Lunch Hour Keynotes

Keynote I

Date: June 2, 2014 (Mon)
Time: 12:30-13:30
Venue: S221
Lunch boxes will be provided by first-come-first-serve

Working with Robots

Professor Oussama Khatib

Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Department of Computer Science
Stanford University
Exploring, working, and interacting with humans, the new generation of robots being developed will increasingly touch people and their lives, in homes and workplaces, in challenging field domains and new production systems. These emerging robots will provide support in services, health care, manufacturing, entertainment, education, assistance, and intervention. While full autonomy for the performance of advanced tasks in complex environments remains challenging, the simple intervention of a human would tremendously facilitate reliable real-time robot operations. Two basic modalities of haptically mediated interaction and direct physical contact are being conceived. Human-robot interaction greatly benefits from combining the experience and cognitive abilities of the human with the strength, dependability, competence, reach, and endurance of robots. Moving beyond conventional teleoperation, the new paradigm places the human at the highest level of task abstraction, relying on highly skilled robots with the requisite competence for advanced task behavior capabilities. The discussion focuses on robot design concepts, robot perception and control architectures, and task strategies that bring human modeling, motion, and skill understanding to the development of safe, easy to use, and competent robotic systems. The presentation will include live hands-on illustrative instance of human-robot interactions in various robotic applications. In particular, it will highlight interactions with a novel underwater robot, being developed jointly in collaboration between Stanford, Meka Robotics, and KAUST. The motivation for this robot is to help marine biologists to safely explore the Red Sea’s fragile and previously inaccessible underwater environment. The result is an underwater robot with advanced perception, dexterous bimanual-manipulation, and haptic interaction capabilities. The robot is equipped with two compliant arms, two hands with tactile and force sensors, a stereo camera system, and eight thrusters for agile maneuvers underwater. Live interactions will show how bimanual haptic devices can be used to interact with the entire robot, that is, its body, arms, and hands. A 3D graphic and haptic interface allows non-expert users to intuitively operate the robot while feeling contact forces when performing dexterous tasks. While the operator can fully focus on the robot’s hands, the whole-body robot controller autonomously handles constraints, multiple contacts, disturbances, obstacles, and robot posture, so that the robot hands can be optimally used for the task in the deep sea. This robot is expected to influence other challenging areas of underwater robotics, such as archeology, inspection, and maintenance of pipelines and other structures. Connecting humans to increasingly competent robots will certainly fuel a wide range of new robotic applications. Already successful in the clinical application, the emerging robots will reach new horizons for “robotic surgery” in diverse fields.
Oussama Khatib received his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His work on advanced robotics focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human-friendly robot design. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series, and has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals as well as the Chair or Co-Chair of numerous international conferences. He co-edited the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer. He is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR) and a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development. Professor Khatib received the 2010 IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation for his fundamental pioneering contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership, and life-long commitment to the field. Professor Khatib also received the 2013 IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his vision and leadership for the Robotics and Automation Society, in establishing and sustaining conferences in robotics and related areas, publishing influential monographs and handbooks and training and mentoring the next generation of leaders in robotics education and research.

Keynote II

Date: June 3, 2014 (Tue)
Time: 12:30-13:30
Venue: S221
Lunch boxes will be provided by first-come-first-serve

Technological Innovation Supports China’s Industrial Upgrade

Dr. Chunyuan Gu

Senior Vice President, ABB Group
President, ABB North Asia Region
Chairman and President, ABB (China) Limited
China’s fast economic development over the past 30 years has won world recognition. However, current issues such as labor market changes, energy shortage, and rising concerns about air quality, make it imperative for the country to upgrade its industry and move up to the next stage as the world’s leading manufacturing center.

The government has specifically identified industrial upgrading through technological innovation as critical for reaching China’s socio-economic goals. Industrial robots, electric motors, and electric vehicles exemplify some of the best automation solutions that can support China to move up the value chain while at the same time achieve energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.

Opportunities and challenges coexist on China’s road towards economic transformation. Many manufacturers have gone through different stages of industrial upgrade through technology import, absorption, localization and self-innovation. Local technological innovation that works with local context is needed, so that industries are working on re-innovation which can develop to the point where they acquire their own momentum to move to the next level.

As an international company that has operated in China for over 20 years, ABB has well established practices under its long term “In China For China” strategy. ABB would like to share our experience on how to implement further innovation in China to support its industrial upgrade. 
Graduated in 1982 from Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a major in Mechanical Engineering, Chunyuan Gu continued studying and received his PhD in engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in 1987. From 1987 to 1989, he worked as a researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology.

In 1989, Chunyuan joined the ABB Corporate Research Center in Sweden as a Senior Research Fellow. From 1998 to 2010, he filled a number of management roles including Corporate R&D Program Manager of Engineering Mechanics, Corporate R&D Program Manager of Mechatronics and Robot Automation, R&D Manager for ABB Robotics Sweden, Vice President of Global Technology for ABB Robotics Automation, and Head of Robotics Global R&D Center. From 2010 to 2011, he worked as the Head of Robotics Business Unit ABB North Asia and China within the Discrete Automation and Motion Division, as well as General Manager of ABB Engineering (Shanghai) Ltd. In 2012, Chunyuan was appointed Senior Vice President of ABB (China) Limited and became Head of the Discrete Automation and Motion Division for ABB North Asia and China.

Since January 1, 2014, Chunyuan has been the Head of ABB North Asia, Chairman and President of ABB (China) Limited.