In order to realize the next generation manufacturing, it is necessary to unify the physical products, the service to supply them and the social system to actualize these, and attempt value creation. This does not only mean the concept of the said product service system. Instead, it builds a service system in a wider sense that integrates incentive creation to people and society, designing of social system and the life cycle. In this department, we will approach these challenges by employing a new concept called digital triplets. This is a concept with a triple-layer structure that builds on the concept of digital twins, whichis a cyber-physical system that connects the real world and the digital world in a one-to-one relationship, by adding the world of intellectual activity. Digital triplets enable thinking with an integrated framework that includes the intellectual activities of the creator, and therefore its essence is the fact that it can clarify the value creation process. This department will strive toward the creation of an ecosystem (social system) that enables growth and evolution of the system within the society after the introduction of the product/service bythe maker and the user through the society looking after the system in the form of maintenance and upgrading. The department contributes to the realization of a sustainable society through creation of such an ecosystem.
For the next generation manufacturing, the ability to accurately understand the potential needs of the society and present the value offers that correspond with these needs is required. For such an ability, it is important to research, develop, and employ the method that is user-driven and maximizes their values instead of the method driven by the technology of the creator. If we understand the society as “the entirety of users, creators and everyone involved in the products and services, and all other products and services generated by these”, it is necessary to elucidate the mechanism of how people understand artifacts (cognitive mechanism). A research that integrates arts and science that includes psychology, which studies human cognitive process, is required for achieving this. The main characteristics of people using products/services include the usability (easy/difficult to use), taste (like/dislike), and attitude (active/passive), and hence, their relationship must be optimized. For instance, smartphones and cars are mutually beneficial. However, their inappropriate combination can cause the danger of “distracted driving”. At this department, we are conducting researches to elucidate how human recognizes artifacts and interacts with them in order for the products/services created through the new generation manufacturing to be optimally integrated into and accepted by the people and the society, and contribute to the production of artifacts beneficial to these.
This department strives for the development of new technology for socialimplementation using AI (Artificial Intelligence) directed at output, which conducts production system design, skill extraction, and education system design. Concretely, we are aiming the creation of products/service system that possesses overwhelming international competitiveness by skillfully combining the AI cognitive technology centered on deep learning, which is rapidly developing today, with the hardware and infrastructure technology the Graduate School of Engineering of the Faculty possesses. For instance, automation of the works by construction machines using the cognitive technology, automatic diagnosis basedon medical images or automation of chemical plant control can be considered as possible applications. The commencing point of our methodology is the information selection necessary for the solution of our target problems, and we are conducting research and development on elements that emphasize circulation development of information system, such as collection of real world data necessary for the information selection, physical devices including the high-performance sensor required for the data collection, processingmethod selection for digital triplets data, service construction that utilizes the web technology and its continuous improvement, and support for human manufacturing. At our department, the knowledge acquired through past artifacts engineering researches is used as the overall framework, and the research and development of real world hardware development elements is conducted through utilization of the resources of the research by the Graduate School of Engineering. Through such a strong collaboration between two disciplines, social implementation technology of the artifacts including the cutting edge AI technology is being built.