Report from the Shibaura Institute of Technology
The Shibaura Institute of Technology received assistance from the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science and invited 7 graduate students, 3 students, and 1 faculty supervisor from the welfare medical technology department of the University of Technology Malaysia and held an international exchange program from November 21 (Tuesday) to November 30 (Thursday), 2017. In this program, participants conducted rehabilitation engineering experiments on topics such as pneumatic artificial muscle actuators, posture, and muscle activation analysis with the goal of invigorating future cooperative research in the field. They were also introduced to Japanese technology from both this university and Japan as a whole, and international exchange between the students of the two schools was also a main feature.
At the start of the program, the first thing the participants did was hear an explanation of the overview of the university and its internationalization initiatives. The supervising instructor invited to take part in the program this time was a member of the faculty at this university about 5 years ago, and the students were also extremely interested in studying abroad in Japan. They asked a lot of questions about the study abroad program. The participants toured the campus after the explanation of the university, and also heard explanations of various experiment equipment. In the afternoon, they learned about Japan's medical and social welfare technology from Professor Shinichiro Yamamoto, and they also visited his laboratory afterward and heard about the content of the research being conducted by the student members through experiments.
Starting on the 3rd day of the program, the participants formed groups with the students of this university and carried out Pneumatic Actuator Modeling and Posture and Muscle Activation, and also performed an attitude positive distance measurement as their main activities. They also learned about the rehabilitations devices and other medical and social welfare measurement technology being developed for cranial nerve motor dysfunction based on research being conducted on the neuro-rehabilitation concept.
As the final part of the program, the participants visited the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities in Saitama and toured the center's rehabilitation and occupational training facilities. In addition, they were able to view how experiments are actually performed and see the latest technology. On the last day, the students made presentations about what they learned to close out the program.
Because rehabilitation engineering is a relatively new field in developing countries like Malaysia, the program was a very meaningful experience for the participants who were invited to take part. There are also future plans to reinvigorate the collaborative research between the two countries and accept more study abroad students into Japan.
In closing, the university is grateful to the Sakura Science for its support in carrying out the program.
All of the participants felt happy and satisfied with because they got the opportunity to use the facilities and communicate with the SIT student. I strongly believe that this is the very experience that they can never have in Malaysia. These opportunities will help them to improve their skills and knowledge. They always looking forward to returning to Japan one day. In the end I would like to express my appreciation to JST establishing this program.