KN1 – Keynote Speaker 1 on Monday 2 September

Prof. Po Ting Lin

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

Short Bio

Po Ting Lin (Member, IEEE) received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA, in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
He is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan. His current research interests include machine vision, robotics, machine learning, reliability-based design optimization, and multidisciplinary design optimization.

Keynote Title
Human-Robot Collaboration with Advanced AI Technologies

Abstract

Robot arms have been widely used in various production factories. They are able to complete desired tasks, such as picking and placing, with good repeatability. However, robots cannot completely replace human workers due to many different reasons. Human workers can complete delicate tasks more effectively with their skillful hands. Robots could be human workers helpers in terms of picking and placing items, delivering items to humans, lifting items for humans, etc. However, the risk of harming human workers greatly increases as the robots get closer to them. Recently, researchers began to develop advanced technologies for human-robot collaboration. In this paper, a novel system will be presented. A spatial-temporal graph network was used to identify human motions, and the danger factor between the human and the robot in the robot’s moving path was evaluated to keep an allowable safety level of human-robot collaboration. A Lagrangian minimization was used to determine a new robot’s moving trajectory to keep a safe distance from humans. The safety distance could be adaptively shortened as the robot moves closer to humans for specific man-robot collaboration missions. We also tried to implement ChatGPT to work with human-robot collaboration and expect to enhance its effectiveness.

KN2 – Keynote Speaker 2 on Tuesday 3 September

Prof. Pallottino Lucia

University of Pisa

Short Bio

Lucia Pallottino is Full Professor at the University of Pisa.  She is the Director of the Research Center “E. Piaggio”  of the University of Pisa since January 2023. She received the “Laurea” degree in Mathematics in 1998 and the Doctoral degree in 2002. She has been Visiting Scholar at M.I.T. (2000-2001) and Visiting Researcher at UCLA, (2004). She has been Assistant Professor (2007-2015) and Associate Professor (2015-2023) at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Pisa. She is a Co-founder of  Proxima Robotics srl and X-star Motion srl. She has been Chair of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Italian Chapter (I-RAS) (Jan. 2015- Dec. 2018).
She is Senior Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (since 2020), Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems (Since 2021). She has been principal investigator and Scientific collaborator in several EU projects. Her main research interests within Robotics are in motion planning and control, optimal control, coordination of multi–robot systems, distributed algorithms.

Keynote Title
Strategies and algorithms for the coordination of multi robot systems

Abstract

The proliferation of many robotic systems offers a promising opportunity for enhancing task versatility and efficiency across diverse domains. Diversity of robots in terms of heterogeneity in mobility, sensing capabilities, and functionalities, is enabling the accomplishment of a wide spectrum of complex tasks that would be impractical for any single robot, no matter how advanced. However, effectively coordinating these systems presents significant challenges due to their varying capabilities, sensor modalities, and communication protocols. Furthermore, hetetorgeneity can also stem from the coexistence of robots from different manufacturers, which may not be designed to collaborate, or from the integration of human operators alongside robots. Managing the coexistence of these entities presents new challenges in ensuring efficient operation, safety, and security within such systems. This talk will explores strategies and algorithms for coordinating multi heterogeneous robots, aiming to optimize their collective performance across diverse tasks and environments. It discusses both centralized and decentralized coordination frameworks and investigates algorithms for task allocation and path planning.

KN3 – Keynote Speaker 3 on Wednesday 4 September

Prof. Ficuciello Fanny

University of Naples Federico II

Short Bio

Fanny Ficuciello received the Laurea degree magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Computer and Automation Engineering both at the University of Naples Federico II in 2007 and 2010 respectively.  Currently, she is Associate Professor of Robotics and Control at the University of Naples Federico II. She is responsible of the scientific research in medical robotics at the Robotics Lab of ICAROS Center (Interdepartmental Center for Advances in Robotic Surgery). She is Vice-director of ICAROS Center. She is a member of Prisma Lab (Projects of Robotics for Industry and Services, Mechatronics and Automation) of the University of Naples Federico II. Her research activity is focused on biomechanical design and bio-aware control
strategies for anthropomorphic artificial hands, grasping and manipulation with hand/arm and dual arm robotic systems, surgical robotics and rehabilitation robotics, human-robot interaction control, variable impedance control and redundancy resolution strategies. She has published more than 100 journal and conference papers and book chapters and she holds four patents on medical devices. From 2008 she is member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and from 2017 she received the upgrade to IEEE Senior Member. Currently she serves as Editor for the Frontiers Journal of Robotics and AI in the Section Biomedical Robotics, Associate Editor for Journal of Intelligent Service Robotics (JIST) and for Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics (TMRB). She is on the editorial board of prestigious conferences in the field of robotics.

Keynote Title
Shared autonomy in surgical robotics

Abstract

Safety–critical processes in unpredictable environments require human intervention to assist or execute tasks that autonomous robots are not yet capable of  handling.  In diverse environments, the increased levels of autonomy for robots demand human–machine interaction to be safer, more intuitive, comfortable, and robust. Shared autonomy bridges the gap between teleoperated robotics and full autonomy. By automating specific tasks while  keeping the humans  in the loop,  shared autonomy can enhance safety and productivity of individuals including workers, users, and patients, while providing operators with the ability to intervene when necessary. Human-robot interaction, collaboration and role adaptation during human-robot cooperation are characterized by different aspects that go from the body to the brain of the robot facilitated through communication interfaces. In this talk, Prof. Ficuciello will illustrate recent research results in this direction achieved @ICAROS Center (Interdepartmental Center for Advances in Robotic Surgery).