Makoto Kaneko

Interview Location: Japan

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Kaneko outlines his progression throughout robotics and his contributions to various projects, such as the walking robot and the multi-fingered hand. He discusses his experiments with the hand, and the influences drawn upon by his work. Finally, he provides insight into the future direction of his research, and comments on the future applications of robotics.


Makoto Kaneko was born on January 18th, 1954 in Hagi, Japan. He studied undergraduate Mechanical Engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology before attending Tokyo University, where he received MS and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1978 and 1981, respectively. Following graduation Kaneko was a researcher at the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory (MEL), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) from 1981 to 1990. He also worked on a space robotics project as a post-doctoral fellow at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany from 1988 to 1989. He then served as an Associate Professor of Computer Science and System Engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology from 1990 to 1993, an Invited Professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany from November 1991 to January 1992, and Professor of Industrial Engineering at Hiroshima University from October 1993 to September 2006. Since October 2006, he has served as a Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Osaka University. Other positions Kaneko has held include Technical Editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation (1990 to 1994), program chairman for the 1998 International Conference on Advanced Mechatronics, and Vice President of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (2004-2005). He is also a member of Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Robotics Society of Japan, and Japanese Society of Instrumentation and Control Engineers, program committee member of IEEE International Conference on International Robots and Systems (since 1991), and current Director of the Hyper Human Research Project Center. His research interests include tactile-based active sensing, grasping strategy, legged locomotion, sensor applications, and welfare robotics