Gifu National College of Technology
In April 1963, the Gifu National College of Technology was founded in a hope that they could equip future engineers with adept knowledge and techniques, and at the same time inculcate advanced technological skills. It started with three departments: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Civil Engineering. Three years later, the Department of Architecture was added to their curriculum, and two decades later, the Department of Electronic Engineering followed suit.
Aside from engineering courses, students at Gifu National College of Technology systematically learn humanities, natural sciences and other basic subjects necessary in pursuing an engineering education. It is also one of the vital characteristics of the institution to provide continuous five- year education to their students in order to become full-fledged and adept members of society, as well as engineers who are highly proficient and skilled in their craft.
Years later, the faculty of Advanced Engineering was added to the college so that graduates of the university can enhance their knowledge further. In 2004, the institution was granted autonomy and became an Independent Administrative Institution, the Institute of National Colleges of Technology.
Among notable projects related to robots that the Gifu National College of technology has developed are the SPICA and the ZiN bipedal robots, which were unveiled during the 2009 Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s Robot Contest, or ABU Robotics. They have also collaborated with some researchers from the Aichi Institute of Technology to come up with Tour Guide Robots, which were aimed to boost tourism in certain areas in the country.
This robot is actually a mobile robot that balances itself using a couple of wheels, and with an inverted pendulum this tour guide robot can push itself forward and backward. Equipped with a microphone, cameras, speakers and sensors, this robot is being controlled by officials at a museum to help tourists walk through.