PhD. Program in Empowerment Informatics
In 2014, University of Tsukuba launched a PhD. Program in Empowerment Informatics, or short: EMP. It is a five-year PhD-program supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This program aims to realize the students’ career development and consists of the following three areas, which are strengths of the University of Tsukuba, and have important connections to the industry.
Supplementation: Supplement the reduced physical and sensory functions of elderly people or people with disabilities.
Harmony: Harmonize the engineered systems that people encounter in daily life (advanced mobility, etc.), so that they integrate with people.
Extension: Draw out and extend people’s latent creative functions. The human resource development goals of EMP are to develop students’ abilities, which are necessary to create systems capable of “empowering people” in the following three areas: Interdisciplinary ability, frontline ability and presentation ability.
The program leader of EMP is Hiroo Iwata, who has been exhibiting works at Ars Electronica since 1996. His activity includes Device Art Exhibition in 2009 and 2014, as well as the University of Tsukuba Campus Exhibition in 2011. Based on these achievements, EMP started a collaboration with Ars Electronica FutureLab for human resource development. Every year, staff of the FutureLab mentors the students of EMP while they plan their exhibition for the Ars Electronica Festival, which is a great opportunity for EMP students.
Hiroo Iwata (JP)
This work is a video installation showing the Block Machine that performs top-level volleyball blockers.
John Brumley (US)
Guattari Hero reimagines Amazon.com as an environment, which users can traverse as a series of plateaus.
John Brumley (US)
Prime Directive inverts the standard interaction between users and voice assistant agents.
Yuta Kozaki (JP)
Winkey is a robot for supporting eyelid movement, designed for people with facial paralysis.