Waseda Daigaku in Japanese, Waseda University was founded in 1882 as the T?ky? Senmon Gakk?. This privately owned university is situated in the northern part of Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities, not only in Japan but in all of Asia. The university was renamed as the Waseda University ten years after it was established.
?kuma Shigenobu, a samurai scholar, Meiji era politician and former Japanese Prime Minister, founded the university, which started as a college with only three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education. The university then had the Political Science and Economics Department, Law, and the Physical Science department. English language was also an integral part of the school’s curricula allowing students then to study English.
In 1885, one of its departments was forced to close down because of few applicants. The department of physical science had to be closed due to the dwindling number of applicants. Five years later, the Department of Literature was opened. In 1902, the school was known as the Waseda University, and one year after it changed its status, the Department of Education opened which was followed by the Department of Commerce a year later.
In 1908, the Department of Science and Engineering was established. During the Second World War, much of its campus was devastated. Due to the Japanese resiliency, the university was rebuilt and reopened in 1949. Since then it has grown to become a premier university in Asia and in Japan.
In 1970, Professor Ichiro Kato of the Waseda University, together with his colleagues, began researching about anthropomorphic robots and started the WABOT Project. Several other projects followed, and among the notable robots that were made were the WABOT-1, WABOT-2 and WABIAN robots.
Following the success of their research, the university established the Humanoid Robotic Institute in April of 2000. At the Humanoid Research Institute, they aim to look into the possibility of a new relationship between humanoids and human beings.
Today, the university’s humanoid laboratory has opened its doors not only from within the university, but also from outsiders, in order to serve not only the academic and business world but the entire society in general.