FUKUDA Toshio PD Photo

Moonshot Goal 3Realization of AI robots that autonomously learn, adapt to their environment, evolve in intelligence and act alongside human beings, by 2050.

Program Director (PD)FUKUDA ToshioVisiting Professor, Institute of Innovation for Future Society, Nagoya University


Considering Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population, it is important that robots can be used in all aspects of society - such as working in dangerous or understaffed sites, developing human frontiers, and supporting our everyday lives. For that purpose, robots must be able to learn and act on their own through the co-evolution of AI and robots. Our R&D aims to realize AI robots with advanced bodies and self-developed AI learning.


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Explanation 1 Explanation 2

Message from PD

Our R&D aims to achieve the following three outcomes by 2050:
(1) AI robots that autonomously make judgements and act in environments where it is difficult for humans to act.
(2) An automated AI robot system that aims to discover impactful scientific principles and solutions, by thinking and acting in the field of natural science.
(3) AI robots that humans feel comfortable with, have physical abilities equivalent to or greater than humans, and grow in harmony with human life.

The following two concepts are core to our work:
(1) Coevolution: AI technology and robot technology cooperate to improve their own performance.
(2) Self-organization: AI technology and robot technology self-modify their own knowledge and functions to adapt to their environment.

R&D Projects

Selected in FY2020

Project Manager SUGANO Shigeki
Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University

This project aims to establish robot evolution technology that combines flexible machine hardware and unique AI that can understand many kinds of tasks. Our final goal is to build a human-robot symbiotic society by introducing a general-purpose AI robot that can work with people not only in housework and customer service but also in welfare and medical fields where human resources will be in short supply by 2050.

Project Manager NAGATANI Keiji
Project Professor, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

This project aims to develop collaborative AI robots that respond to various situations flexibly and perform given tasks in challenging environments such as disaster sites or the moon. By 2050 these collaborative AI robots will, on behalf of humans, conduct emergency response missions following natural disasters and construct lunar bases. This technology will also be useful for the construction and maintenance of ground infrastructure.

Project Manager HARADA Kanako
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

This project aims to develop AI-robots that conduct scientific experiments in challenging environments (e.g. in a hazardous atmosphere, or in a micro-scale setup), while interacting with scientists as their peers. AI robots and scientists will have freer interactions, and will work with unfamiliar objects and environments through trial-and-error together. By 2050 AI-robots will discover their own principles and solutions in the science fields.

Project Manager HIRATA Yasuhisa
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University

This project aims to create a collective of adaptable AI-enabled robots available at a variety of places. Each robot will be usable by anyone at any time, and will adjust its form and functions according to the individual user to provide optimal assistance and services. By 2050 the co-existence and co-evolution of a wide variety of robots and people will create a vibrant society in which all people can participate.

Selected in FY2022

Project Manager USHIKU Yoshitaka
Principal Investigator, OMRON SINIC X Corporation

Deductive reasoning is necessary for paradigm-sustaining innovation. For paradigm disruption, abductive reasoning and knowledge creation have a key role. Transilience is also required for transdisciplinary paradigm disruption. This project aims to realize an AI that first understands and reviews such researchers' ideas based on their research articles. We will then develop AI robots that can conduct research in a loop of assertion, experiment, analysis, and description while interacting with human researchers by 2030. We aim for a world where humans and AI are in harmony and produce Nobel Prize-level research by 2050.

Project Manager KUNII Yasuharu
Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University

This project aims to develop an evolutionary swarm intelligence of many small robots with simple functions by updating and expanding the common functions, and adding new robots. Using the swarm intelligence and robots, we will invent a construction system of activity bases for the robots. Many robots will cooperate and transport a container base in a manner similar to ball-tossing, and the containers will expand automatically to become activity bases. By 2050, we aim to realize a future Lunar town by the evolutionary swarm intelligence and the swarm robots.

Project Manager SHIMODA Shingo
Designated Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University

This project aims to develop Awareness AI to support our proactive lives based on our individual requirements, social roles, and hopes for the future. In the modern society where values among the people is diverged, people must become aware of what to do or what they want to do by ourselves in daily life. Awareness AI assists this decision via the appropriate stimulation of our unconscious thought processes. By 2050, we create a society where everybody can live proactively according to their best-fit social role and hopes for the future through the awareness AI support.

Project Manager YOSHIDA Kazuya
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University

This project aims to develop a self-evolving AI robot system for lunar exploration and human outpost construction. Core technologies will be established that effectively utilize the materials brought to the moon, reconfiguring the modules depending on the tasks, and repairing parts using the resources obtained on the moon. By 2050, exploration and resource utilization on the moon will be promoted to realize sustainable outposts for human presence in space.

Past Project

Project Manager UENO Munetaka
Research and Engineering leader, Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The goal of international human exploration program is to establish independent biospheres in the extreme environments of the Moon and Mars, shaking off our dependency on Earth. This research project aims to realize biospheres in which humans can be active for a long period of time by conducting research and development toward the construction of a base system with smart technology, behavior-modifying technology, etc., while developing and utilizing AI robot technology for the elements backcasted by this achievement.

Project Manager OTAKE Mihoko
Team Leader, RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project

Behavioral change support robots will be developed, which help identify personal values, and encourage actions leading to well-being based on the identified personal values. This project aims to develop three key technologies: 1) to collect diverse stories including wisdom, knowledge, and experiences; 2) to estimate feelings, thoughts, and personal values from verbal and nonverbal behaviors during conversations; 3) to encourage actions through providing stories which indicate novel perspectives and manners based on identified personal values. We aim to realize AI robots that will by 2050 help to envision promising future together with users and encourage users for actions towards them.

Project Manager MORISHIMA Keisuke
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University

By analyzing activity information and surrounding environment information obtained from a group of biological cyborgs equipped with ultra-small sensors, communication equipment and behavior control units, we will understand the principles of action and use them to develop a self-organizing platform using AI that stimulates human behavior and enables people and robots to collaborate without any sense of incongruity. By 2050, we aim to create a world where people and robots can work in harmony with each other.


Click here to see the list of advisors

UEDA Naonori* Fellow, NTT Communication Science Laboratories/Deputy Director, RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project
KUBOTA Takashi* Professor (non-tenured), School of Science and Technology, Meiji University
HASHIMOTO Hideki* Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University
ISHIZUKA Mitsuru Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
UEKI Miwa Project Manager, Social Digital Twin Project, Advanced Converging Technologies Laboratories, FUJITSU LIMITED.
OKURA Michiko Initiative Professor, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University / Visiting Professor, S.I.T. Research Laboratories, Shibaura Institute of Technology
OKUNO Hiroshi G. Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University
OBATA Nobuaki Specially Appointed Professor, Center for Data-Driven Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tohoku University
KASAHARA Hironori Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
KOKUBU Hiroshi Vice President, Kyoto University
SHIOZAWA Keiko Director, Product Service Division, AdIn Research, Inc.
TATEYAMA Kazuyoshi Professor, Research Organization of Science and Technology, Ritsumeikan University
TOMOEDA Toshio Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University / Professor Emeritus, Osaka University
NAKASUKA Shinichi Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

*Sub Program Director

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