Supprting Motor Function with Enhanced Tactile Feedback (NEXT)


The Funding Program for Next Generation World-Leading Researchers(NEXT Program) aimed at supporting the researchers who possess the potential to be world leaders in their respective fields. Based on guidelines prescribed by the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP) and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.


We focus on the fact that loss of motor functions in elderly people is caused not only by the decline of muscles but also by the deterioration of somatosensory system, which produces sensations against force, body position, skin deformation, etc. However, contributions of cutaneous sensation toward motor functions are not clarified yet.

 Research Objectives

We reveal the influences and the mechanisms of cutaneous sensation toward the motor perception and develop sensory enhancement technologies and sensory transfer technologies for supporting motor functions. Especially, we develop a walking support system by the cutaneous sensory enhancement introduced from the studies on skin vibration propagation through a musculoskeletal system. We also aim to develop a wearable motor supporting system and a rehabilitation system, which includes motion measurement and tactile stimulation system.


Research Originarity

Conventional motor supporting technologies are based on force assist system, such as a robotic exoskeleton suit. In this study, we aim to support motor functions more easily and safely to use in our daily life by developing a smart and compact sensory enhancement system.


Potential Applications

To realize a very easy and safety walking supporting system in our daily life, just like an eye glasses, contributes to reduce the elderly people’s risk for fall and promote their social independence and activities. In addition, our sensory enhancement technologies contribute on advancement of welfare devices such as sensory transportation for prosthetic limbs and efficient rehabilitations.



PI: Masashi Konyo