The Institute for Japanese Studies presents:
Bo Jung and Soon Young Kim Professorship of East Asian Science
Johns Hopkins University
Lecture Title: Zen and the Robot: Engineering Uncanny Robots in Japan
Flyer: Yulia Frumer Flyer
Abstract: Mori Masahiro (森政弘 1927~) is best known in America and in Europe as the person who first described the phenomenon of ‘uncanny valley’ in 1970. Yet Mori’s contribution to the field of Japanese robotics went well beyond the uncanny. In addition to designing a series of groundbreaking robots, Mori also founded the Buddhism-inspired Mukta Institute, established the Robocon competition, and published numerous books in which he called for integration of Zen philosophy and practice into engineering education. This talk explores the interplay between Mori’s robotics work, engineering methods, Buddhism, and the role of psychology and cognitive science in Japanese humanoid robotics.
Bio: Yulia Frumer is the Bo Jung and Soon Young Kim Assistant Professor of East Asian Science and Technology in the History of Science and Technology Department, Johns Hopkins University. Frumer is focusing on the history of science and technology in Japan from early modern period to the 21st century. Her first book, titled Making Time: Astronomical Time Measurement in Tokugawa Japan, explored changing regimes of time measurement in early modern Japan. Her current research project focuses on the long history of Japanese humanoid robotics technologies. In addition, she explores topics of scientific translations, science and technology exchange, measurement instruments, and science fiction.
Free and Open to the Public
This event is co-sponsored by OSU's Department of History through the Humanities & Arts Discovery Themes, Science and Technology Studies Project. The Institute for Japanese Studies Lecture Series is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.