Plenary talk


Plenary talk I

Sunday, Dec. 6th, 17:10-18:10, Room 201, Bldg. 57


Bio-inspired soft robotics: Challenges ahead toward the next generation of intelligent machines

Dr Fumiya Iida, University of Cambridge


Abstract

Soft deformable body structures in biological systems are known to play considerable roles in their behavioral functionalities and adaptability in complex dynamic task-environments, whereas it is largely unexplored in robotic systems. In this lecture, we discuss the state-of-the-art soft robotics technologies which tackle the engineering challenges such as fabrication, modeling, sensing, actuation, and control of bio-inspired soft robots. Based on the overview of the technologies, we speculate research challenges toward the animal-like soft robots that deform, adapt, and grow, together with potential practical applications in the near future.


Biography

Fumiya Iida is a university lecturer at Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He received his bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering at Tokyo University of Science (Japan, 1999), and Dr. sc. nat. in Informatics at University of Zurich (Switzerland, 2006). In 2004 and 2005, he was also engaged in biomechanics research of human locomotion at Locomotion Laboratory, University of Jena (Germany). From 2006 to 2009, he worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in USA. In 2006, he awarded the Fellowship for Prospective Researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation, and in 2009, the Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship hosted by ETH Zurich. In 2014 he moved to the University of Cambridge as the director of Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory. His research interest includes biologically inspired robotics, embodied artificial intelligence, and biomechanics, where he was involved in a number of research projects related to dynamic legged locomotion, navigation of autonomous robots, human-machine interactions, and self-reconfigurable soft robots.

URL:http://divf.eng.cam.ac.uk/birl/




Plenary talk II

Monday, Dec. 7th, 13:40-14:40, Room A, Bldg. 55N


Next Generation of Entertainment Robotics

Katsu Yamane, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Disney Research Pittsburgh


Abstract

Entertainment is one of many applications of robotics, but it is unique in the sense that the "task" here is to make people believe that they are not watching a robot, but rather a living character with personality and emotion. Pursuing speed, power, accuracy, or even efficiency often does not make much sense in such application. It therefore requires a completely different design paradigm for hardware and software from traditional robotics. In this talk, I will discuss three elements that I believe are important for entertainment robots: motion style, reaction, and safety. The first part of the talk introduces various human-to-robot motion retargeting techniques for creating stylistic and expressive motions of both humanoid and non-humanoid characters. In the second part, I will demonstrate that simple, remote human-robot interaction such as playing catch and handing over an object can be engaging and entertaining by adding simple and quick reactions to human actions and events. Finally, I will introduce a few hardware prototypes of soft robots developed with the goal of realizing safe direct physical interactions including hand-shaking and hugging.


Biography

Dr. Katsu Yamane is a Senior Research Scientist at Disney Research, Pittsburgh and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1997, 1999, and 2002 respectively from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining Disney, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo and a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Yamane is a recipient of numerous awards including King-Sun Fu Best Transactions Paper Award and Early Academic Career Award from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and Young Scientist Award from Ministry of Education, Japan. His research interests include humanoid robot control and motion synthesis, physical human-robot interaction, character animation, and human motion simulation.


URL:http://www.disneyresearch.com/people/katsu-yamane/