PI and Collaborators

“Molecular robotics” has been selected as one of the prestigious Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan, for the fiscal years 2012-2016. The program consists of four research groups: molecular-sensor group, molecular-intelligence group, amoeba group, and slime mold group. The program started in July, 2012, and is organized by 4 principal investigators, 25 co-investigators, and 33 selected researchers.


The main objective of the molecular robotics program is to establish a methodology to construct molecular robots with sensors, information processing circuits, and actuators as well as bodies which distinguish molecular robots from their environments. The action of a molecular robot is autonomously determined by the information processing circuit which controls the actuators according to the signal molecules acquired by the sensors.

It should be noted that molecular robots are autonomous molecular systems in which all components are made of molecular devices and switches, just like in living organisms. We focus on technologies for molecular system integration as well as the development of sensors, control circuits, actuators, and bodies. The reason is that the bottom-up self-assembling and self-organization of molecular devices play an important role in the construction of molecular robots.

The planned research teams consist of the molecular sensor team (A01), molecular intelligence team (B01), molecular amoeba team (C01) and molecular slime mold team (D01). Both the molecular amoeba team and the slime mold team aim at system integration of prototype molecular robots that make use of the basic technologies developed by the molecular sensor team and the molecular intelligence team.


On the other hand, the principal investigators are expected to exploit both fundamental research of elementary technologies and application of molecular robots, thereby complementing the research planned by the individual teams.

In order to coordinate the planned research teams and the selected principal investigators, a planning and promotion team was established. The team also supports the human resource development that is necessary for promoting molecular robotics, especially for younger researchers and students.

In order to get more feedback from related scientific areas, we organize symposiums and outreach activities for citizens and high-school students.

X01 Planning and Promotion Team

Masami Hagiya
Principal Investigator; Professor, The University of Tokyokeikaku_Hagiya
slime-type molecular robot, gellular automata


Akihiko Konagaya
Co-Investigator; Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technologykeikaku_konagaya
Model and Simulation of Amoeba Type Robots


Satoshi Kobayashi
Collaborator; Professor, UEC Tokyokeikaku_kobayasi
(1) Mathematical information modelling and numerical simulation of chemical reaction circuits used in molecular robots, (2) design method of reaction circuits which, when the inputs change, the output is re-computed to reflect the new inputs.


Hirohide Saito
Collaborator; Professor, Kyoto Universitykeikaku齊_saito


Masahiro Yasunaga
Collaborator; National Cancer Center
The member of the steering committee (Medical advisor) keikaku_yasunaga


Masayuki Yokoyama
Collaborator; Professor, The Jikei University School of Medicinekeikaku_yokoyama(pending)
Drug Delivery System


Masayuki Yamato
Collaborator; Profesor, Tokyo Women’s Medical Universitykeikaku_yamato
Biomedical Engineering


A01 Molecular Sensor Team

Hirohide Saito
Principal Investigator; Professor, Kyoto Universitykeikaku_saito


Masahiro Takinoue
Co-Investigator; Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technologykeikaku_takinoue
Construction of cell-type molecular robots


Masayuki Endo
Co-Investigator; Associate Professor, Kyoto Universitykeikaku_endo
Development of artificial receptor for sencing and transmitting molecular information / Development of molecular transformation system for single-molecule sensing / Construction of membrane-penetrating DNA channel / Visualization of interaction of DNA nanostructures on a a lipid membrane


Koh-ichiroh Shohda
Co-Investigator; Assistant Professor, The University of Tokyokoubo_shoda
A molecular sensor on liposomal membrane. A switching system for molecular motor.


B01 Molecular Intelligence Team

Satoshi Kobayashi
Principal Investigator; Professor, UEC Tokyokeikaku_kobayashi
(1) Mathematical information modelling and numerical simulation of chemical reaction circuits used in molecular robots, (2) design method of reaction circuits which, when the inputs change, the output is re-computed to reflect the new inputs.


Kenzo Fujimoto
Co-Investigator; Professor, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technologykeikaku_fujimoto
Construction of chemical reaction circuits by using photochemical DNA manipulation


Masafumi Yamashita
Co-Investigator; Professor, Kyushu Universitykeikaku_yamashita
Distributed control of swarm of molecular robots


Yasuhiro Suzuki
Co-Investigator; Professor, Nagoya Universitysuzuki
Noise reduction chamical reaction systems, built in intelligence


Ken Komiya
Co-Investigator; Assistant Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technologykeikaku_komiya
Construction of reaction circuitry for enabling a molecular robot to behave intelligently according to its own memory


Takashi Yokomori
Collaborator; Professor, Waseda Universitykeikaku_yokomori
Discrete models based on reactions and their applications to molecular learning mechanisms


Jun-ichi Imura
Collaborator; Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technologykeikaku_imura
Chemical reaction circuit design based on Control Theory


Rondelez Yannick
Collaborator; Associate Professor, The University of TokyokeikakuYannick(pending)
Physical Chemistry


Ken Hayami
Collaborator; Professor, National Institute of Informaticskeikaku_hayami
Applied Mathematics and Physics, Numerical Analysis


Yukiko Yamauchi
Collaborator; Assistant Professor, Kyushu Universitykeikaku山内先生
Computer Science


C01 Molecular Amoeba Team

Akihiko Konagaya
Principal Investigator; Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technologykeikaku_konagaya
Biomedical Informatics


Akira Kakugo
Co-Investigator; Professor, Hokkaido Universitykeikaku_kakugo
Polymer Science, Biophysics


Yuichi Hiratsuka
Co-Investigator; Associate Professor, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technologykeikaku_hiratsuka


Shin-ichiro Nomura
Co-Investigator; Associate Professor, Tohoku Universitykeikaku_nomura
Artificial Cell, Molecular Robotics


Akinori Kuzuya
Co-Investigator; Associate Professor, Kansai Universitykuzuya_picture
Bio-related Supramolecular Chemistry


Kazunori Matsuura
Co-Investigator; Professor, Tottori Universitykeikaku_matsuura
Biopolymer Chemistry


Kingo Takiguchi
Co-Investigator; Assistant Professor, Nagoya Universitykeikaku_takiguchi


Taro Toyota
Collaborator; Associate Professor, The University of Tokyokeikaku_toyota
Colloid and Interface Chemistry


D01 Molecular Slime Mold Team

Masami Hagiya
Principal Investigator; Professor, The University of Tokyokeikaku_hagiya
Computer Science


Hiroyuki Asanuma
Co-Investigator; Professor, Nagoya Universitykeikaku_asanuma
Bioorganic Chemistry


Satoshi Murata
Co-Investigator; Professor, Tohoku Universitykeikaku_murata
Molecular Robotics, Emergent System


Takashi Arimura
Co-Investigator; Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technologykeikaku_arimura
Supramolecular Chemistry


Ken Sugawara
Co-Investigator; Professor, Tohoku Gakuin Universitkeikaku_sugawaray
Swarm Intelligence


Nobuyoshi Miyamato
Co-Investigator; Associate Professor, Fukuoka Institute of Technologykeikaku_miyamoto
Inorganic Functional Soft Materials, Colloid Chemistry


Yusuke Hara
Co-Investigator; National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technologykeikaku_hara
Polymer Gel, Soft Actuator, Polymer Chemistry, Colloid and Surface Chemistry