Interdisciplinary Program of
Biomedical Engineering, Assistive Technology and
Art and Sports Sciences

Generating the skills to enrich spirits and lifestyles

Features of the program

As the effects of a “super-aging” population, globalization, and growing dependence on information technology cause significant shifts in the workings of Japanese society, these changes are in turn prompting the need to ensure that drastic changes are also made in our lifestyles and the structure of our industries.
There is therefore an urgent demand for solutions to tasks such as maintaining and improving physical and mental health and physical abilities (the techniques and technologies to enrich lifestyles), improving quality of life and providing employment support for older people and people with disabilities (the techniques and technologies to draw out people's abilities), and labor saving and advancements in medicine, nursing, and caregiving (the techniques and technologies to investigate and understand people).
This new program of education was launched in April 2017 with the aim of providing solutions to such tasks and ensuring that people enjoy comfortable and spiritually fulfilling lives, through a fusion of fields encompassing not only engineering but also biomedical engineering, art, music, and health and sports science.
This program educates students to become competent software science specialists with a firm grounding in the software technology that is in high demand in contemporary society, and knowledge and experience of assistive medical engineering, sports information science, and the scientific study of human sensibilities, while also transcending the boundaries of the humanities and the sciences to create new forms of support for humans and artistic expression that are both innovative and elegant.

Program of education

Students receive substantial support in mathematics and physics, which form the basis of specialist subjects, allowing them to obtain the knowledge they need to tackle specialist subjects in the field of engineering with ease, regardless of whether their background is in the humanities or the sciences.
In addition to engineering-based craftsmanship skills in areas such as electrical circuiting and programming, students are also able to acquire practical knowledge and artistic skills in fields such as music, art, and design through long-term laboratory work and seminars.
As well as studying each of the fields of engineering (information, electrical and electronic, and mechanical engineering), students can select courses from a diverse range of subjects connected to the fields of local culture, technology management, and medicine, health, and welfare.
Building on a firm grounding in software science, students pursue interdisciplinary studies in assistive medical engineering, sports information science, and the scientific study of human sensibilities, allowing them to obtain skills and experience combining a broad knowledge and perspective that can be applied to solving contemporary social issues from a variety of approaches from areas such as human sensibilities and senses, human engineering, medicine, art, and health science.

Introduction to classes

Seminars in “Expression through Materials” / Practical work in “Expression through Art Projects”

Practical skills courses incorporating artistic elements are provided in the form of seminars and practical work that allow students to gradually explore the origins of craftsmanship and manufacturing (monozukuri) with their own hands. The specialist workshop which forms the teaching environment for the course also provides students with the means of giving form to their approaches to engineering.

Acquiring the ability for expression in art and design materials and sounds:
In the seminars in “Expression through Materials,” students engage in practical work to create items using art and design materials such as wood, metals, resin, and ceramics, and expression using sound generators, as well as learning creative processes and taking part in seminar activities to get a sense of the feel of the materials.

Expression in the real world:
In the practical work in “Expression through Art Projects,” students develop new activities for expression connected with engineering in real-world scenarios. The objective is to develop devices to solve issues faced by local communities and new means of expression developed using sensory expression and artefactual engineering research and technology that bring a creative touch to living spaces.

Crafting a sculpture using metal welding

Welfare Information Engineering

While actually handling equipment and systems such as computers and tablets, students learn about the assistive technology that people may require to obtain lifestyle information they are unable to access due to illness, disability, or other such causes.

ICT helping people with sensory and/or physical disabilities :
With the use of assistive technology devices and software, people who are unable to use conventional computer input/output devices such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and touch screen can use computers. Students learn the functions and usability of assistive switches that utilize the slight movements of various part of the body and screen reading software through the experience of texting with these devices and software.

Advanced assistive technology using AI :
The evolution of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology realized practical speech and image recognition apps for deaf or hard of hearing people, blind and visually impaired people, and others. Through the experience of using these state-of-the-art apps, students understand the usefulness of engineering in the field of well-being and recognize the target of learning engineering.

Practical activities in spatial and stage presentation
Text input to a PC using exhaled breath
Operating a PC without using the monitor
Operating a PC with just slight movements of the fingers

Advanced research pursued
by the program

Practical Research as Design

Associate Professor
Hashimoto Manabu
Assistant Professor
Shigehito Tanahashi

 The research area of our laboratory is tribology, the purpose of which is to reduce friction and allow smooth machine movement. Reducing friction improves the fuel efficiency of automobiles, which can contribute to the impact on our environment.
 Two examples of our research in developing tribological technology in the field of biomechanics can be seen here. Figure 1 shows a spinal fixation system used to correct curved sections of scoliosis. We found that when micro protrusions on the bottom surface of a fastening screw are formed by laser processing the friction coefficient increases, making it possible to obtain a sufficient fixing force even with small tightening torque. This result has contributed to the miniaturization of fixed systems.
 Figure 2 shows an osteosynthesis plate used to treat wrist fractures. Since injuries frequently occur in the working age of 40-60, patients often need to quickly return to their lives after treatment. Treatment requires a polyaxial locking screw that can be inserted into the bone at any angle. By applying surface treatment techniques derived from tribology to improve the hardness of the screw surface, we successfully developed a novel locking mechanism for this treatment.
 These studies were conducted together with a medical device manufacturer in Niigata prefecture, allowing our students to grow as young engineers while participating in collaborative research.

Verification by programming
Work "Interaction Table-Chain”
Production scene: Electric circuit 1”
Production scene: Electric circuit 2”

3D printed educational models for visually impaired students powered by networking

In the education for visually impaired students, it is important to supply as many opportunities as possible to touch 3D objects to develop the concepts of them. To make various kinds of 3D models, 3D printers are useful. We have, so far, created topographic maps of Japan, Tokyo 23 wards puzzle, enlarged coin models, and a restored model of Rajomon, the main gate of ancient Heian-kyo, now Kyoto. These 3D printed models were delivered to schools for the visually impaired. To increase the type and number of 3D printed models, we are creating a network of people who have 3D modeling and printing skills and are willing to contribute to special needs education. We are also building a database of created 3D models.

Tactual exploration of a 3D map of Japan
Restored 3D model of Rajomon