Nukabot is a tool that helps the human caretakers of Nukadoko to communicate with the fermenting microorganisms in the Nukadoko and create a better relationship with them. It uses built-in sensors to detect the state of fermentation, answer voice questions, and prompt people around it to stir the bran.
It has been exhibited at national and international exhibitions, presented in papers and in the media, and is still being studied.
Nukabot as a nukadoko cyborg
A nukadoko is an ecosystem in which various fermenting microorganisms, such as lactic acid bacteria and yeast, live in a mixture of rice bran, water, and salt. These microorganisms break down the carbohydrates in vegetables and other foods to produce lactic acid, alcohol, and umami, thereby improving the food's flavor, nutritional value, and shelf life. The state of the food fermented by the microorganisms in the bed can be detected by sensory perception such as smell, taste, and texture, but if daily care is neglected, the food will spoil. Nukabot, a nukadoko cyborg, analyzes the state of the food fermenting in its container from multiple sensor data and translates them into a unique language. Nukabot can then answer questions about the state of fermentation and tell you when it is the best time to stir the rice bran.
The meaning of Nukabot for human
The best part of making fermented foods through Nukabot is the human involvement in the process. We are interested in how people recognize microorganisms as partners rather than exploiting them to make their food. The purpose of Nukabot is not to replace daily care with a machine by automating the stirring process but to support humans in feeling the presence and workings of the invisible microorganisms. In this sense, people who come in contact with the Nukabot for a significant amount of time may one day “graduate” from the Nukabot and be able to live together with the nukadoko using only their physical senses. Or they may become partners in researching the making of fermented foods by learning about the behavior of microorganisms that humans cannot detect.
Research and Project Management
Young ah Seong
Research promotion, system implementation
Experimental Cooperation and Advisors
Research promotion, system implementation
- The centerpiece of Nukabot is a hacked version of Kuwakubo Ryota & Perfektron "Nikodama".
- The second and third generation wooden barrels were made by Tsukasa Barrels in Tokushima Prefecture.
- The 4th generation ceramics were made by Masanori Jo, a ceramic artist in Kagoshima prefecture.
XXII La Triennale Milano
21_21 DESIGN SIGHT
Dominique Chen, Arina Tsukada, Mamie Nishida
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
Visionary Exhibition “Actually, the world if full of microbes”
Kohei Ito, Hiromi Miyahara, Yasuharu Kushida, Daichi Iwasawa, Sara Kobayashi
World Design Assembly Tokyo 2023 Pre-event Exhibition
World Design Assembly Tokyo 2023
Ghost in the Machine
International Society of Artificial Life
- チェン ドミニク、ソン ヨンア、城 一裕、小倉 ヒラク、守屋 輝一、三谷 悠人、関谷 直任. 2023.「人と微生物の相互ケアを育むインタラクション - Nukabotの設計と評価を通して」、情報処理学会論文誌、64-2, pp.301-311
- Dominique Chen, Young ah Seong, Hiraku Ogura, Kiichi Moriya, Yuto Mitani, and Naoto Sekiya. 2021. Nukabot: Design of Care for Human-Microbe Relationships. In CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts, May 8-13, 2021, 7 pages. doi.org/10.1145/3411763.3451605
- Jitka Čejková Ed.『Robot100』(Dominique Chen: Co se od slabých robotů mů ž eme nauč it onáklonnosti [The Lesson of Affection from the Weak Robots] pp.411-414 担当)ICT Prague, 2020.pages.ISBN: 978-80-7592-062-1(英語原稿、チェコ語翻訳)
- チェン・ドミニク「メタ床: コミュニケーションと思考の発酵モデル」ゲンロン10, 138-155, ゲンロン、2019,09
- D. Chen, H. Ogura, and Y.A. Seong: “NukaBot: Research and Design of a Human-Microbe Interaction Model,” The 2019 Conference on Artificial Life 2019 NO. 31, pp. 48-49
Events & Seminars
- チェン ドミニク. 2023.「人と微生物の相互ケアを育むインタラクション - Nukabotの設計と評価を通して」インタラクション2023. 2023.3.8
- Dominique Chen, Synlogue and Dialogue, Sony CSL Kyoto Open Lab, 2022.12.13
- 日本記号学会第 40 回大会「記号・機械・発酵 ──「生命」を問いなおす」セッション 3「分解と発酵の記号論」ドミニク・チェン(早稲田大学),藤原辰史(京都大学),増田展大(九州大学)司会:前川修 (近畿大学)2020.11.15(招待)
- Nuit des Idées : « L’art de la fermentation : de la gastronomie au numérique » Dominique Chen: “NukaBot: Recherche et Désign d’une modèle d’Interaction Homme-Microbe,”Institut français du Japon-Kansai, 2020.1.30(フランス語)(招待)
- Symposium: Classical Arts X Digital Technologies, Preserving Culture with Digital Hummanities, Japan House London, 2019.6.15(英語)（招待）
- DCEXPO Innovative Technologies 2023 Award
- 2022 Inno-vation Generation Award