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Plenary Talks and Round Table

Plenary Talk

Human-AI Interaction in Autonomous Intelligent Service Robots

Manuela Veloso
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Belém I+Belém II

Abstract: We research on autonomous mobile robots with a seamless integration of perception, cognition, and action. In this talk, I will first introduce our CoBot service robots and their novel localization and symbiotic autonomy, which enable them to consistently move in our buildings, now for more than 1,000km. I will then introduce multiple human-AI interaction contributions, and detail the use and planning for language-based complex commands, and robot learning from instruction and correction. I will then present the robot explanation generation to reply to language-based requests about their autonomous experience. The work reported is joint with my students and collaborators in the CORAL research group.

Speaker Bio: Manuela M. Veloso is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the Head of the Machine Learning Department, with joint appointments in the Computer Science Department, in the Robotics Institute, and in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She researches in Artificial Intelligence with focus in robotics, machine learning, and multiagent systems. She founded and directs the CORAL research laboratory, for the study of autonomous agents that Collaborate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn, Professor Veloso is ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow, AAAI Fellow, Einstein Chair Professor, the co-founder and past President of RoboCup, and past President of AAAI. Professor Veloso and her students research with a variety of autonomous robots, including mobile service robots and soccer robots. See for further information, including publications.

Plenary Talk

Comanoids: Collaborative Humanoid Robots

Prof. Abderrahmane Kheddar
CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique,
Codirector of the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotic Laboratory, Tsukuba, Japan,
University of Montpellier LIRMM, France
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Belém I+Belém II

Abstract: Humanoid robots can serve as human partners in various close-contact situations. As real-use application perspectives appeared recently (domotics, large-scale manufacturing…), humanoids have great potential to be exploited as sophisticated robotic systems. Their shape imparts them interesting properties in terms of integration, interaction with humans, empathy, and embodiment. The underlying background of my talk is haptic contacts, and means in exploiting it as a fundamental source in planning joint actions and control in order to achieve joint physical tasks with humans. Comanoids must operate under similar constraints as cobots, but they have peculiarities that need to be developed. For example, walking under physical interaction constraints, falling safely, etc. I specifically discuss some concepts of equal responsibility sharing through role switching and programming of proactive behaviors that are exemplified through human-humanoid joint object transportation tasks; I will also introduce new means of interaction using mind-controlled humanoid embodiment for self-manipulation.

Speaker Bio: Abderrahmane KHEDDAR received the BS in Computer Science degree from the Institut National d’Informatique (ESI), Algiers, the MSc and PhD degree in robotics, both from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. He is presently Directeur de Recherche at CNRS; Codirector of the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotic Laboratory, Tsukuba, Japan; leading the Interactive Digital Humans team at CNRS-University of Montpellier LIRMM, France and Adjunct Professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, China. His research interests include haptics, humanoids and thought-based control using brain machine interfaces. He is a founding member of the IEEE/RAS chapter on haptics. He is presently Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, senior editor in the Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, and associate editor of the International Journal of Social Robotics; he is among the founders of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics he served in its editorial board from 2007 to 2010 and served as an associate editor in the MIT Press Presence journal. He is an IEEE Senior Member, Member of the steering committee of the IEEE Brain Initiative, Titular member of the National Academy of Technology of France, and Knight of the National Order of the Merit.

Plenary Talk

Human-Human Collaboration for Better Human-Robot Collaboration

Bram Vanderborght
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Belém I+Belém II

Abstract: Human-robot collaboration has great potential to face societal challenges (as ageing population, need for better and healthier work) and create new economic markets. However there are still several open research questions and technological developments required to make this happen. Several examples will be given how novel compliant actuator technologies are implemented in applications for cognitive and physical human-robot interaction for health and manufacturing. In these research projects is extensively collaborated with not only other technical fields as engineering and computer sciences, but also life and social sciences. At the VUB we started the Brussels Human Robotics Research Center, BruBotics, which is a joint initiative of 8 research groups of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) sharing a common vision: improve our quality of life through Human centered Robotics.

Speaker Bio: Prof. dr. ir. Bram Vanderborght obtained his PhD from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2007. He performed research on the humanoids robot HRP-2 at the Joint Japanese/French Robotics Laboratory (JRL) in AIST, Tsukuba (Japan). From October 2007-April 2010 he worked as post-doc researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova (Italy). Since October 2009 he is appointed as professor at the VUB. He has an ERC starting grant on SPEA actuation concept. He is member of the Young Academy of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. He is in the Board of Directors of the science museum Technopolis. He is active in several EU and national projects, the lab is member of Flanders Make and, the Brussels Human Robotics Research Center. His research interests include cognitive and physical human robot interaction with core technology of using variable impedance actuators in applications for health and manufacturing like humanoids, exoskeletons, prostheses, social robots and cobots. He is the current EiC of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine.

Round Table

New Challenges for Human-Robot Interaction, Communication and Co-operation in the Industry 4.0 and Beyond
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Belém I+Belém II

This Round Table will gather a selected group of prominent scholars and experts from academia, industry and governmental agencies to open a window on the real challenges that our Society is facing in these years: new generations of interactive and co-operative robots are being developed for a variety of application domains. Current jobs are expected to be dramatically re-engineered, new jobs will be enabled, novel robot-based products and services are forecasted to have a dramatic impact on the market in the next decades.


Eugenio Guglielmelli, Prorector for Research
Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Italy
RO-MAN2017 Program Chair

Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Dominik Boesl, KUKA Vice President Consumer Driven Robotics and Senior Corporate Innovation Manager, Germany and IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Vice President-Elect for Industrial Activities

Bio: Dominik Boesl has been responsible for Innovation and Technology Management at KUKA since he first joined KUKA Laboratories as Head of Corporate Strategy and Member of the Board in 2011. Since January 2017 he acts as Vice President Consumer Driven Robotics and Senior Corporate Innovation Manager. His responsibility for innovation and evangelism efforts spans the entire KUKA group. As one of KUKA's Technology Owners (equivalent to other companies' Technical Fellows or Distinguished Engineers), he profoundly contributes to the definition of the group's strategy on "Apps, Cloud & IoT". Dominik graduated with a diploma in Computer Science from the University of Augsburg and an MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1999, Dominik started his career at Siemens, before joining Microsoft Germany in 2005. In addition to his career, he has constantly been lecturing at different universities, e.g. Munich Technical University (TUM), and is an author of technical and scientific publications.

Maria Chiara Carrozza, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Pisa, Italy, Member of the National Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Foreign and European Affairs Committee, former Italian Minister for Education and Research
Bio: Maria Chiara Carrozza, is an Italian Scientist and Member of the National Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Foreign and European Affairs Committee (since 2013). From April 28, 2013 until February 2014 she served as Italian Minister for Education and Research. She is Full Professor of Industrial Bioengineering and Robotics at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna since 2006. From 2007 to 2013 she served as Rector of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. She currently coordinates the NeuroRobotics Area of The Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. In 2016 she was elected President of the Italian National Group of Bioengineering (Representing the scientific community of scientists working in the Area of Bioengineering in Italy) In 2016-2017 she served as Chair of the Panel for the interim Evaluation of FET Flagships Program for the European Commission, DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology. From 2016 she is part as Observer of the High Level Steering Committee of the Quantum Technology FET Flagship. She is the author/co-author of more than 250 papers which have appeared on peer-reviewed international journals, conference proceedings and books (h-index: 44, number of citations: 6739). She is co-inventor of 22 patents; since 2015 she serves as an independent member in the Board of Directors of the Piaggio & Co. Spa group. She is Partner of IUVO, a start-up in wearable robotics founded in 2015 as a university spin off of The Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

Dong-Soo Kwon, Director of the Human-Robot Interaction Research Center at KAIST, Director of the Center for Future Medical Robotics and President of Robot Convergence Forum in Republic of Korea
Bio: Dong-Soo Kwon is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Director of the Human-Robot Interaction Research Center at KAIST, Director of the Center for Future Medical Robotics and President of Robot Convergence Forum in Republic of Korea. He is a representative member in Asia-Pacific area of the Administrative Committee (AdCom) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), and IROS2016 Program Chair. In addition, He is chief director of Korea Institute of Robot and convergence (KIRO), and a member of National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK). He was a visiting professor in the Department of M.E. at Georgia Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2009, from 1991 to 1995, worked in Telerobotics Section, Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a research staff. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of M.E. at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991, M.S. in the Department of M.E. at KAIST in 1982, and B.S. in the Department of M.E. at Seoul National University in Korea in 1980. His research deals with human-robot Interaction, medical robotics, telerobotics, and haptics. He has contributed to the advancement of several robot venture companies by technology transfer.

Reid Simmons, Carnegie Mellon University and Program Director of the National Robotics Initiative 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots (NRI-2.0) at the National Science Foundation, USA
Bio: Reid Simmons is a Research Professor in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, currently on leave as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. He earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 1988 in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Since coming to Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Simmons' research has focused on developing self-reliant robots that can autonomously operate over extended periods of time in unknown, unstructured environments. This work involves issues of robot control architectures that combine deliberative and reactive control, probabilistic planning and reasoning, monitoring and fault detection, and robust indoor and outdoor navigation. His work with NASA on outdoor navigation inspired the algorithms that are used on the Mars rovers. More recently, Dr. Simmons has focused on the areas of human-robot interaction and coordination of multiple heterogeneous robots for assembly. Over the years, Dr. Simmons has published over 200 papers and articles on autonomous robots, robot architectures, HRI, multi-robot coordination, planning and probabilistic reasoning, and has been involved in the development of over a dozen autonomous robots. At NSF, Dr. Simmons is in the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems of the CISE Directorate, and leads the National Robotics Initiative and Smart and Autonomous Systems programs.

Yukihisa Yonemochi, Division Director of Project Management Office, Honda Research Institute, Japan
Bio: Yukihisa Yonemochi is the Division Director of Project Management Office at Honda Research Institute Japan. The company is an academic research center of HONDA group intended to research frontier technology. Today’s main topic of research is Cooperative Intelligence. He is in charge of production of commercialization of technology. Before Honda, Research Scientist at IBM Research Tokyo with many of software engineering and business experiences.

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