IGF 2023 WS #95 Robot symbiosis cafe

Monday, 9th October, 2023 (09:30 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (10:00 UTC)
WS 2 – Room A

Digital Divides & Inclusion
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Organizer 1: kenji imai, The Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics

Speaker 1: Manabu Inoue, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: kenjunn ashikaga, Government, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Leila Liza Dailly, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Speaker 2:kenjunn ashikaga → Hiroaki Kotaka,Govermment,Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator:De Laurentis Saskia,Technical Community,Asia-Pacific Group

Simultaneous interpretation:Keiko Tanaka,Techical Community,Asia-Pacific Group


kenji imai, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Chiaki Jones, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


kenji imai, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Tutorial - 30 Min

Policy Question(s)

・What are the advantages and problems of introducing the Internet and robots for people with disabilities to work from home? ・Because people with disabilities do not all have the same disabilities, what kind of challenges are there in creating robots that suit each disability and work, and what kind of ingenuity can be used to keep production costs low? ・How will you work on employment support for persons with disabilities in the future?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Conducting a demonstration experiment in which people with disabilities operate robots from home via the Internet to work. You can learn about the issues that were clarified in this experiment and the efforts to solve them.


Background: There are people with mental and physical disabilities who want to work even when it is difficult to go out, such as people with severe mental and physical disabilities who need constant care and people with intractable diseases who need medical care on a daily basis. (Hereinafter, these persons are referred to as “persons with disabilities”) On the other hand, there are NPOs and companies that aim to create employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and the government also has a role to play in supporting them. Issues: We have conducted a demonstration experiment in which a disabled person can work from home by operating a robot via the Internet, but there are few precedents, and there are many issues in the production and management of the robot. Point: Development of technology and systems for people with disabilities to operate robots, and construction of an operating environment. About the relationship between special support schools, life support offices, and families to train people with disabilities to operate robots.

Expected Outcomes

By knowing the results of this demonstration experiment, the participants of this workshop will be interested in the new possibilities and challenges of employment and decent work for people with disabilities through the Internet and robots.

Hybrid Format: 〇 Promoting interaction between speakers and participants ・In order for the participants to get to know the speakers, we will ask you to introduce yourself and talk about your role in the “Robot Symbiosis Cafe”. ・Kyoto Prefecture Ashikaga Section Chief talks about the reason for launching "Cafe". ・NPO Kyoto for Life Chairman Inoue talks about his thoughts and efforts to create employment support. ・Mr. Daily, who is in charge of public relations at keigan Co., Ltd., talks about the company's efforts. 〇Experiences of participants in this session In order to make it easier for participants to imagine work using robots, after operating the robots and distributing lecture materials to the participants, the lecturer will talk about robot production and demonstration experiments. 〇 Rich online tools The online tool uses Zoom. Set up a camera to show your robot's movements to online participants.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Balance between the economic efficiency required by robots and the job satisfaction required by people

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

1 Robot symbiotic cafe
1.1 “Robot Symbiotic Cafe” began in June 2022 as a result of the roundtable discussion “Keihanna Residents” hosted by Kyoto Prefecture. A demonstration experiment was conducted in February 2023.
1.2 "Robot Symbiotic Cafe" is a project that allows people with severe disabilities who are unable to go out to remotely control robots via the Internet to create future employment opportunities.
2 Member introduction
2.1 NPO Kyoto For Life (hereinafter referred to as Kyoto For Life): Based on the Act on Comprehensive Support for Persons with Disabilities, Kyoto For Life mainly guarantees a minimum wage to people with intellectual, physical, and mental disabilities. A project that provides a place for people with disabilities to work with confidence and pride, allows them to enjoy joy through work, and supports economic independence that contributes to people with disabilities ``working better and living better.'' We are working on this.
2.2 Kyoto Prefecture Department of Commerce, Labor and Tourism, Manufacturing Promotion Division (Kyoto Prefecture): We are working on promoting various cutting-edge technologies, and robots are one of them. The Keihanna Robot Technology Center was opened in 2019 to support the development of next-generation technology, encourage small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up companies in Kyoto Prefecture to enter the robot industry, and improve the convenience and comfort of society through robots. Working towards a purpose.
2.3 Keigan Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Keigan): Our company is a robot startup company founded in Kyoto Prefecture in 2016. Our mission is "Quick and Easy Robot for Everyone." When we first started our business, we developed the ``KeiganMotor'' as a ``motor that makes it surprisingly easy to make robots.'' This motor has been well received by customers in universities and research and development fields. Since then, we have been providing robots that use motors, such as conveyor rollers and AGVs, in response to feedback that they would like to use them on factory production lines. In 2022, we will release the autonomous mobile robot "KeiganALI", which is widely used in factories, warehouses, restaurants, etc. It is characterized by its high degree of customizability, allowing it to not only transport things but also play a role in communication, depending on the user's requests.
3 Demonstration experiment
3.1 Robot operation
3.1.1 Kyoto for Life: Introducing robots, the latest technology, in the industry for supporting people with disabilities is an unprecedented attempt, but being able to remotely control robots with simple operations is a great opportunity for employment. I would like people in organizations that support people with disabilities to know more about the possibilities that may lead to the possibility of
The disabled people who participated in the demonstration experiment (hereinafter referred to as the pilots) made the decision after consulting with an organization that supports shut-ins. The pilot is confined to his home due to a severe disability, so he needs a robot that can be operated remotely from home. Also, since the pilot has handicap, he is unable to move the robot with complicated operations, so it was necessary to make the robot move as simple as possible.
3.1.2 Keigan: The pilot is handicapped, so he decided to use foot pedals instead of a keyboard or mouse. In addition, we have combined the tables for serving meals into one to make it easier to operate with the Foto Pedal.
3.2 Customization
3.2.1 During the customization work, improvements were made based on the pilot's requests while directly discussing operating methods at his home. The pilots were very happy and took the training to fly the aircraft, but they also found it tiring to fly for long periods of time, so we further improved the user interface.
3.2.2 This robot is based on the serving robot that we sell to restaurants, and we were able to reduce costs by using a commercially available foot pedal that can be easily purchased.
3.2.3 The various people with disabilities (pilots) targeted by this project each have a variety of disabilities, and as pilots become accustomed to operating robots, the tasks they can take on increase, so their demands on robots change rapidly. The important thing is to clarify what kind of robot we want to create, so we discuss what kind of system is best while communicating with the pilot. The task was to define the requirements and organize the cost and time required for development while evolving the robot.
4 Impressions/reflections, etc.
4.1 Kyoto Prefecture: “Exhibition of individuality”. Creating a robot that can do all the tasks requires development time and costs, but by skillfully combining areas where humans operate the robot and areas where the robot does the work automatically, robots can do things that humans cannot do. This creates the possibility that humans can complement tasks that robots are not good at. By combining the human domain and the robot domain, I would like to work with everyone to create robots that are warm and expressive of human individuality.
4.2 Kyoto for Life: The pilots were very pleased with this experience, saying, ``I'm happy to be able to operate a robot'' and ``I want to serve more customers.'' In addition, a support organization for hikikomori people was pleased with the results of the demonstration experiment, saying, ``I was surprised that they had the will to do it themselves, and I'm very happy.'' Through our efforts in demonstration experiments, we hope that in the future, people with disabilities will not only be able to move robots, but also interact with people through robots, participate in society, work for themselves, receive a salary, and live independent lives. I hope that society will accept this as a matter of course.
4.3 Keigan: Until now, our company has been in the position of making robots, and our engineers have focused on making robots using cutting-edge technology. However, in this project, I had the valuable experience of designing a robot to increase the ``purpose'' in life and work for people with disabilities.
5 Future developments
5.1 Kyoto Prefecture: Our department is considering increasing the number of collaboration partners. We will consider collaboration with welfare departments within the prefectural government, collaboration between the administrative bodies of each city in Kyoto Prefecture, and collaboration with actual welfare sites. At the same time, we would like to encourage businesses in the prefecture to become aware of our efforts and encourage them to participate, while conducting public relations activities.
5.2 Kyoto for Life: Through the use of robots, we hope to create new job opportunities for people with severe disabilities who have difficulty leaving their homes. First, we would like to consider the possibility of customizing the system for people with severe mental and physical disabilities. Next, for the future, we would like to have students from support schools cooperate with us in training pilots, developing technology, and creating systems. We would also like to collaborate with families of people with disabilities, life support businesses, etc. so that we can support people with disabilities who work with robots with confidence and pride. Finally, in order to increase the number of partners, we would like to spread this initiative by reaching out to other welfare facilities for people with disabilities. I believe that by having people involved in employment support see how a disabled person actually works as a pilot, their mindset will change.
5.3 Keigan: So far, we have created the robot that we talked about today based on the technological assets that we have. In the future, we would like to utilize our technological capabilities and mobility to provide jobs for people with disabilities by providing robots customized to the individual pilots' requests. I want to create robots that not only improve productivity, but also give everyone a sense of purpose in life and work.