Faculty Members

NIHEI Misato

(Associate Professor/Division of Environmental Studies)

Department of Human and Engineered Environmental Studies

Career Summary

2003: Research Associate (Research Institute of the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities)
2005: Visiting Research Assistant, (Waseda University, 21Cent. COE Program)
2007: Received Ph.D in Engineering from Waseda University
2007: Assistant Professor (University of Tokyo)
2013: Lecturer (University of Tokyo)
2014: Lecturer, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (University of Tokyo)
2020: Associate Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (University of Tokyo)

Educational Activities

Graduate School:Wellbeing Science and Assistive Technology
Undergraduate School:Assistive Technology

Research Activities

Specializes in Human/Life Support Engineering and Accessible Design. Aspires to provide individuals with beneficial support systems and equipment by comprehensively examining various points of view including Cognitive Science, Sociology, and Psychology in an attempt to cultivate a better understanding of the relationships between humans and assistive technologies.
1) Research on a living environment technology system for human behavior in daily life and a motion assist information system.
2) Generalization and practice of qualitative research method applying assistive product desingn theory.
3) Research on mobility activities related to the elderly and those with cognitive impairment.

Evaluation of ATs

Assitive Devices


1?) M. Nihei and M. Kamata, A Survey of the Elderly in Regional Cities on their Attitudes toward Driving and Giving up Driving, J. of Mechanical Systems for Transportation and Logistics, 5-1, 98-109(2012).

2) T. Inoue, M. Nihei, M. Shino and M. Kamata, et al, Field-based Development of an Information Support Robot for Persons with Dementia, J. on Technology and Disability, 24-4, 263-271(2012).

3) M. Nihei and T. Inoue, et. al., Psychological Influence of Wheelchairs on the Elderly Persons from Qualitative Research of Daily Living, J. of Robotics and Mechatronics, 641-649(2008).

4) M. Nihei and M. Kamata, et al., A New Mobility Interface for the Elderly to Expand their Scope of Activities -The SLIDE FLEX, Proc. of IROS, 341-348(2012).

5) M. Nihei and T. Inoue, et al., Evaluation of Failsafe Wheelchair Brake for Users with Memory Loss in Clinical Use -Short-term Evaluation of Function -, AAATE 2009, IOS Press, 41-46(2009).

Other Activities

The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME)
Japanese Society for Wellbeing Science and Assistive Technology (JSWSAT)
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rehabilitation Engineering Society of Japan (RESJA)
The Society of Biomechanisms Japan (SOBIM)
Japanese Association for an Inclusive Society (JAIS)
The Japanese Society for Fall Prevention (JSFP)

Future Plan

My objective is not only to protect regulations for sustainable use by individuals but also to develop outside-the-box assistive technology by thinking out of the box. We are particularly interested in exploring business solutions for abundant human society by applying field studies based on thorough research on human interaction and an understandings of the psychological characteristics, perception, motion, and actions of human beings for the development of new supporting technology to integrate people into the changing flow of the times.

Messages to Students

Assistive technologies can take both positive and negative forms depending on the menatal state of the users or marginal environments, much like a mirror reflect a person's way of life. This is of interest because it is seldom that generic products create such effect. Assistive technologies can be considered the reflection of perspective on disabilities or lifestyles created by a certain society or time. In this way, humans or to assist humans subject research is dense and has the potential to enrich your life. This field of study does not concern itself with mass production; rather, it, is a field in which the development of small amounts of various things are required, such as personal fabrication, and therefore contributions to the engineering discipiline such as engineering development and evaluation are necessary. Moreover, in this filed it is expected that we find something new or generate new value. Please join us and challenge yourself if you are interested in this field.