Withdraw from SXSW 2020 over coronavirus concerns

We are regret to inform that we decided to cancel the SXSW 2020 due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Students’ safety is the top priority for us. The planned demonstrations of our pipeline inspection robots have been all canceled.


Yoshimichi Oka won Toshio Fukuda Best Paper Award in Mechatronics at the ICMA 2018!

Yoshimichi Oka, 2st-year master course, won Toshio Fukuda Best Paper Award in Mechatronics at The 2018 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation (ICMA 2018) held in Changchun, China!

IROS 2017 @ Vancouver

Prof. Ma, Prof. Kakogawa, and Mr. Shen (D2) gave presentations in IROS 2017 (The 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) held in Vancouver, Canada during 24th-28th September 2017.

  • Fabian Reyes and Shugen Ma, Snake Robots in Contact with the Environment: Influence of the Friction on the Applied Wrench, in Proc. 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017), pp. 5790-5795, 2017, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Atsushi Kakogawa, Yuki Komurasaki and Shugen Ma, Anisotropic Shadow-based Operation Assistant for a Pipeline-inspection Robot using a Single Illuminator and Camera, in Proc. 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017), pp. 1305-1310, 2017, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Yayi Shen, Yi Sun, Huayan Pu and Shugen Ma, Experimental Verification of the Oscillating Paddling Gait for an ePaddle-EGM Amphibious Locomotion Mechanism, in Proc. 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017), 2017, Vancouver, Canada, DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2017.2707124, (Published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2017).





Bakazemi (Idiot Seminar) in TANGO (north part of Kyoto)

Hello everyone!! This is Oka, the M1 student. This time I’m posting about Bakazemi, which is held at the end of May.
Bakazemi is an annual event at Ma lab which students research what they care about or what they want to know and give a presentation in an amusing way. This year it was held at the Sea and Starts View Park in Tango, seaside of Kyoto. This park is in the northern part of Kyoto, located near the Amanohashidate, it is known as three scenic spots in Japan, and is surrounded by beautiful nature. I highly recommend that you visit there.

On the first day, we departed from Minami-kusatsu sutation and visited Amanohashidate on the way to the park. Amanohashidate is a pine-covered sandbar that spans the mouth of Miyazu Bay in the scenic, coastal region of northern Kyoto. The ocean was very beautiful, and the scenery created by nature was beyond description. One of the reasons for choosing Tango was that we wanted the international students to see this beautiful view of Japan, which Japanese students were also impressed by. Of course, we took a great number of pictures.1

After arriving at the park, we held the Bakazemi. Every year there were various ideas, also this year there were many presentations which enough to make us laugh just by looking at the titles. The ideas never bottom out!
Let me introduce some…”Production of Laugh Detector” “research on how to fight more effectively than existing fighting methods” “Development of a system that distract loneliness by shedding music automatically after returning home & Development of a device which naturally changes PC screen when seniors pass behind” “Mechanism of absolute pitching and how to use it” etc… This year there were also many funny but serious presentations. And a discussion on the award was held.



The first place winner was…an M1 student, Kaizu-kun ” Molester Repelling Goods ” Huuko ” produced by a cool engineering student, protecting beautiful girls all over the world.” second place was Mukai-san, M2 student ” Production of lending management device for tools”
third place was Huang-san, M2 student ” Construction of a system for injured people to play games ” The fun of the research already transmits just looking titles.(lol)  Everyone was laughing all the time during the presentations, because of full of funny elements, although winners were very serious mood. (Actually I was in the slide.) The last year’s winner also spectacularly ranked in. All the presentations were wonderful. I wish I could show everyone’s slide here!


After the presentation, it was the long waited BBQ! We deserved this for our hard work.(lol) We ate, drunk and talked a lot. We fully enjoyed from setting fire to cleaning up while cooperating together. There are some things which can’t talk seriously without alcohol. After having enjoyed BBQ, everyone seriously talked with people who had not talked much before.



BAKA-SEMINAR2017_243It is the second day from here on.
We enjoyed Dodgebee and light version of Photo Rogaining! First of all, I briefly explain about these rules.(lol) Dodgebee plays with frisbee instead of balls in the familiar dodgeball. It uses soft frisbee so you can play safely. In addition, it is difficult to throw it as you want, so we can enjoy regardless of whether you are good at exercise or not. And photo rogaining is a game divided into teams, scored points by checkpoints in time based on the map. At the checkpoint, we take the same picture as the sample.
In this time there were some difficult riddles (I couldn’t understand at all)
at some checkpoints and after solving all of them, we could reach the goal.  Well, it was pretty elaborate.(lol) Photo rogaining also hold an official competition and it is a great game that everyone does the exercise, taking pictures together and going around sightseeing spots!
The team of dodgebee divided into research teams and fought against the team. Photo rogaining was done by randomly decided teams.
Although, it was quite a hard schedule to take a little lunch break after doging dodgebee and do photo rogaining immediately. I think that our bonds have deepened after each game.






Image_f815e4c-1These pictures prove it more than anything. Everyone had fun. Day two’s events were successful. Everyone was asleep in the car on the way home…(lol) It was a very substantial two days. Mr.Morimoto, the organizer, who planned and executed this bakazemi and all M1 students, thank you for your hard work.
Bye for now. Thank you for reading this to the end.

P.S. Actually, we, M1 students went to see the starry sky on the evening of the first day. It also named of the park. But the weather in the mountain changes easily and the sky got cloudy. Then we took these pictures.




Hello, everyone!!
My name is Oka, M1 student.
“ROBOMECH 2017” was held in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture on May 10 (Wed) – 5/13 (Sat), and six members from our laboratory participated.
When I first knew the venue, I only had  the impression of “far away …” (lol), but when I actually went there, the Koriyama station which was the closest station of the venue  was prominently prosperous. It was exactly “a vibrant town”.
In ROBOMECH, we made a presentation at the poster session, set up posters for each session, and explained to those who were interested.
Every year, the seniors who participated in this conference said that it is easy to question and to answer questions close to each other so that valuable opinions could be heard in the ROBOMECH, and for me it was exactly right.
It was very meaningful to explain with enthusiasm to those who were interested. Thinking and answering questions based on the questionnaire research viewpoint is useful.
I would like to be encouraged in research in the future so that people who are interested will have a deeper interest in the research contents (^ ^)


Mr. Yoneyama (alumnus) was granted half exemption from JASSO scholarship!!

Mr. Yoneyama (alumnus) was granted half exemption from JASSO scholarship.

Comment: Masato Yoneyama

I received a half exemption from the Japan Student Services Organization’s scholarship.
I thought that I had to produce an appropriate result since I went to the graduate school. So I am pleased that I am elected as a scholarship exempted because my research results have been acknowledged. This is thanks to Prof. Ma, Prof. Hirose and other lab members who supported my research. I heartily thank them.
It is a pleasure to receive an exemption from scholarships. And I could gain confidence. So I definitely would like other students to consider it as one of the goals.
However, scholarship exemption can’t be accepted only from the goodness of the surroundings. Individual efforts are essential.
1.    Go to the lab every day to advance your research
2.    Utilize external opportunities including academic societies
research conferences
Engaged in research without giving up

These 3 items are what I was trying to do in my research activities.
The first item is an obvious thing. I went to graduate school but I thought this was a substitute for work because people who did not go to graduate school are working. I also thought I should get experiences equal to the people who works.(It is difficult to compare experiences, so it will become sensuous…..) The second item leads to experience and growth. It has good influence not only research activities, but also job hunting, the later society life to utilize, challenge various opportunities and gain unprecedented experience. The third item is particularly important. In research activities, efforts do not all lead to good results or presentations. Unfortunately, sometimes we have advanced our research with wrong ideas and only time passes. Nevertheless, we have to continue our research for good results.
The contents mentioned above are thoughts of myself , it cannot be said that it is absolutely right. However, I think that those who are going to conduct research activities from now on, especially those who are going to graduate school, would like to create such self-contained attitudes and lead a fruitful research life.

In closing, the professors’ who were taken care of in the research and Ma laboratory members, thank you very much.
I wish for your continued success in the future.


Robocon 2017 and Graduation ceremony

Hello, everyone!!
My name is Oka, a new M1 student. This is my first post.
After the submission of the thesis of the graduation, we held Robocon 2017 with new 4th graders (B4)  who will join our lab in the next year!

Rules of the competition are the same as before, the B4 students are divided into several teams. After rewriting the program of the snake-like robot by themselves, the competition will be carried out to choose a fastest robot! However, one point is extremely different with last year . . .

That is … the  COURSE becomes LONGER and  WIDER.

The course is a corridor from the front of our lab to prof. MA’s office.Since the course is long, they need to rewrite the program to predict the time of turning. I think this work is very difficult to be timed in such a short time.
Also, the rule is pretty hard and if the robot touches the wall several times, it has to start over from the starting point. However, the B4 students analyzed together and challenged many times within the given time.
This serious discussion was quite good…Wish they can success.
The team of Mr. Kawabata, Mr. Tomita and Mr. Yamashita wonderfully won the championship!! They quickly understood the programming of the robot!
A gold medal built by Ritsumeikan University was presented to the winning team. Whether it is genuine or not, please referring to last year’s article…
In the future, I hope everyone can do the research seriously and cooperately like this time.
See you next time.

Thanks to everyone who helped us, we were able to graduate on time.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the professors , our seniors, colleagues and our families
file1M2 students

fileB4 students

Guests from Shanghai Jiao Tong University

International students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University came to our lab as a part of a study abroad program. They took not only a tour but also a seminar on a practical training course.(Introduction of Biologically-inspired Robot- Snake – like Robot) In the seminar they learned by moving a snake-like robot which is a trademark of our lab.



They tried to move the snake-like robot. Although the program was described at a minimum, the movement of the snake-like robot steadily changed like an actual snake. (everyone was excellent!)



Let’s move the mobile robot in a wide space!
A competition started at a corridor.(Sorry about the loud noise. m(__)m)


Even if there were obstacles, the robot avoided or collided, and managed to proceed.


The team which could do almost one round won the championship. We hope they were interested in snake-like robots in this experience.

Welcomeparty for new comers and Year-end party

We had a welcome party (for Prof. Guoteng Zhang and B3 members) as well as a year-end party. The number of people in Ma lab has been increasing, it has probably become one of the biggest laboratories in Ritsumeikan University!


It was a good opportunity to talk with lots of people. The papers submission and presentation are getting closer, but let’s do our best without giving up till the end!