Hiroyuki Yoshikawa: Macroscopic Engineering

Macroscopic Engineering

Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, Pioneer of robotics and precision manufacturing, Emeritus President of the University of Tokyo, Japan Prize 1997

summary by Gerhard Fasol – discussions at the end of this page

Part I: Robotless Robot (automatic assembly without robot)

For many engineering processes the interaction of geometrical shapes is important.

“Stable states” are states where for example triangles are placed with their sides in contact. As an example, if we consider two triangles, we have 9 stable states and 36 possible transitions.

Let us consider interactions between cylinders and holes in a plate – such as situation could arise in an industrial process. In this case we have metastable states, where the cylinders are upright, lying on their side, or placed oblique in one of the holes, and we have stable states, where the cylinders rest in on one of the holes.

We can consider an experiment where we have cylinders on a plate with several holes, and subject the plate to vibrations. Depending on the magnitude of vibrations, the cylinders will move around and may end up all placed in holes, which would be the finished product of this thought experiment.

The distribution of energy of cylinders at collisions between cylinders and the disc follows a Boltzmann Distribution.

Part II: Macroscopic Service Science (Servicentric human society)

Reconceptualization of manufacturing

Hypothesis: Service makes a society

The basic reason why human beings live together and work collectively or socially is that their mutual services are essential for their survival on earth. Humans cannot live alone.

Lemma: Manufacturing industry is part of the service industry.

In the service industry, a service donor (e.g. a server in a restaurant) manufactures a function and simultaneously delivers this as a service to a recipients (customer).

In the manufacturing industry, a donor manufactures functions which are embedded into products, which are delivered to recipients at a later time.

Basic structure of primitive service