The Era of Human-Robot Collaboration: Deep Sea Exploration

Oussama Khatib, Stanford University

Abstract: Robotics is undergoing a major transformation in scope and dimension with accelerating impact on the economy, production, and culture of our global society. The emerging robots will provide increased support in domestic, health, manufacturing, and service applications, as well as in agriculture, mining, underwater, hostile environments. Combining the cognitive abilities and experience of the human with the strength, dependability, reach, and endurance of robots will fuel a wide range of new robotic applications. The discussion focuses on the development of this new generation of collaborative robots. The work will be illustrated on diverse applications including Ocean One, a bimanual humanoid robotic diver designed to bring intuitive haptic physical interaction to oceanic environments.

Bio: Oussama Khatib received his PhD from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University. His research focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics, haptic interactions, artificial intelligence, human motion synthesis and animation. He is President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR) and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He is Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) series, and the Springer Handbook of Robotics, awarded the American Publishers Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences and Mathematics. He is recipient of the IEEE Robotics and Automation (IEEE/RAS) Pioneering Award (for his fundamental contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership and life-long commitment to the field), the IEEE/RAS George Saridis Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award, the Rudolf Kalman Award, and the IEEE Technical Field Award. Professor Khatib is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Physical and Social Human-robot Interaction

Giorgio Metta

Abstract: I will present results from two research lines that develop human-robot interaction skills on the iCub humanoid robot. The iCub is a humanoid robot designed to support sophisticate interaction owing to its relatively dexterous hand, moving eyes and head, and overall appearance. Further, a whole-body electronic skin and force sensors allow measuring physical contacts. On the latter we developed concepts such as peripersonal space, physical cooperation, ergonomic interaction with the robot. By relying on the expressive capabilities of the robot, we have also studied interaction from the cognitive neuroscience perspective. Both research directions contribute to opening new potential applications for the humanoid robots of the future. I will show preliminary results also in designing these applications. 

Bio: Giorgio Metta is the Scientific Director of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). He holds a MSc cum laude (1994) and PhD (2000) in electronic engineering both from the University of Genoa. From 2001 to 2002, Giorgio was postdoctoral associate at the MIT AI-Lab. He was previously with the University of Genoa and from 2012 to 2019 Professor of Cognitive Robotics at the University of Plymouth (UK). He was member of the board of directors of euRobotics aisbl, the European reference organization for robotics research.
Giorgio Metta served as Vice Scientific Director of IIT from 2016 to 2019. He coordinated IIT’s participation into two of the Ministry of Economic Development Competence Centers for Industry 4.0 (ARTES4.0, START4.0). He was one of the three Italian representatives at the 2018 G7 forum on Artificial Intelligence and, more recently, one of the authors of the Italian Strategic Agenda on AI. Giorgio coordinated the development of the iCub robot for more than a decade making it de facto the reference platform for research in embodied AI. Currently, there are more than 40 robots reaching laboratories as far as Japan, China, Singapore, Germany, Spain, UK and the United States. Giorgio Metta research activities are in the fields of biologically motivated and humanoid robotics and, in particular, in developing humanoid robots that can adapt and learn from experience. Giorgio Metta is author of more than 300 scientific publications. He has been working as principal investigator and research scientist in about a dozen international research as well as industrial projects.

The modelling of social intelligence for humanoid robots

Nadia Magnenat Thalmann

Abstract: Since early times, engineers have modeled social machines similar to humans. Their behaviour is pretty predefined but these early robots are believable. Today, we expect to interact with a humanoid robot in many different situations. The main question is how to model a socially intelligent interactive robot that is believable and useful? We do not speak only of logical thinking but about robots who have to behave according to a specific environment and situation.
In our talk, we will describe which software and hardware modules are important through examples of our humanoids Eva and Nadine. We will also describe some case studies in real-life setting and discuss the conclusions of these case studies. 

Bio: Professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann has pioneered research into Virtual Humans over the last 30 years. After being a Professor at the University of Montreal in Canada, she moved in 1989 to the University of Geneva where she founded the interdisciplinary research group MIRALab. She has published numerous landmark papers on the modelling of 3D faces and bodies as well as pioneered the field of cloning in 3D legendary stars and the physical modelling of clothes. She has started very early research on 3D telepresence projects as playing tennis over the internet (1995) and developing early Real-Time VR and AR as the simulation of human life in Pompeii (2000). Recently, she advanced the field of social robotics with her humanoid robot Nadine that can show emotions, speak naturally and remember facts and emotions. She has received many international Awards and several Honorary Doctorates. She is a life Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.
More details can be seen on Wikipedia.