Date and time:
July 1, 2020 at 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
July 2, 2020 at 8:00-9:00am CEST (3:00-4:00pm JST)
Live Stream: Zoom Webinar (
Live questions and discussion: Slido (

Speaker: Shigeo Hirose 
Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Director, HERO (Hazardous Environments Robotics) Laboratory
Chairman, HiBot Corporation

Moderator: Yoshihiko Nakamura
Professor, University of Tokyo

Video on Bilibili:
Video on YouTube:

Title: Creative Design in Robotics, and its Impact on the Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi

This presentation begins with a discussion of historic developments in Creative Design that have led to a variety of remarkable robot systems. Design concepts are introduced through examples of snake-like mobile and swimming robots, and multi-joint snake-like arms, then cover robots for mine-clearing and inspecting suspension bridges for a broader view of the design process. The second part of the presentation details a robot created for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors. The high level of radiation inside the facility makes sophisticated computer-controlled systems inappropriate as they are quickly damaged by the radiation. A solution by creative mechanical design opens an innovation in simplicity, efficiency, lightness, and reliability, as well as capability. The Creative Design methodology welcomes and encourages students and researchers interested in investigating novel mechanical solutions to challenging problems, with Fukushima providing a striking exemplar case.

Shigeo Hirose (Speaker Bio)

Kanako Harada

Shigeo Hirose is an award-winning pioneer of robotics technology, and a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Born in Tokyo in 1947, he attended Hibiya High School and graduated from Yokohama National University in 1971. He received his Ph.D. from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1976, and subsequently took a professorship there. He is currently director of HERO (Hazardous Environments Robotics) Laboratory, which was recently established to develop decommissioning robots for Fukushima Daiichi, and Chairman of HiBot Corporation, which he and students from his laboratory founded in 2004. His work includes designs for robots capable of various types of movement such as walking, crawling, swimming, and slithering. Specific designs include a "ninja-robot" able to scale buildings and a seven-ton robot that climbs mountainous slopes and installs bolts in the ground for preventing landslides. Shigeo Hirose was also involved with the United Nations in developing a remotely controlled robot capable of clearing landmines.