Shigeo Hirose

Interview Location: Japan

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Hirose discusses his contributions to the field of robotics. Recounting various projects, including the snake robot, quadraped robots, and landmine robots, he outlines his career, its successes and failures, and its influence on robotics and biorobotics. Reflecting on the evolution of the field and the state of Japanese robotics and military affairs, he comments on the future challenges of the field, as well as provides advice to young people.

Biography

Shigeo Hirose was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1947. He graduated from Yokohama National University with first class honors in 1971 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. He continued on to graduate school at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, receiving a Masters degree and Ph.D. (1976) on the subject of biomechanical study of the snake locomotion and robot snake. Following completion of his degree he held several positions at Tokyo Tech: a Research Associate and Assistant Professor from 1976-1979, an Associate Professor from 1979-1992, full Professor from 1992-2011, and Distinguished Professor from 2011-2013 in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In 2013, he became Professor Emeritus and is now the CEO & CTO and HiBot Corporation which was founded in 2004 with him and students of his laboratory. He has always been interested in creative design of robotic mechanisms and he has manufactured more than 150 robots and studied about their control; including snake-like mobile robots, articulated snake-like robot arms, quadruped walking robots, and wheeled & crawler mobile robots. He received more than 70 academic awards, including IEEE Robotics and Automation Award (2014), the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award from Robotic Industries Association (2009), Medal with Purple Ribbon from Japanese government (2006), Award of Merits from IFToMM (2004), the first Pioneer in Robotics & Automation Award (1999) and Best Conference Paper Award (1995), both from IEEE Robotics & Automation Society. He is a Fellow of IEEE, JSME(Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers) and RSJ (Robotics Society of Japan).