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1. Why do you find robots so interesting? As a child in the 1980s, my parents bought me a “Donald Duck” comic book about computers and programming. A part of that book was about robotics. One robot shown there was a piano-playing robot exhibited at Expo ’85 in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. I still remember these pictures.

2. What inspired you to pursue a doctorate in robotics from Waseda University? When I was living in China, in my late 20s, I visited Fudan University in Shanghai and was introduced to its research on a humanoid robot. This caused my childhood interest in robotics to resurface. I was lucky to get accepted to the laboratory of professor Atsuo Takanishi. As it turned out, my task was to work on the successor of the piano playing robot WABOT-2 at Expo ’85.

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