14th IAS
Welcome to Okinawa

Time: 8:10-9:00am, July 15

Plenary Talk: “Robotics and AI: Date or Marriage?”

Prof. Max Q.-H. Meng, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Prof. Max Q.-H

Abstract: Research on both robotics and artificial intelligence has a relatively short history. Over the history of the past some 60 years, robotics and artificial intelligence have dated several times, briefly and also quite deeply. In this talk, we will start by reviewing the history of robotics and artificial intelligence, revealing their relationship during their dating and separating periods, and predict if it will lead to a happy marriage this time when they and dating again with the intensity never seen before. Robotics and artificial intelligence are attracting more and more public attentions and research efforts lately. Recent revolutionary development and drastic progress in robotic technology and artificial intelligence in terms of both hardware capability and software power have made it possible for researchers to redefine what robotics and artificial intelligence can achieve with their joint force in accomplishing complicated human tasks, exploring new applications, and expanding envelops of possibilities. We will use our own research case studies to initiate discussions on how the artificial intelligence shall be combined with or integrated in robotics to tackle tasks that could not be accomplished to our satisfaction. Personal thoughts and outlook on future research efforts and potentials in robotics and artificial intelligence will be outlined to conclude the talk.

Short Bio: Max Q.-H. Meng received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Victoria, Canada, in 1992. He joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2001 and is currently Professor and Chairman of Department of Electronic Engineering. He was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta in Canada, serving as the Director of the Advanced Robotics and Teleoperation Lab and holding the positions of Assistant Professor (1994), Associate Professor (1998), and Professor (2000), respectively. He is affiliated with the State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems at Harbin Institute of Technology as a Distinguished Chair Professor via the One Thousand Talent Program and the Honorary Dean of the School of Control Science and Engineering at Shandong University, in China. His research interests include robotics, perception, intelligent robots and agents, and medical robotics and devices. He has published some 500 journal and conference papers and led some 50 funded research projects to completion as PI. He has served as an editor of several journals and General and Program Chair of many conferences including General Chair of IROS 2005 and General Chair of ICRA 2021 to be held in Xi’an, China. He is an elected member of the Administrative Committee (AdCom) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. He is a recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal, a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of HKIE.


Time: 9:00-9:30am, July 15

Keynote Speech: “Cloud Computing, WSN and Big data: AI Application”

Prof. Jun Zhang, South China University of Technology, China

Prof.Jun Zhang

Abstract: Speaker will explain the relationship of Cloud computing, WSN, Big data and AI. Introduce Evolutionary Computation.

Short Bio: Jun Zhang (M’02–SM’08-FIEEE’17) received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the City University of Hong Kong in 2002. From 2004 to 2015, he was a professor with SUN Yat-sen University. Since 2016, he has been with South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China, where he is currently a Cheung Kong Chair Professor. He has authored seven research books and book chapters, and over 100 technical papers in his research areas. He is Fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  His current research interests include computational intelligence, cloud computing, big data, high performance computing, data mining, wireless sensor networks, operations research, and power electronic circuits. Professor Zhang was a recipient of the China National Funds for Distinguished Young Scientists from the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2011 and the First-Grade Award in Natural Science Research from the Ministry of Education, China, in 2009. He is currently an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, and the IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics. He is the Founding and Current Chair of the IEEE Guangzhou Subsection and IEEE Beijing (Guangzhou) Section Computational Intelligence Society Chapters. He is the Founding and Current Chair of the ACM Guangzhou Chapter.


Time: 9:30-10:00am, July 15

Keynote Speech: “Co-robots for Independent Living of the Visually Impaired

Prof. Cang Ye, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA

Prof.Cang Ye

Abstract: Assistive co-robots will play an important role in future healthcare. As these robots are small-sized and must collaborate with the human users in task accomplishment, resource-limited autonomy and effective human-robot interface become the challenges that must be addressed before the robots can be developed and deployed to healthcare applications. In this talk, I will present our recent research in two co-robotic devices¾the robot-cane and the wearable object manipulation aid that may be used for wayfinding and assisted object detection/grasping, respectively, for the visually impaired. Both devices use a 3D camera for device localization and object detection. In this talk, I will discuss pose estimation, wayfinding, object detection and their real-time implementation, as well as human-centered design of the robots to allow for natural human-robot interaction and collaborative task accomplishment.

Short Bio: Cang Ye is a Professor of Systems Engineering at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). His research group works on creating robotic assistive devices for people with visual/physical disabilities and developing algorithms to allow these devices to interact with their environments and collaborate with the human users in task accomplishment. His research aims to improve the quality of life of the disabled and the elderly through the use of co-robots in their daily lives. His team is also developing flash LIDAR based autonomous navigation methods for robotic planetary exploration. His co-robotic cane project was one of the three projects featured in the National Science Foundation’s FY2016 Budget Request to Congress. The co-robotic cane was also demonstrated to the US congress at the 2016 Congressional Robotic Caucus and at the 2017 Congressional BioMedical Technology Exhibition.

Dr. Ye received the B. Eng. and M. Eng. degrees from the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei, China) in 1988 and 1991, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1999. From 1999 to 2001, he was a Research Fellow at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was also a Research Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and a Research Faculty from 2003 to 2005 with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). He has been a faculty member of UALR since 2005. His research interests include vision-based navigation of autonomous systems, assistive/rehabilitation robotics, human-robot interaction, reinforcement learning for robot navigation and control, and embedded systems. Dr. Ye is a senior member of IEEE and a member of the Technical Committee on Robotics and Intelligent Sensing of the IEEE SMC Society. He serves as an Editorial Advisory Board member and Associate/Guest Editor of numerous international journals in robotics and control.


Time: 10:00-10:30am, July 15

Keynote Speech: “Playing Spinning Ball: from Real-time Perception to High-Level Skill Learning”

Prof. Rong Xiong, Zhejiang University, China

Prof. Rong Xiong

Abstract: Robotic table tennis system is an excellent research platform for real-time perception, precise trajectory prediction, intelligent decision making, and servo motion planning. Since John Billingsley first initiated a robotic table tennis competition in 1983, many studies have been conducted and various robotic table tennis systems have been designed.

During 2008-2011, the robotics laboratory at Zhejiang University developed two humanoid robots “Wu” and “Kong”, which can play table tennis with each other or with human players and reached a high continuous rally record. The techniques involved are applied in various industrial applications, such as rapid autonomous calibration for flexible production units, quick sorting unit for different parts, meter reading recognition for substation patrol robots under different conditions, and etc.

However, these two robots can only rally under no spin or low spin conditions, while flying-spinning objects exists widely in our life and techniques on motion state estimation, trajectory prediction and catching or manipulation for such kind objects are necessary for the fields of sports, military, aerospace, and etc. Thus we began to consider if we can make the robot playing spinning table tennis ball. It is interesting but extremely challenge because the motion of a spinning ball involves the periods of flying in the air, bouncing on the table, bouncing on the racket, and the motion dynamics of both flying and bouncing are characterized by non-linearity and high dimension, which indicates that the flying state and spin state are coupled in the motion model. If the spin effect is neglected when modeling, the performance of the motion model will get worse as the spin speeds up. In addition, after getting those complex models, how the robot gains the skill to decide the optimal playing motion online? This talk demonstrates how to model the spin flying and bouncing motion and how to train a simulation robot to get the skill to return the flying-spinning ball to a desired goal.

Short Bio: Rong Xiong is a professor at Zhejiang University, the leader of the Robotics Laboratory at Institute of Cyber-Systems and Control, and the expert member for key special project on intelligent robot of Ministry of Science and Technology, China. Her research interests include perception and control for intelligent robots. She has conducted her group successfully develop two humanoid robots which can demonstrate table tennis rally with each other and against human players, as well as quadruped running robot “Chitu”. Under her supervise, the soccer robot system, named ZJUNlict, won the champion of Small Size League in RoboCup 2013 and 2014 and was invited by Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, to participate the Exhibit on Robot Revolution. She has published more than 80 academic papers, been authorized 42 national invention patents and 1 USA invention patent. As the first winner, she was awarded the first prize of Scientific and Technological Award of Zhejiang Province in 2013 and the first prize of teaching achievement of Zhejiang Province in 2014. She has successfully verified the techniques in industry applications and productions, such as patrol robot for substation, nature navigation AGV for factory, intelligent visual-servo manipulation units for HUAWEI and etc.


Time: 8:10-9:00am, July 16

Plenary Talk: “Towards Practical Use of Automated Driving Vehicles – Issues to be Considered and Solved from a Researcher’s Point of View”

Prof. Manabu Omae, Keio University, Japan

Prof. Manabu

Abstract: Interest in the development of automated driving vehicles that improve the safety, efficiency, and accessibility of the transit services and quality of highway travel is greatly increasing. It is expected that a passenger vehicle with automated driving function on the expressway will come onto the market about 2020. In the lecture, some of our research works on automated driving systems are introduced and issues to be considered and solved towards practical use and spread of automatic driving vehicles in the society are explained from a researcher’s viewpoint. Issues on a human-machine interface for keeping a driver hot-standby, cooperation of automated driving vehicles, and safety and social acceptance regarding automated driving vehicles are mentioned with introduction of related research results.

Short Bio: Manabu Omae is a professor of the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University in Japan. He was born in 1972, and received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1995, 1997 and 2000. He has worked for Keio University since 2000. His research field is automotive engineering, especially Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), vehicle control for automated driving and platooning.


Time: 9:00-9:30am, July 16

Keynote Speech: “Toward in-vivo Transportation of Single Cells with a Robotic Manipulation System”

Prof. Dong Sun, City University of Hong Kong, China

Prof. Dong Sun

Abstract: In vivo manipulation of biological cells has attracted considerable attention in recent years. This process is particularly useful for target therapy and tissue regeneration in precision medicine. Robotics technology is becoming necessary to stably and effectively manipulate and control single target cells in a complex in vivo environment. In this talk, I will firstly present a robot-aided optical tweezers-based manipulation technology that serves a function of tracking a single biological cell in vivo. An enhanced disturbance compensation controller will be introduced to minimize the effect of fluids (e.g., blood flow) on the cell. A collision-avoidance vector method will also be introduced for obstacle avoidance during the cell transportation. Transporting a group of cells carried by a uniquely designed microrobot, driven by electromagnetic manipulation system, is also briefly introduced. Experiments of tracking single cells in living zebrafish embryos have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed approach in a dynamic in vivo environment.

Short Bio: Prof. Dong Sun is currently a chair professor and head of the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Tsinghua University, and Ph.D. degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He joined City University of Hong Kong in 2000. He has achieved world renown for his pioneering works in robotic single cell manipulation, with numerous outcomes in both fundamental and applied research. He received numerous best paper awards from the international journal and conferences, as well as industrial awards such as Hong Kong Awards for Industry. He served in editorial boards for a number of international journals such as the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. He has organized several international flagship conferences as a General Chair, including 2013 IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology, 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), and 2019 Advanced and Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM). He is a member of Biomedical Division in the Science and Technology Committee of Education Ministry of China, and a member of Research Grant Council of Hong Kong. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineer (HKIE).


Time: 9:30-10:00am, July 16

Keynote Speech: “Multiple Approaches of Wearable Robots in Our Daily Life”

Prof. Xinyu Wu, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced technology (SIAT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China

Prof. Xinyu Wu

Abstract: With the great progress of robotic technology, wearable robots have developed rapidly over the last decades and have demonstrated their ability to assist humans in a wide range of military, medical, and industrial applications. For wearable robots, human friendly interface is the most important factor which eventually determines the applications both intensively and extensively. In essence, the purpose of developing wearable robots is to enhance human’s capability to some extent. Such wearable robots should be smart, lightweight, compact, and with the capability of being integrated into a daily living environment. Therefore, it can be expected that the state-of-the-art wearable robots with these characteristics will change our life deeply in the near future.

This speech mainly focuses on a variety of wearable robots that we have developed, including lower-limb exoskeleton robot both for rehabilitation, and load-bearing, lumbar assistance exoskeleton, and Clothbot. Lower-limb exoskeleton is widely used in rehabilitation training and walking assistance for paralyzed patients, or load-bearing for solders. The assistive upper-limb exoskeleton and lumbar exoskeleton, however, are mainly used for assisting the factory workers in carrying loads. Clothbot is a specially designed robot which can crawl on the surface of flexible materials.  By a unique clamping mechanism, it can grab the wrinkles of flexible materials, and move on the flexible surface freely with a tail controlling moving directions as well as adjusting postures. Apart from that, my talk will also get involved in some other wearable systems developed in our lab such as intelligent glasses and shoes. We hope, through the introduction of our research, to bring up some new ideas and boost the development in the field of wearable robots.

Short Bio:  Xinyu Wu, Professor, associate director of Center for Intelligent and Biomimetic Systems in Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced technology (SIAT), vice director of Key Laboratory of Human-Machine-Intelligence Synergic System of Chinese Academy of Sciences, associate director of Key Laboratory for Robotics and Intelligent Systems of Guangdong Province, director of Laboratory of Intelligent Robotic Systems in Shenzhen, received his B.E. and M.E. degrees from the Department of Automation, University of Science and Technology of China, and received his Ph.D degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Recent 5 years, he has over 30 projects supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Foundation of National 863 Plan of China, Key Direction of Knowledge Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and etc. He has published over 150 papers in international robotic journals and conferences.  He has obtained over 50 national and international patents. He is a board member of Instrument association of China, committee member of robot committee in Chinese Association of Automation, committee member of the Chinese Association of Young Scientists and Technologists. He is an important member in the organization committee for several international robotic conferences, such as chairman of organization committee for ICIST2014, vice chairman in program committee for Robio2014, vice chairman in program committee for ICIA2014, and etc.


Time: 10:00-10:30am, July 16

Keynote Speech: “Intelligent Robot Operating System”

Prof. Xiaodong Yi, National University of Defense Technology, China

Prof. Xiaodong Yi

Abstract: Intelligent robots will eventually be “evolving to” sort of new “species” when artificial intelligence (AI) continues the high-speed development. As cognitive methods and their software implementations are almost the only feasible way to achieve AI, we may expect a fast incremental complexity of the software stack for future intelligent robots. Moreover, the software stack of the “intelligent robot species” must also have the ability of “evolvement”. To achieve both goals, intelligent robot operating system, as the fundamental software, is critical. We designed micROS, i.e. morphable, intelligent and collective robot operating system. It has the layered structure to manage the resources and behaviors of intelligent robots. It also has a parallel control architecture for building machine learning networks, which may enable the intelligent robots to co-evolve in both physical and virtual spaces.

Short Bio: Dr. Xiaodong Yi received the Ph.D. degree from National University of Defense Technology. He is now an associated professor in the State Key Laboratory of High Performance Computing. He has devoted to Kylin operating system, which was used in Milkway supercomputers, for over 10 years. His research interests include operating system, high performance computing, robotics software, etc. He is now in charge of several projects on artificial intelligence and robot operating system.

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