Abstract: Industrial robot manipulators in the factories with similar morphology are treated as automation equipment for mass production purpose, for example, those in the automobile factories. However, when more and more robots are getting out of the factories and entering different types of environments, such as hospitals, homes, warehouses, construction sites, etc., their morphology can be drastically different in order to perform different tasks and interact with human beings. The roles of these robots are similar to those of human professionals rather than automation equipment with uniformalty. An intelligent robot normally possesses three basic functions: perception, cognition and action. The demands for these functions are scenario-dependent, which is analogous to the profession-dependent job requirements in the human society. This lecture explores the economy and technical challenges in design and deployment of intelligent robots in the future society in a broad perspective. We draw the term "Hidden Champions" coined by German economist, Hermann Simon in 1986 to describe the role and development of intelligent robots. Simon first used the term to describe
the small, highly specialized world-market leaders in Germany. These smaller companies are normally known only in their own area, by customers and suppliers, but not to the wider public or business community. When these companies are very successful on the international markets, they are hidden champions. Intelligent robots, like a hidden champion, need to have very specific capability to tackle an application scenario. The robot developer, likewise, needs to be focus on domain-specific industry in order to create technology barrier and stay competitive to become the market leader. This lecture will discuss the importance of system morphology, perception, learning/cognition, and actions to an intelligent robot used in three emerging application domains: logistics, construction and social education. We will share the experience and challenges of a number of robotics projects that have been or are being rolled out to the real world, such as logistics picking robots, smart painting robots, and social robots, to examplify the “Hidden Champion” nature of intelligent robots outside of factory floors.
Biography: Professor I-Ming Chen is an internationally renowned robotics researcher. He received the B.S. degree from National Taiwan University, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA respectively. He has been with the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore since 1995. He is Director of Robotics Research Centre in NTU from 2013 to 2017. He is a member of the Robotics Task Force 2014 under the National Research Foundation which is responsible for Singapore’s strategic R&D plan in future robotics. He is now the Program Leader for National Robotics Program in Construction 4.0 in Singapore. His research interests are in logistics and construction robots, wearable devices, human-robot interaction and industrial automation. Professor Chen is Fellow of Singapore Academy of Engineering, Fellow of IEEE and ASME, General Chairman of 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2017) in Singapore. He is Editor-in-chief Elect for IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics and will assume Editor-in-Chief from Jan 2020. Furthermore, Prof Chen is an avid entrepreneur in robotics. He is the founder and CEO of Transforma Robotics Pte Ltd developing robots for construction industry and founder and CTO of Hand Plus Robotics Pte Ltd developing robotics and AI solutions for logistics and manufacturing industry.
Abstract: Google’s parent company Alphabet continues to scale back its robot ambitions, shutting down Schaft, a little-known Japanese robotics team it purchased in 2013, after it sold Boston Dynamics, a well-known company for its flashy YouTube videos and animal-like robots, to SoftBank. Rethinking Robotics, a pioneer in the development of robots that were emotionally sympathetic, also closed its doors in the last October. What problems for the R & D of robots are not well analyzed, even though the sales of the industrial robots increased by 35% to 381,335 units and the sales of the service robots for personal and domestic use increased by 25% to about 8.5 million units. In this talk, I bring questions – How to enlarge the robot markets and what kind of robots should be emphasized to R & D. As a suggestion, I think that the business model of robotics industry would need to be reconsidered and the problem-solving robotics technologies are highly required in the society. As an example of the R & D of robotics technologies, I will introduce a multilink-articulated robot for inspecting and exploring pipelines, which is composed of by omnidirectional and hemispherical wheels, a pair of the
hemispherical wheels attaches at the end of the robot to quickly align the steering direction while the omnidirectional wheels generates enough propelling force forward and backward, to prevent critical leakage accidents. Some other robots developed in our laboratory will be also introduced.
Biography: Professor Shugen Ma received his Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1991. From 1991 to 1992 he was a Research Engineer with Komatsu Ltd and from 1992 to 1993 he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Riverside. Professor Ma joined the Department of Systems Engineering, Ibaraki University, as an Assistant Professor in July 1993. In October 2005, he moved to Ritsumeikan University, where he is currently a professor in the Department of Robotics. Professor Ma was awarded by the CAS “Hundred Talent Program” in 2001, the Tianjin “Thousand Talents Plan” in 2012, and the national “Thousand Talents Plan” in 2014. He also stayed in Johns Hopkins University as a Visiting Professor in 2014. His current research interests include the design and control of environment-adaptive robots and field robotics.
Professor Shugen Ma is Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of JSME, and General Chairman of IROS 2022 in Japan, respectively. He has co-founded the ROBIO conference and served as the general chair of the first event. Professor Ma also successfully established two start up companies in China with his students, organizing innovative robotics education and training service programs. He was an associate Editor of the IEEE Transaction on Robotics from December 2003 to November 2007, an Editor of Advanced Robotics from April 2007, and serves many societies and conferences.
Abstract: Design selected by nature is based on evolution and we can get an idea how to design the robot. There are a lot of different kinds of robot design inspired by nature. Design policy of the robot is important for innovation in robotic technologies. In this talk, bionic design approach for the robots is introduced to improve performance of the robot as well as to add new functions to the robot. Especially, it is a big challenge to realize a milli, micro, and nano-scaled robot, and bionic design is attracting big attention. In this talk, several examples of miniature sized robots will be introduced. To realize miniature sized robots, energy supply is one of the key issues. We developed a new self-propelled micro-swimmer by the glucose biofuel cell and electroosmotic propulsion. It is driven by self-electroosmotic propulsion (EOP) generated by biofuel cell (BFC) with biofuels (glucose and O2). Another important application of robot with bionic design is a patient simulator. We have developed Bionic Humanoid, which is an elaborate human model equipped with sensors and actuators to serve as a substitute for and test animals. Bionic Humanoid uses artificial materials to precisely recreate the
structure of the human and to mimic physical property of the human. MEMS and 3D printing technologies are used to fabricate as well as to evaluate Bionic Humanoid. Bionic Humanoid is equipped with bionic sensors to monitor and quantify the force applied by the operator. Bionic sensor is designed so that the sensor-embedded model recreates the structure of the human and mimics physical property of the human. The Bionic Humanoid can be used, for example, to quantify the requirements of medical doctors, assess surgical skills, replicate physical constraints for the development of a medical device, and provide young surgeons with training opportunities. Recent progress of Bionic Humanoid will be introduced and discussed for future medical innovation. In summary, bionic design is quite important for innovation of robot.
Biography: Fumihito Arai is a Professor of Department of Micro-Nano Mechanical Science & Engineering at Nagoya University, Japan. He also serves as a Deputy Director of Institute of Nano-Life-Systems at Nagoya University. He received Master of Engineering degree from Tokyo Univ. of Science in 1988. He received Dr. of Engineering from Nagoya University in 1993. Since 1994, he was Assistant Professor of Nagoya University. Since 2005, he was Professor of Tohoku University. Since 2010, he has been Professor of Nagoya University. He was the Vice-President for Technical Activities, IEEE Nanotechnology Council (2002, 2003). He was AdCom Member of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) (2009-2011, 2012-2014), and he serves as AdCom Member of RAS again since 2019. He was the Vice President for Technical Activities, IEEE RAS (2014-2015, 2016-2017). He was Editor in Chief of Advanced Robotics (2012-2017). His research fields are Micro-nano Robotics and Bio-Robotics. He received 88 awards on his research activities, for example, Early Academic Career Award in Robotics and Automation from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in 2000, Best Conference Paper Award at ICRA2012. He is the author of 399 journal papers. He is a member of IEEE.
Abstract: This talk introduces a morphogenetic approach to the self-organizing swarm robots using genetic and cellular mechanisms governing the biological morphogenesis. We demonstrate that the morphogenetic algorithms are able to autonomously generate patterns and surround moving targets without centralized control. Finally, morphogen based methods for self-organization of simplistic robots that do not have localization and orientation capabilities are presented.
Biography: Yaochu Jin is currently a Distinguished Chair Professor in Computational Intelligence, Department of Computer Science, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K., where he heads the Nature Inspired Computing and Engineering Group. He was a Finland Distinguished Professor funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and a Changjiang Distinguished Visiting Professor appointed by the Ministry of Education, China. Dr Jin is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COGNITIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEMS and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Complex & Intelligent Systems. He is an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer and former Vice President for
Abstract: My talk will present some of our attempts to i) understand how humans skilfully interact with their environment, and ii) endow robots with similarly successful control behaviours. Twenty years ago, we discovered how humans constantly adapt their muscle activations to identify and adapt to the dynamic environment they are working with. I will first present this discovery and how it lead to novel adaptive control behaviours for robots, which will enable them to interact with rigid and soft environments, with perspective in fields such as manufacturing and medical robotics. In recent years, we studied how humans physically interact with each other, e.g. during physical neurorehabilitation after a stroke or while dancing. By examining the behaviours of individuals when their right hands are physically connected, we could show how haptic information enables humans to estimate partners’ motor plan and use it to improve one own performance. Embodied as a robot partner, this model was verified as it induced the same improvements in motor performance as a human partner. These results elucidate the haptic communication taking place between physically interacting humans and promise collaborative robot systems with human-like assistance.
Biography: Dr. Etienne Burdet is Chair of Human Robotics at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in UK. He is also a visiting Professor at University College London. He holds an MSc in Mathematics (1990), an MSc in Physics (1991), and a PhD in Robotics (1996), all from ETH-Zurich. He was a postdoctoral fellow with TE Milner from McGill University, Canada, JE Colgate from Northwestern University, USA and Mitsuo Kawato of ATR in Japan. Professor Burdet's group uses an integrative approach of neuroscience and robotics to: i) investigate human motor control, and ii) design efficient systems for training and rehabilitation, which are tested in clinical trials.
Abstract: Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is a large machine especially designed to construct tunnels. A new robotic system is undergoing a development to change the cutting tools on a working cuter head of TBM automatically. New approaches to explore robotic systems have been also taken to improve the safety and productivity of TBM. Aiming at the complex internal structure of cutterhead chamber, and high pressure and humidity working environment, the design of multi-joint snake-like manipulator and the dry-wet separation post-drive method are developed. A novel follow-the-leader path planning method for snake-like manipulator is also developed. As the manipulator moves forward, all the sections follow the path that the tip of manipulator has passed. Operator only need to control the direction of the distal section and the advance or retreat of the manipulator, which greatly simplifies human-computer interaction. A virtual three-dimensional working environment is built to realize efficient and reliable interactive control mode, reduces the difficulty of operation and improves the detection efficiency.Some changes of these robotic systems could be also applied to other mobile construction machinery.
Biography: Huayong Yang received a PhD degree of Philosophy from the University of Bath in 1988, and joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Zhejiang University as a Post-doctor researcher in 1989. He is now the dean of school of Mechanical Engineering, and also the director of the State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University. He was elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2013. He is a prolific researcher with more than 189 invention patents, (co)authored 3 academic books and over 160 SCI technical papers. His research interests are in motion control and energy saving of mechatronic systems, development of fluid power component and system, integration of electrohydraulic system and engineering application, robotics, bio-design and manufacturing. He was appointed as a Cheung Kong Chair Professor by MOE in 2005. He has been a fellow member of the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society, and a member of the Academic and Advisory Committees of 7 State Key Laboratories of TsingHua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Central South University and Chongqing University. He was recipient of the first prize of the National Scientific and Technological Progress in 2012 and the second prize in 2003.