Japan’s sixth oldest university, Osaka University, was known as the Osaka Prefecture Medical School back in 1869.This major national university, which was founded in downtown Osaka, was formerly one of the Imperial Universities of the country.
In 1919, the school was changed into the Osaka Prefectural Medical College with university status by virtue of Imperial Ordinance No. 388 of 1918. In 1931, it merged with the newly- established College of Science, paving the way for the creation of the Osaka Imperial University and it was inaugurated as the sixth imperial university in the country.
In 1933, the Osaka Technical College was added to the university, forming the university’s School of Engineering. In 1947, the school was christened as Osaka University. Two years later, as part of Japan’s educational system reform, it merged with the Naniwa High School and Osaka High School and started with five faculties: Science, Medicine, Engineering, Letters, and Law. Soon, graduate schools, faculties and several research institutes were set up by the university.
Osaka University’s School of Engineering Science was a first of its kind among Japan’s national universities. Its School of Human Sciences, which covers cross-interdisciplinary interests like psychology, sociology and education, gives accolades and recognition to the university.
In 1993, the School’s university hospital was transferred to the Suita campus from its downtown Osaka location, completing the school’s plan of integrating all facilities into its Suita and Toyonaka campuses. In 2007, the university merged with the Osaka University of Foreign Studies, making it one of the two national universities in Japan with a School of Foreign Studies and the largest national university in Japan.
The School’s Department of Multimedia Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology is one of the departments that have been making waves for the university. A team from this department has created a robotic hand which allows you to chat with someone remotely. They have also developed a robot toddler called the Child Robot that has biomimetic body.
However, it is the Actroid Robot that has really made the news for the school. This humanoid robot, with its strong visual human likeness, has changed the way we perceive robots. Among the Actroids that Osaka University have developed are the Repliee models. These interactive robots have the capability to recognize and process speech and can respond like a human. They also paved the way for the development of other female robot in the market today.