Plenary Talks

Bruno SicilianoBruno Siciliano

Oussama KhatibviewImage

Wolfram Burgardburgard

Bruno Siciliano

Robotic Dynamic Manipulation

The state of the art of robotic manipulation is still rather far from the human dexterity in the execution of complex motions such as, for example, in dynamic manipulation tasks. Dynamic manipulation is considered as the most complex category of manipulation requiring ad-hoc controllers and specialized hardware. In case of non-prehensile manipulation or non-rigid objects, the task of dynamic manipulation becomes even more challenging. This reduces the opportunities for wide adoption of robots within human co-habited environments.
The talk describes a method to manipulate rigid objects in a non-prehensile way with an underactuated robot manipulator, along with a method to track in real-time a 3D object undergoing large elastic deformations and fast rigid motions. The tasks are experimentally tested on a set-up of a pizza chef robot.

Bruno Siciliano is Professor of Control and Robotics, and Director of the PRISMA Lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technolo gy at University of Naples Federico II.
His research interests include force and visual control, human-robot interaction, aerial and service robotics. He has co-authored 13 books, 80 journal papers, 240 conference papers and book chapters. He has delivered 110 invited lectures and seminars at institutions worldwide, and he has been the recipient of several awards, including the recent 2015 IEEE RAS Saridis Award.He is a Fellow of IEEE, ASME and IFAC.
He has served on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals and has been chair of program and organizing committees of several international conferences. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, and of the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics and was also the winner in the category Engineering & Technology.
His group has been granted 14 European projects, including an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. Professor Siciliano is the Past-President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Oussama Khatib

Working with the New Robots

Exploring, working, and interacting with humans, the new generation of robots being developed will increasingly touch people and their lives, in homes and workplaces, in challenging field domains and new production systems. These emerging robots will provide support in services, health care, manufacturing, entertainment, education, assistance, and intervention.
While full autonomy for the performance of advanced tasks in complex environments remains challenging, the simple intervention of a human would tremendously facilitate reliable real-time robot operations. Two basic modalities of haptically mediated interaction and direct physical contact are being conceived.
Human-robot interaction greatly benefits from combining the experience and cognitive abilities of the human with the strength, dependability, competence, reach, and endurance of robots. Moving beyond conventional teleoperation, the new paradigm places the human at the highest level of task abstraction, relying on highly skilled robots with the requisite competence for advanced task behavior capabilities.
The discussion focuses on robot design concepts, robot perception and control architectures, and task strategies that bring human modeling, motion, and skill understanding to the development of safe, easy to use, and competent robotic systems.
The presentation will include live hands-on illustrative instance of human-robot interactions in various robotic applications. In particular, it will highlight interactions with a novel underwater robot, being developed jointly in collaboration between Stanford, Meka Robotics, and KAUST.
The motivation for this robot is to help marine biologists to safely explore the Red Sea’s fragile and previously inaccessible underwater environment. Live interactions will illustrate how bimanual haptic devices can be used to interact with the entire robot. A 3D graphic and haptic interface allows non-expert users to intuitively operate the robot while feeling contact forces when performing dexterous tasks. While the operator can fully focus on the robot’s task, the robot controller autonomously handles constraints, multiple contacts, disturbances, obstacles, and robot posture, so that the robot task can be optimally performed in the deep sea. This robot illustrates the new emerging paradigm in other challenging areas of underwater robotics, such as archeology, inspection, and maintenance of pipelines and other structures. Connecting humans to increasingly competent robots will certainly fuel a wide range of new robotic applications in challenging environments.

Oussama Khatib received his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980.
He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His work on advanced robotics focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human- friendly robot design.
He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series, and has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals as well as the Chair or Co-Chair of numerous international conferences. He co-edited the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer. He is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). Professor Khatib is a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development. In 2010 he received the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation for his fundamental pioneering contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership, and life-long commitment to the field.
Professor Khatib received the 2013 IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his vision and leadership for the Robotics and Automation Society, in establishing and sustaining conferences in robotics and related areas, publishing influential monographs and handbooks and training and mentoring the next generation of leaders in robotics education and research. In 2014, Professor Khatib received the 2014 IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard

Probabilistic Techniques for Mobile Robot Navigation

Probabilistic approaches have been discovered as one of the most powerful approaches to highly relevant problems in mobile robotics including perception and robot state estimation. Major challenges in the context of probabilistic algorithms for mobile robot navigation lie in the questions of how to deal with highly complex state estimation problems and how to control the robot so that it efficiently carries out its task. In this talk, I will present recently developed techniques for efficiently learning a map of an unknown environment with a mobile robot. I will also describe how this state estimation problem can be solved more effectively by actively controlling the robot. For all algorithms I will present experimental results that have been obtained with mobile robots in real-world environments.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard
is professor for computer science at the University of Freiburg and head of the research lab for Autonomous Intelligent Systems. His areas of interest lie in artificial intelligence and mobile robots.

His research mainly focuses on the development of robust and adaptive techniques for state estimation and control. Over the past years he has developed with his research group a series of innovative probabilistic techniques for robot navigation and control. They cover different aspects such as localization, map-building, SLAM, path-planning, exploration, and several other aspects.

In his previous position from 1996 to 1999 at the University of Bonn he was head of the research lab for Autonomous Mobile Systems. In 1997 he deployed Rhino as the first interactive mobile tour-guide robot in the Deutsches Museum Bonn in Germany. In 1998 he went with his research group to Washington, DC, to install the mobile robot Minerva in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Afterwards they produced several robots that autonomously operated in trade shows and Museums. In 2008, they developed an approach that allowed a car to autonomously navigate through a complex parking garage and park itself. In 2012, they developed the robot Obelix that autonomously navigated like a pedestrian from the campus of the Faculty of Engineering to the city center of Freiburg.

He has published over 250 papers and articles in robotic and artificial intelligence conferences and journals. In 2005, he co-authored two books. Whereas the first one, entitled Principles of Robot Motion – Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations, is about sensor-based planning, stochastic planning, localization, mapping, and motion planning, the second one, entitled Probabilistic Robotics, covers robot perception and control in the face of uncertainty.

In 2008, he became a Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI). In 2009, he became a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). In 2009, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the most prestigious German research award. In 2010, he received an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council.

Since 2012, he is the coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools funded by the German Research Foundation.