Embodied Media - Project Archive

An overview of the research prototypes, public exhibitions, industrial products, and modern organizational designs that enhance our everyday lives.

Embodied Media では、日常生活を豊かにするテクノロジーの開発、プロダクトのデザイン、未来の表現や社会の仕組みを提案する研究活動に取り組んでいます。

Headspin Experience

Breaking is a sport that has been adopted as a new Olympic sport at the Paris 2024.
However, due to the difficulty of the technique, many people do not have the opportunity to experience Breaking easily.
Therefore, we developed a device that allows beginners to easily and safely experience the Breaking technique.
We focused on a Breaking skill called Headspin whitch is a technique where you turn upside down and rotate around your head.
The "Headspin Experience" will help the participant understand what is difficult about Headspin and which muscles need to be moved.

In the experience, the participant can experience two of the factors that make Headspin difficult.
• To bear the weight of the body with only the neck and head
• Turning the legs parallel to each other
It is expected that the Breaking competition at the Paris Olympics will be more enjoyable because the body will be able to recognize the ideal movement of Headspin.



Human Augmentation
Collaborative Avatar Platform

We developed a system in which two users are integrated into one actual robot arm to collaborate with each other. The method of dividing the roles allows flexible movements that is not dependent on the range of movement and rotational freedom of the human arm, and enables movements that are impossible for a single person. The mixing of movements in adjustable ratio allows an expert to support a beginner to make more stable movements, and induces collaboration between users with different perspectives. Additionally, we implement tactile feedback to enable interaction between users and between users and the robot. We investigate the effects of these on usability and cognitive behavior. This system is expected to become a new method of collaboration in the cyber-physical society.


Human Augmentation
Slide Rift

In this study, a new racing sport that can be competed with or without lower limb disability was developed using the medium, which provides a new athletic ability of drifting to diverse bodies.
Analysis was conducted based on performance information obtained from actual competitions by 3 participants with lower limb disabilities, ranging in age from under 10 to 40, and 3 participants without lower limb disabilities, ranging in age from their 20s to 40s.
As the result, we have found that we can provide thrills and fun for all participants, regardless of whether they have a lower limb disability or not.
This shows that the system concept and event was a 'superhuman sport' in which all users can participate equally.


Human Augmentation
Parallel Ping-Pong


Human Augmentation

For a number of people, wheelchairs are their main means of transport.
However, the traditional design of wheelchairs restricts the user to using their hands at all times while driving.
As a result, the user has two types of accessibility-related disability with regard to the upper and lower limbs.
Our proposal, SlideFusion, is an extension of our previous work on co-ordination and assistive technologies to address these limitations.

SlideFusion enables remote communication through an upper limb avatar embedded in an augmented wheelchair-type mobile 'SlideRift' and proposes a shared gaze modality with a remote operator to reduce the physical and cognitive burden on the user.



Human Augmentation
Altered Pinna

This study demonstrates that by opening and closing the human pinna, we can change the direction of sound perceived by humans. Each ear was independently transformed into a 100% open, 50% open, and 100% closed state, and all 9 combinations of these ear transformations were tested to evaluate the perceived direction of the sound output from 7 speakers placed 180 degrees around the subject. We demonstrate that by deforming the pinna, we could change the perception of the direction of sound, or make it illusory. We also found that except for 1 out of 7 speakers (or directions of sound), closing 100% of the ear on the side of the speaker where the sound is coming from and 50% of the ear on the other side of the speaker tends produce the most alteration to the perceived direction of sound.


Human Augmentation
Skin+, Modular Programmable Skin

The skin is a natural interface between the inside and outside of our body. It holds us into shape, as well as it shapes the way we behave. Wearing clothes would significantly lower the interactivity of this interface. This research is focused to create a new “organ extension” of our skin by modularizing the haptic interaction of the covered skin. This new extension would allow creating a transparent medium beyond the worn fabric and would reshape our skin function by augmenting touch sensation through the mechanism of the combination of shape-memory alloy (SMA) actuators and the mechanical structures. This research has potential applications in creating new forms of reprogrammable haptic modules utilized on a wide area of skin in virtual reality (VR) environments.

Human Augmentation

For most vertebrate animals, tail plays an important role for their body, providing variant functions to expand their mobility. In this work, Arque, we propose an artificial biomimicry-inspired anthropomorphic tail to allow us to alter our body momentum for assistive and haptic feedback applications.

Human Augmentation
Synchronized Running

“Synchronized Running” is a running support system for the blind marathon. The device proposed is in the shape of a knee brace.
During the blind marathon, the blind runners pair up with sighted runners to help guide them.
The biggest issue in this sport is the lack of the guide runners that can assist the blind athletes.
Moreover, the first time blind and sighted people run together, physical disparity often occurs.
Therefore, it is difficult for blind and sighted people to match each other's running tempo.
By using “Synchronized Running”, when the blind runner’s foot hits the ground, the vibration is sent to the escort runner’s ankle brace.
When the escort runner feels the vibration, she can understand the blind runner’s running tempo.
This way, every pair can experience comfortable, enjoyable, and synchronized running despite any handicap, through adjusting and understanding each other’s running tempo.

『Synchronized Running』はブラインドマラソンの伴走体験を支援する足首のサポーターです。
『Synchronized Running』を用いると、視覚障害者(黄色のサポーター)が地面を蹴り出すタイミングで伴走者(緑色のサポーター)に振動が伝わり、足を出すタイミングを揃えやすくなります。

Human Augmentation

In the fairy tale "Pinocchio," "When Pinocchio tells a lie, his nose extends." What if it really happens to us human beings? PinocchioVR expresses the sensation of human noses extending using the Body Ownership illusion. We provide this illusion through a combination of HMD visuals and a nose-pulling sensation.


Human Augmentation

We propose “MetaLimbs” is a prototype exploring a research question “How we can edit or design our body?”. The system is constructed by robotic arms/hands which are mounted on a user and motion tracking which uses socks type sensor device and optical motion trackers, it can modulate from user’s legs/feet movement and posture to the motion of robotic arms/hands. User’s body perception and schema will be changed or augmented by multiple limb interactions.


Human Augmentation

In this research, we developed a device that combines an artificial arm and a musical instrument. “Musiarm” aims to bring an entertainment aspect to prosthetic arms as well as motivate users to play musical instruments. We identified a physical value in people with disabilities and attempted to realize a design that transcends physical limitations. "Muisarm" was prototyped alongside prosthetists and people missing a forearm who do not usually play music. In conclusion, “Musiarm” revealed the possibility to stimulate the interest of people with disabilities regarding music performance. “Musiarm” explores the expansion of the artificial arm functionality to performance art through a combination of music and body movement.


Human Augmentation
Unconstrained Neck

Humans are born with physiological limitations in terms of the sensory and motor abilities. Due to the narrow range of motion of the neck and the small visual field of the eyes, the human visual sense is limited in terms of the spatial range. We address this visual limitation by proposing a programmable neck that can leverage the range of motion limits. Unconstrained Neck, a head-mounted robotic neck, is a substitution neck system which provides a wider range of motion enabling humans to overcome the physical constraints of the neck. Using this robotic neck, it is possible to control the visual/motor gain which allows the user to thus control the range and speed of his effective neck motion or visual motion.

Human Augmentation
Exploring Thermal Perception

To develop a VR immersive thermal display, it’s important to know how human perceive and interpret thermal stimuli and what kind of information can be conveyed to the user through the thermal stimuli. If we can utilize thermal stimuli in the same way as it affects human in real world, it’s possible to simulate the real world in thermal aspect. So my subject here is to prove the hypothesis: thermal stimuli on body extremities lead to different recognition and interpretation. I conducted three experiment to exam the thermal perception on forehead, on wrist and on the bottom of foot. In the research, I successfully present spatial awareness and passing-through illusion to user and also introduce some principle for the thermal experience design on the foot.

Human Augmentation
Superhuman Sports Hackathon

By utilizing the cutting edge technology to the civic tech, Superhuman Sports had been developed with repeated tries and error, is an epoch-making creation method.

This project is creating a new kind of community and the field of people from various kinds of background and named the trend of creation of combining the sports, technology and creativity as Sports Creation.

We are pursuing the generating the value of the company and the local area, discover and recruit of creative persons and creation of new culture and community by holding Superhuman Sports Hackathon in Tokyo and Superhuman Sports Project from Iwate Pref. which created local sports.




Human Augmentation
Superhuman Sports Society

By combining technology and culture into sports, we Superhuman Sports Society supports the creation of new sports that are integrated with human beings and technologies. By doing it, we strongly believe everyone will exceeds the "human" barrier.
Also, by creating it, competing in it, watching it, and supporting it, with everyone, we directly achieve the situation everyone can be enjoy it.
We raise games, engineers, players, supporters and designers of those games born from diverse talent, let them spread to society in the form of competitions, public experience, showcase etc.


Human Augmentation