Outline of Research and Education
~ Study of Biological Intelligence: Cooperation, Harmony, and Coexistence with Nature ~
Organisms have acquired various abilities through interaction with nature. While AI and other human-generated technologies are important, biological intelligence, or the ability to solve problems inherent to living organisms, is even more important for building a future in which we can coexist in harmony with nature.
We focus on insects, which inhabit a wide range of environments on the earth, and are pioneering new science and technology to understand and apply the sensory and brain mechanisms that release their behavior by accurately reconstructing from the elements such as proteins and neurons.
Detection of odorants and the search for the odor source are extremely difficult problems that have not yet been solved even with the current state of science and technology. Insects, on the other hand, can detect and locate odors several kilometers away, for example, male moths can detect the pheromonal odor emitted by females. Understanding the intelligence of insects not only solves a problem that science and technology has yet to solve, but also teaches us how to solve problems in a way that is kind to nature and in harmony with nature. Research on the innate intelligence of living organisms is essential for the future of new science and new manufacturing that is friendly to humans, living organisms, and the global environment, and that considers the future of the Earth.

~ Shifting from a "huma-centered" to a "nature-centered" perspective: Humanity and Ethics ~

In order to build a future that coexists with nature, it is important to shift our perspective from the conventional anthropocentric view of humans as separate from nature and in control of it to a nature-centered view that humans are part of nature. We need to look at science and technology from the perspective of diversity and inclusiveness, as well as humanity and ethics, which are created by placing nature at the center, and we need to work toward the development of true human resources through STEAM education. In order to put this into practice, we have established the "Advanced Art-Design Field" in RCAST and hold the "Koyasan Conference" every year at Kongobuji Temple and Koyasan University, where scientists, artists, philosophers, religious leaders, and others from diverse backgrounds gather to think about and practice humanity and ethics in the future 1200 years from now through dialogue.

The development of humanistic and ethical science and technology in harmony with nature and the cultivation of STEAM human resources are urgent issues.

For more details, please see "Projects" below.

Koyasan Conference 2023
The future after 1200 years with humanity and ethics set.
Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration
Mandala Project
Shift in perspective from anthropocentric to nature-centered
Advanced ArtDesign Area
Social Cooperation Research

A world in harmony and coexistence with nature
Multisensing System

Comprehensive research on the sensory systems of living organisms

JST Next Generation Human Resource Science and Technology Challenge Program for Next Generation (STELLA)


Examples of AAD Activities
  • The Koyasan Conference was established to bring together people from various fields such as science, art, philosophy, and religion, as well as local people, to look ahead to the world 1200 years from now, to think about and practice a better future form that is humane and ethical, in harmony and coexistence with nature. This conference is held annually, measuring up to 1200 years from now.
  • Koyasan Conference Related Information
  • Koyasan University and AAD of RCAST have established the "Mandala Project" with the aim of realizing a Well-Being society by conveying to people living in modern society the worldview that Kukai attained through meditation (a state of being at one with nature) approximately 1,200 years ago, and to help them connect with nature, feel the importance of life, and realize their true "heart".
  • In the complex society of the future, it will be necessary to shift from an anthropocentric perspective to a "nature-centered" perspective, in which people are part of nature. From a nature-centered perspective, we aim to build an inclusive and diverse society, and through dialogue from diverse perspectives in science, art, philosophy, and religion, we aim to make concrete proposals and practices for the construction of a society with humanity and ethics.
  • This research area aims for a comprehensive understanding and application of multi-sensing systems through the co-creation of researchers from diverse fields, including scientists, artists, and barrier-free people.
    Related Information
  • In order to develop the next generation of outstandingn order to develop the next generation of outstanding human resources who will lead scientific and technological innovation, this project supports the development and implementation of various training programs for students with outstanding motivation and ability in science and mathematics at the elementary and secondary education levels (upper elementary to high school) to further develop their abilities.
Collaborative Research
 Insect Control Space Design Social Cooperation Research Division  Insect Brain Simulation on the Fugaku Supercomputer Bio-Machine Hybrid System
  • Construction of a highly sensitive, highly selective, real-time response odor sensor using insect olfactory receptors.
  • Neuroethological research on sensory and brain neural circuits that release insects' odor source-searching behavior.
  • Construction of whole-brain simulations to understand the primitive intelligence of the insect brain. Modeling and simulation of the brain using next-generation supercomputers.
  • A mobile robot controlled by insects developed to elucidate the ability (intelligence) of insects to adapt and act from time to time in their complex environment.
Research Achievements  Research Introduction with Video Outreach Activities
 STEAM Education
Comparative Neuroscience Platform 
List of Research Achievements
Doctoral Thesis
Master's Thesis
Graduation Thesis
Public Lectures
Scientific Research Grants
Domestic and International
 Cooperative Research and Agreements

Research introduced at SCIENCE
Insect odor sensors using insec
 olfactory receptors

Insect Controlled Robot
Cyborg insects
Odor Searching Drone
・Robot Controlled Based on a
  Neural Circuit odel

TEDxSeeds2010 Lecture

  • Through experiments and experiences in biology, robotics, and nature observation for elementary, junior high, and high school students, we value the appeal of nature and science, as well as the senses, including the arts, and nurture human resources with humanity and ethics who can feel and think about various solutions from a balance of reason and sensibility.
  • Example of implementation for elementary, junior high and high school students
  • A database of sensory, brain, and behavioral data of invertebrates, mainly insects, in collaboration with RIKEN. (Completed project)
Contact: 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8904
TEL: 03-5452-5195  kanzaki(at)rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp 

Copyright: Ryohei Kanzaki, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo

Updated: 20230624