OTOTAKE Project Results Presentation

The Otatake Project is a research initiative to advance the human body using robotics led by Ken Endo, a researcher at Sony CSL, and Hirotada Ototake, the author of the memoir No One’s Perfect. It began in 2018, with the support of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST CREST JPMJCR1781, JPMJCR19F2). In addition to Ken Endo, the Ototake Project now includes engineers and designers of robotic prosthetics, a team of prosthetists and orthotists who make sure the prostheses fit Mr. Ototake properly, and physical therapist who offer guidance on walking techniques.

The results of our past three years of research were announced on September 28 at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. This is an overview of the day’s events.


 1. Event Report
 2. Archival Footage
 3. Overview

Event Report

Ken Endo Introduces Project Overview & Results
The event took place at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (also known as the Miraikan). Because of the coronavirus, the event was held virtually. To begin, researcher Ken Endo took the stage in Miraikan Hall and gave an explanation of robotic prosthetics, and played a video covering the past three years of research.
The robotic legs being developed by Endo are “active” (they operate actively) but lightweight. By tweaking the parameters of knee movement, the demands of each person’s rehabilitation process can be met. Endo has been undertaking research with Mr. Ototake on this sort of “n=1 manufacturing” tailored to each individual.

Hirotada Ototake demonstrating how he walks with robotic prosthetics

Next, the event moved to an exhibition space on the third floor. Hirotada Ototake gave a walking demonstration. Mr. Ototake moved towards the museum’s Geo-Cosmos display for a total distance 66.2 meters, significantly further than the planned 50 meters.

Panel Discussions

After this, we returned to Miraikan Hall for a symposium. The first segment featured members of the project team: Mr. Naoki Uchida, a physical therapist, and Mr. Atsuo Okino, a prosthetist. They offered their specialized perspective on how the project has progressed—how to generalize the knowledge gained from their work with Mr. Ototake to society as a whole, and how to utilize what they’ve learned over the past three years in the future.

The next segment featured a discussion with Mr. Tatsuya Honda, Mr. Yusuke Sugano, and Mr. Yoichi Ochiai, all members of the xDiversity project. Part of this project involves research on a topic that has been officially adopted by JST CREST: Societal applications for spatial, audiovisual and haptic technology based on Super AI building diversity through computing machines (Lead Researcher: Yoichi Ochiai, Principal Co-researchers: Yusuke Sugano, Tatsuya Honda, Ken Endo). By comparing differences between human beings and their environment using AI, xDiversity hopes to create problem-solving systems that work for all people. They recounted stories from the launch of the project, their future ambitions, and the type of world that xDiversity is hoping to create.

Attendees had lots of questions that went well beyond the allotted time. In the end, the event went off smoothly and received a very warm response.

Archival Footage

More details about the event can be found here.




Date: September 28, 2021, 18:00 - 20:00

Place: National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo)


Part 1
18:00 Introduction of the project by Dr. Endo
18:30 Robotic prosthetic leg walking demonstration by Mr. Hirotada Ototake

Part 2
19:00 Panel session/Q&A

Ken Endo, Researcher, Sony Computer Science Laboratories
Hirotada Ototake
Naoki Uchida (Physical Therapist)
Atsuo Okino (Prosthetist)
Tatsuya Honda (Fujitsu Limited / xDiversity)
Yusuke Sugano (Associate Professor, University of Tokyo / xDiversity)
Yoichi Ochiai (Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba / xDiversity)