Next generation of interactive robots

Madrid. 29/11/2016. Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics will be in Global Robot Expo giving a keynote about the next generation of interactive robots.

Professor Vijayakumar, who has a PhD (1998) from the Tokyo Institute of Technology,  has pioneered the use of large scale machine learning techniques in the real time control of large degree of freedom anthropomorphic robotic systems including the SARCOS and the HONDA ASIMO humanoid robots, KUKA-DLR robot arm and iLIMB prosthetic hand. His latest project (2016) involves a collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Centre on the Valkyrie humanoid robot being prepared for unmanned robotic pre-deployment missions to Mars.

The keynote of Sethu Vijayakumar will be about the next generation of robots which are going to work much more closely with humans, other robots and interact significantly with the environment around it. As a result, the key paradigms are shifting from isolated decision making systems to one that involves shared control — with significant autonomy devolved to the robot platform; and end-users in the loop making only high level decisions.

This talk will introduce technologies ranging from robust multi-modal sensing, shared representations, compliant actuation and machine learning techniques for real-time learning and adaptation that are enabling us to reap the benefits of increased autonomy while still feeling securely in control. The also raises some fundamental questions: while the robots are ready to share control, what is the optimal trade-off between autonomy and control that we are comfortable with?

Domains where this debate is relevant include self-driving cars, mining, shared manufacturing, exoskeletons for rehabilitation, active prosthetics, large scale scheduling (e.g. transport) systems as well as Oil and Gas exploration to list a few.

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