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AIAAT 2022 Speakers

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Prof. Pierre M Larochelle
(Keynote Speaker)

ASME Fellow

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, USA

Keynote Lecture: Opportunities for AI in Manufacturing Industry 4.0

Abstract: The industrial revolution of the 19th century brought forth a step change in manufacturing processes from manual human labor to hands-off dedicated production equipment. This paradigm remained intact until the 1970’s during which robotics, i.e. flexible automation, was introduced. From the 1970’s until now we have seen a harmonious balance between the flexible automation provided by robots and the rigid automation provided by dedicated production machines. Today, a new paradigm is emerging; a quartet of robots, machines, humanoids, and humans working together to produce high quality products that are customized to satiate the consumer’s demands. This talk will explore the roles that each of these players have in this new paradigm and the opportunities they present in the near future for researchers and practitioners.

Biography: Pierre Larochelle serves as Department Head and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Previously he served as an Associate Dean and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the design of complex robotic mechanical systems and enabling creativity and innovation in design. He is the founding director of the RObotics and Computational Kinematics INnovation (ROCKIN) Laboratory, has over 100 publications, holds three US patents, and serves as a consultant on robotics, automation, machine design, creativity & innovation, and computer-aided design. In 2012 at NASA’s request he created a 3-day short course on Creativity & Innovation. This course has been very well received and he has taught it exclusively more than 30 times at NASA’s various centers and laboratories across the nation to more than 600 of NASA scientists and engineers. He currently serves as the Chair of the U.S. Committee on the Theory of Mechanisms & Machine Science and represents the U.S. in the International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism & Machine Science (IFToMM) (2016-22). He serves as a founding Associate Editor for the ASME Journal of Autonomous Vehicles and Systems (2020-23). Moreover, he serves on the Executive Committee of ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and as an ABET Accreditation Visit Team Chair. He has served as Chair of the ASME Design Engineering Division (2018-2019), the ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Committee (2010-2014), and as an Associate Editor for the ASME Journal of Mechanisms & Robotics (2013-19), the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (2005-11), and for Mechanics Based Design of Structures & Machines (2006-13). He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, ASEE, and the Order of the Engineer.

Prof. Ian D. Walker
(Keynote Speaker)

IEEE Fellow

Clemson University, USA

Keynote Lecture: Continuum Robots Across Different Scales

Abstract: This talk will focus on the scalability of continuous backbone "continuum" robots. Often inspired by biological “tongues, trunks, and tentacles”, continuum robots have smooth compliant backbones. The compliance of continuum robot backbones, along with their ability to change shape at all points along the backbone, provide continuum robots with capabilities not possible for conventional rigid link robot structures. Continuum structures can navigate gently within congested spaces, and they can adapt their shape to a wide range of environmental features to perform whole arm grasping. They have been successfully developed and deployed in recent years for several applications, notably medical procedures, in which their compliance has been used to improve access and safety within the human body. Most of the physical realizations of continuum robots to date however have been at relatively small scales (i.e. significantly smaller than the human body). Using several historical examples of soft and continuum robots, the ability to create and deploy continuum robots at large scales (significantly larger than human limbs) will be discussed. Case studies of natural structures will be used to underline the potential of hybrid soft/hard robotic structures at larger scales. Operation at larger scales offers the possibility on new and novel applications for these robots.

Biography: Ian D. Walker received the B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Hull, England, in 1983 and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 and 1989, respectively. He is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. Professor Walker is a Fellow of the IEEE and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. He has served on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, the International Journal of Robotics and Automation, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, and the International Journal of Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Soft Robotics. Professor Walker's research centers on robotics, particularly novel manipulators and manipulation. His group is conducting basic research in the construction, modeling, and application of biologically inspired "trunk, tentacle, and tendril" robots. This work is inspired by biological structures including octopus arms, elephant trunks, and the stems of plants such as vines. Another focus of Professor Walker's research is on Architectural Robotics, the use of robotics to create novel (physical) spaces.

Prof. Wenqiang Zhang
(Keynote Speaker)

Fudan University

Keynote Lecture: Knowledge guided Artificial Intelligence and Application

Abstract: In recent years, artificial intelligence technology, represented by deep learning, has achieved many amazing results in video / image analysis, semantic understanding and so on, but it is not satisfactory in autonomous learning. Inspired by the biological learning mechanism, this report discusses the learning theory and method for audio-visual information fusion in view of the difficulties and challenges faced by small learning samples and difficult skill transfer. Combined with the research work of the research group, some thoughts on key technology and industrial innovation are given.

Biography: Dr.Wenqiang Zhang, Professor with the School of Computer Science, and as a deputy dean at the School of AI & Robotics, Fudan University, is also the Vice Director of Shanghai Key Laboratory of Intelligent Information.
He engaged in the research work of robotics, AI, and Intelligent Equipment, etc. He has published more than 150 papers and applied for more than 50 invention patents. He has undertaken more than 40 research projects from Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (STCSM), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Ministry of Education, Shanghai Electric Group, etc. He has created the China’s first autonomous mental development robot, and successfully developed robots of Fuwa, Ato, Haibao, etc.





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