Professor Vijayakumar secures two new Joint Industry Projects (JIP) with HONDA and Kawada

Professor Vijayakumar secures two new Joint Industry Projects (JIP) with HONDA and Kawada

In two new projects working alongside Honda Research Institute and Kawada Robotics Corporation, Professor Sethu Vijayakumar and his team will be focusing on enhancing and improving the human-robot interaction, while also looking at the issues faced by an ageing society, addressing the question of how robots can assist healthcare professionals in their day to day work. 


Honda: Co-bots and Exoskeletons for Assisted Living with Ergonomic Measures

In a world where increased ageing presents a significant challenge to society in preserving people's mobility and independence, this project joins forces with HONDA Research Institute to look at how robotics can aid the growing problem. The team will be looking at how exoskeletons can be used to aid in restoring or maintaining mobility and the use of robots in providing assistance to a subject while relieving the physical strain felt by healthcare professionals. 

Research will be undertaken to investigate and implement a framework for optimising the behaviour of robotic agents in collaborative assistance tasks, produce behaviours which promote ergonomic movements that maximise the comfort and safety of both the patient and the care provider and minimise the physical requirements of external human agents -- instead increasing the supervisory nature of their role.


Kawada: Interactive Collision-Free Bi-Manual Manipulation

The collaboration with Kawada Robotics Corporation and associated externally funded projects (e.g. Horizon 2020 project HARMONY: Enhancing Healthcare with Assistive Robotic Mobile Manipulation) aims to develop enhanced, robust capabilities on Kawada's NextageA Research Platform. Focusing on realising an obstacle-aware, safe bimanual robot system that can react to dynamic, unseen environments and accurately and robustly perform tasks with compliant real-time control, the aim is to test capabilities in interactive environements like exhibitions, science festivals ( and ultimately, in healthcare and hospital settings.

Further details on the project can be found here: Kawada Interactive Collision-Free Bi-Manual Manipulation | InfWeb (


I am delighted to collabrorate with one of the leading robotics companies in Japan to advance cutting edge, yet extremely practical capabilities on the Nextage platform. We will leverage the world leading reserach at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics in dynamic motion planning and real-time control to realise real-world translation.  I expect this work to expand the domain of application of such bimanual platforms beyond restrictive, machine only environments to allow human-centric applications in complex social environments such as shopping malls, hospital and healthcare settings and for in-home assistive technologies.

Sethu VijayakumarProfessor of Robotics, University of Edinburgh and Program Director at The Alan Turing Institute 

We are honoured to be collaborating with Professor Sethu Vijayakumar from The Univesrity of Edinburgh, a leading authority in robotics reserach.

We, Kawada Robotics, have been providing humanoid robotics research platforms to leading research intitutions for nearly 20 years. We look forward to continue working with The University of Edinburgh, one of the world's premier research and education institutions in the domain of intelligent robotics, to make humanoid robots useful to people around the world.

Tadahiro KawadaPresident, Kawada Robotics Corporation 

Useful links

Honda Research Institute

Kawada Robotics Corporation