatics, and material science, to name just a few areas of research.

The UEC was selected for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities as a result of its strengths in three main areas: optics and photonics research, where we are number one for the number of joint publications with foreign researchers; wireless communications, which reflects our roots; and materials-based research, particularly on fuel cells.

Further information
The University of Electro-Communications
1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585

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