Institute of Gerontology, The University of Tokyo
Susumu Tachi, Professor Emeritus

Keio University Graduate School of Media Design (a.k.a. KMD)
Kouta Minamizawa, Associate Professor
Charith Fernando, Project Senior Assistant Professor

Tachi Lab. is a world leading laboratory in the field of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Telexistence.

We live in an era where the speed of technological advances has far exceed the rate of individual’s adaptation and learning abilities. To avoid a fatal outcome, researchers and developers of computer technology must cultivate a human-centered paradigm. It is essential to establish a technology where people can interact naturally with machines like robots and computers, as if they are interact naturally with other people or nature, in a cybernetic way that is truly human-oriented, thoroughly backed up by knowledge of physiology and cognitive behavioral psychology. We can permit various forms of interface, but the default interface has to be object-oriented, with a clear standard by which people can interact with machines as if they are handling natural objects.

Telexistence (tele-existence) runs concurrent with this human-centered notion. It is a fundamental concept which refers to the general technology that enables a human being to have a real-time sensation of being at a place other than where he or she actually exists, while being able to interact with the remote environment, which may be real, virtual, or a combination of both. It also refers to an advanced type of teleoperation system which enables an operator at the control to perform remote tasks dexterously with the feeling of existing in a surrogate robot working in a remote environment. A surrogate robot and a remote environment can be virtual. Real operation through virtual space is also possible, i.e. Augmented Telexistence.

Telexistence ultimately enables humans to be virtually ubiquitous, i.e., being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time.

The collaborative project between the Tachi Laboratory at the University of Tokyo and Keio Media Design strives to achieve the concept of telexistence through the collaboration of researchers specializing in a range of academic disciplines, from systems engineering and human-machine interfaces to bioinformatics and cognitive science. Present research themes include:

-Telexistence- telexistence communication, mutual telexistence, and haptic telexistence using Telexistence Surrogate Anthropomorphic Robot (TELESAR).

-Telexistence wide-angle immersive stereoscope (TWISTER), which has full-color autostereoscopic display with 360-degree field of view.

-RPT (Retro-reflective Projection Technology), which includes Optical Camouflage, Transparent Cockpit and Repro3D, RPT based autosteroscopic display.

-Haptics based on Haptic Primary Color Theory, including electro-tactile display with receptor selective stimulation, TECHTILE toolkit, haptic camera (GelForce), tangible 3D dispaly (GravityGrabber, GhostGlove, Pen de Touch) and Haptic Editor.