RoboCasa, the Italy-Japan joint laboratory for Research on Humanoid and Personal Robotics, has been
established in 2003 in Tokyo with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
General Directorate for Cultural Promotion and Cooperation, in the framework of the Executive
Program 2002-2006 for the International Cooperation between Italy and Japan. This initiative
is the result of the vicennial collaboration between Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
(Pisa, Italy) and Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan), and
in particular between the ARTS Lab (Advanced Robotics
Technology and Systems Laboratory) of SSSA and the HRI
(Humanoid Robotics Institute) of Waseda University, in the fields of Humanoid and Personal Robotics.
Strategic objective of RoboCasa is the creation of a solid link between Japan and
Italy, by connecting universities, research centers, and small and middle
enterprises in the two nations (and, as a natural extension, in Europe and Asia) in
the fields of advanced robotics, medical and biomedical technologies, and related
biomechatronic technologies (see Figure 12). This approach is pursued at three different
levels: excellent research; joint education; and strengthening of industrial relationships.
Among the results obtained in the first two years of the project, we could mention the development of the joint ARTS-HRI humanoid robotic platform WE-4RII (Waseda Eye #4 Refined II), able to express several emotions and behaviours in a human-like way, and the establishment of two commercial partnerships between Italian and Japanese companies.