Content of the study program
Using the PR2 robot owned by the Institute of Cognitive Systems, Technical University of Munich, I studied the generation of robot motion using a neural network model, participated in monthly laboratory meetings, and presented my research results during my last week.
My goal was to generate robot motions to deal with flexible objects using a deep neural network as a control model. I was able to obtain parameters that more closely resemble the human body via direct teachings from people, realizing motions that consider environmental information using two deep neural networks.
Due to my short tenure (two months), it was difficult to set up the experimental environment and analyze the results. Consequently, many tasks were not finished.
My experience abroad
As this was my first time studying abroad, everything was unfamiliar. Luckily, my host family was very kind and made me feel welcome. The language barrier was initially a huge obstacle. However, I took the opportunity to have lunch with other members of the laboratory, and eventually became comfortable enough to chat with them. Although I had trouble communicating, especially in the beginning, the people I encountered knew that the Japanese people tend not to talk much outside Japan. This experience reinforced the importance of English, which would be difficult to notice in Japan. If possible, I hope to have the opportunity to revisit someday.
Influence on my future career
I was impressed by the large number of excellent students in the laboratory where I studied, and was inspired by the diverse research programs compared to my laboratory in Japan. I also had the chance to talk with Japanese researchers. Thanks to the people I encountered as well as my insightful discussions with Japanese researchers, I am seriously considering continuing my studies in the doctoral program. Regardless of my path, I hope to work abroad in the future.
Although I had limited time for sightseeing, I participated in Oktoberfest, which was a unique experience that I will never forget.