Project Support Fund

Kyoto University Mechatro-Creators Fund

Fostering elite talent in creative manufacturing:
An enjoyable approach to acquiring mechanical, electrical, and information-related knowledge
and skills and raising KU’s presence through robot contests

 Founded in 1995, the Kyoto University Mechatronics Creators Circle pursues activities related to robot manufacturing and other forms of mechatronics, with an emphasis on “original thinking” consistent with the university’s spirit of academic freedom.
Circle members have acquired a wide variety of knowledge and skills and presented their achievements at robot contests and other events. One of the most noteworthy of the Circle’s many achievements has been its victory at the 2019 NHK Student Robot Contest. This victory earned the Circle the right to represent Japan at the ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest in Mongolia in August 2019.

 The Circle’s outstanding results in well-known robot contests help to raise the profile of Kyoto University. Thus, they make a great contribution to overcoming challenges such as the recruitment of highly talented students amid intensifying global competition among universities and dramatically changing university educational demands.

 However, significant costs are involved in developing robots and traveling to attend competitions, and these cannot be met by contributions from the Circle members alone. For the NHK Student Robot Contest, for example, funds on the order of 1 million yen are required to cover the cost of robot manufacturing alone. The Circle managed to procure the funds to participate in this contest in 2019 thanks to alumni donations, but raising the funds to participate in international competitions like the ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest will be even more difficult.

 Under these circumstances, it is essential to achieve the financial security that will allow the Kyoto University Mechatronics Creators to continue to manufacture robots using freewheeling ideas, showcase the products of their work widely at robot contests, and raise the profile of Kyoto University. The Kyoto-University Mechatronics Creators Fund was established in 2019 to help build the foundations for achieving such security.

 The Kyoto University Mechatronics-Creators Fund is positioned as a form of ambitious support for the development of the kinds of resilient and intelligent students with global perspectives that KU aspires to produce. Through the development of talented individuals who actively participate in robot contests around the world, the Circle would like to foster individuals with knowledge and skills spanning a broad range of fields, including mathematics, electronics,physics, mechanics, information, and control. Such students will support Japan’s growth as the home of creative manufacturing.

Fund applications



Improvements to the activity environment

Procurement of sufficient space for machine processing and other processes to ensure that accidents do not occur
Procurement of competition practice venues
Purchasing and maintenance of machine tools; development and renovation of work environments

Expenses for supporting activity enhancement

Robot development expenses and travel expenses for participating in various robot contests
Expenses for purchasing consumables and equipment for practice and competitions
Expenses related to publicity and other forms of activity enhancement
Remuneration and transport expenses for technical advisors, etc.

Expenses for supporting publicity

Dissemination of results of robot contests, etc.
Administrative tasks, such as soliciting donations and producing activity reports