Ken Sakamura
Director, YRP UNL

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YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory (YRP UNL for short) is a pioneer in the research field of what once was called ubiquitous computing and is now often called the IoT.

Our laboratory was established in 2002 to promote the collaborative research of industry and academia in this emerging field. 2022 is our laboratory’s 20th anniversary. As many of you might know, Yokosuka Research Park (*1) is an industrial park where many research laboratories of leading telecommunication companies in Japan are located. YRP UNL is a laboratory directly operated by Yokosuka Research Park, Inc., that manages the industrial park.

Our laboratory has three major research groups – Aggregate Computing Group, Edge Node Research Group, and Applied Research Group. Aggregate Computing Group studies and proposes the total architecture of ubiquitous computing. Edge Node Research Group focuses on the IoT edge nodes and leads the research on the world-renowned TRON Real-Time OS (RTOS) architecture. Applied Research Group promotes applied research utilizing the outputs of the other two groups.

Our laboratory has become a focus of international collaboration efforts in the IoT field. For example, we acted as the coordinator on the Japanese side of an EU-Japan collaborative project on Smart City that started in July 2017. One notable output from our laboratory is the contribution to the international standardization efforts. For example, TRON RTOS specifications have been adopted as an international standard, “IEEE Standard for a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) for Small-Scale Embedded Systems.” “ucode” has become the basis of an international standard at ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector).

We have contributed to various applied research activities using basic architecture and related technologies. The wide dissemination of research results is another goal for us. Many research results have been published as academic papers, and the source codes of programs have been published based on the philosophy of open architecture.

As a part of our research activities, we have recently worked on the applied open data research, “NO! Three Cs* Project.” This is an example of our efforts to benefit society by offering useful data collected from edge nodes and processed in the cloud (see TOPICS, “Interview with Jun Hori and Director Ken Sakamura: The Present and Future of Open Data Technology Utilization to Avoid Three Cs*” on our Japanese website).
* “Three Cs” stands for Closed spaces, Crowded places, and Close-contact settings.

In addition, we have contributed to developing embedded OSes in edge node research. At the end of June 2022, IEEE announced that the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Technology Award for 2023 would be awarded for developing and disseminating the TRON RTOS family used widely in many fields, including Japanese home appliances.

We will continuously strive to promote our research more than ever and publish our achievements in this year of the 20th anniversary of our laboratory.

September, 2022
Ken Sakamura

*1: In September 2023, Yokosuka Telecom Research Park, Inc. changed its name to Yokosuka Research Park, Inc.