ICRA-X is an outreach activity to the general public in the region that hosts the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. It will feature lively presentations from distinguished experts on popular and cutting-edge topics in the field. ICRA-X is aimed at enlightening the greater community, especially the young generation.

Sunday 20 May 2018

The public is invited to attend ICRA-x on Sunday 20 May 2018.

Registration to ICRA-x is free, however we do require you to register for your free tickets.

To register to attend ICRA-x – click here

Venue: Great Hall, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Merivale St & Glenelg Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Time Sessions
12:30pm Doors open
1:00-1:30pm Sampling-Based Motion Planning: from Robots to Virtual Prototyping to Protein Folding
Nancy Amato, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Texas A&M University, USA
1:30-2:00pm Artificial Intelligence vs. Natural Intelligence: What’s the Score and Who Will Win?
Prof. Oliver Brock
, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Technische Universitat, Germany
2:00-2:30pm My bot, your bot, aubot:  robots for everyday life
Marita Cheng
Founder and CEO of aubot 
2:30-2:50pm Break
2:50-3:20pm Autonomous Robots that Walk, Swim and Fly
Prof. Dr. Roland SiegwartAutonomous Systems Lab & Wyss Zurich 
3:20-3:50pm Lethal Autonomous Robots and the Plight of the Noncombatant
Prof. Ron Arkin
, Mobile Robot Laboratory, College of Computing, Georgia Tech University
3:50-4:10pm Karakuri -Origin of Robots
Prof. Shigeki SuganoDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Waseda University
4:10-4:30pm Break
4:30-5:30pm Movie Presentation: Rise of the Robots, by PBS [Rated PG]

Professor Nancy M. Amato, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, USA

Sampling-Based Motion Planning: from Robots to Virtual Prototyping to Protein Folding

Motion planning has application in robotics, animation, virtual prototyping and training, and even for seemingly unrelated tasks such as evaluating architectural plans or simulating protein folding. Surprisingly, sampling-based planning methods have proven effective on problems from all these domains.  In this talk, we provide an overview of sampling-based planning and describe some variants developed in our group, and then describe some applications in virtual prototyping and protein folding.

Bio: Nancy M. Amato is Regents Professor and Unocal Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University where she co-directs the Parasol Lab.  Her main areas of research focus are robotics and motion planning, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing.  She received undergraduate degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Economics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois, respectively.  She is Vice President for Member Activities of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and she served as Program Chair for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and for Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) in 2016. She is a Fellow of the AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE.

Professor Oliver Brock, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Technische Universitat, Germany

Artificial Intelligence vs. Natural Intelligence: What’s the Score and Who Will Win?

Truly intelligent robots do not exist yet. And most scientist would say that we do not really know what intelligence is. Still, we hear that robots will take our jobs.  We see robots in science fiction movies that want to extinguish humanity.  But we also hear that robots can help in case of a disaster, will help us take care of an aging population, and will spread economic prosperity on our planet.  What’s most likely to happen?  And how can you tell fiction from truth, fearmongering from realistic predictions? After this talk, I hope that everybody in the audience will be able to answer these questions with more certainty than before.

Bio: Oliver Brock is the Alexander-von-Humboldt Professor of Robotics in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technische Universität Berlin in Germany. He received his Diploma in Computer Science in 1993 from the Technische Universität Berlin and his Master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1994 and 2000, respectively. He also held post-doctoral positions at Rice University and Stanford University. Starting in 2002, he was an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, before to moving back to the Technische Universität Berlin in 2009. The research of Brock’s lab, the Robotics and Biology Laboratory, focuses on mobile manipulation, interactive perception, grasping, manipulation, soft material robotics, interactive machine learning, deep learning, motion generation, and the application of algorithms and concepts from robotics to computational problems in structural molecular biology. He is the president of the Robotics: Science and Systems foundation.

Marita Cheng, Founder and CEO of aubot

My bot, your bot, aubot:  robots for everyday life

Ever dream of having your own Rosie from the Jetsons?  With that goal in mind, Marita has created robotic arms for people with a disability, robots for kids with cancer to go to school remotely and robots for people to explore museums remotely.  Come and hear about these robots and more, and learn how we’ll see more and more of these robots helping us in our everyday lives going forwards.

Bio: Marita Cheng, 2012 Young Australian of the Year and Forbes 30 Under 30 2016, is the founder and CEO of aubot, which makes a telepresence robot, Teleport, for kids with cancer in hospital to attend school, people with a disability to attend work and to monitor and socialise with elderly people.  In 2018, aubot will release a suite of robots that are modular, transportable and affordable. In 2015, Marita attended Singularity University’s 10-week flagship Graduate Studies Program.  While there, she cofounded Aipoly.  Aipoly’s first application recognises objects in real time on a smartphone using convolutional neural networks and relays them to people who are visually impaired.  Since launching at CES in January 2016, Aipoly has been downloaded over 500,000 times and has been translated into 23 languages.  Marita was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year for her work as the founder of Robogals, which encourages girls into engineering careers and tertiary studies, and has taught over 70,000 girls robotics workshops.

Professor. Dr. Roland Siegwart, Autonomous Systems Lab & Wyss Zurich

Autonomous Robots that Walk, Swim and Fly

While robots are already doing a wonderful job as factory workhorses, they are now gradually appearing in our daily environments and offering their services as autonomous cars, delivery drones, helpers in search and rescue and much more. This talk will present some recent highlight in the field of autonomous mobile robotics research and touch on some of the great challenges and opportunities. It will include ETH’s electrically powered legged quadruped robot that uses elastic actuation inspired from nature, various swimming robots designed by students, rotary wing drones that can move omni-directionally and fixed-wing drones that can fly for days. Furthermore, the basic concept for autonomous navigation in complex environments are elaborated and discussed.

Bio: Roland Siegwart (born in 1959) is professor for autonomous mobile robots at ETH Zurich and founding co-director of the Wyss Zurich technology transfer center. He studied mechanical engineering at ETH, brought up a spin-off company, spent ten years as professor at EPFL Lausanne (1996 – 2006), was vice president of ETH Zurich (2010 -2014) and held visiting positions at Stanford University and NASA Ames. He is and was the coordinator of multiple European projects and co-founder of half a dozen spin-off companies. He is IEEE Fellow, recipient of the IEEE RAS Inaba Technical Award and officer of the International Federation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He is in the editorial board of multiple journals in robotics and was a general chair of several conferences in robotics including IROS 2002, AIM 2007, FSR 2007, ISRR 2009 and FSR 2017. His interests are in the design and navigation of wheeled, walking and flying robots operating in complex and highly dynamical environments. He is also a strong promotor of innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland.

Professor Ron Arkin, Mobile Robot Laboratory, College of Computing, Georgia Tech University

Lethal Autonomous Robots and the Plight of the Noncombatant

Ongoing meetings of the United Nations in Geneva regarding the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons consider the many issues surrounding the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems from a variety of legal, ethical, operational, and technical perspectives. Over 80 nations are represented and engaged in the discussion. This talk reprises the issues the author broached regarding the role of lethal autonomous robotic systems and warfare, and how if they are developed appropriately they may have the ability to significantly reduce civilian casualties in the battlespace. This can lead to a moral imperative for their use, not unlike what Human Rights Watch has attributed regarding the use of precision-guided munitions in urban settings due to the enhanced likelihood of reduced noncombatant deaths. Nonetheless, if the usage of this technology is not properly addressed or is hastily deployed, it can lead to possible dystopian futures. This talk will encourage others to think of ways to approach the issues of restraining lethal autonomous systems from illegal or immoral actions in the context of both International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, whether through technology or legislation.

Bio: Ronald C. Arkin is Regents’ Professor and Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He served as STINT visiting Professor at KTH in Stockholm, Sabbatical Chair at the Sony IDL in Tokyo, member of the Robotics and AI Group at LAAS/CNRS in Toulouse, and is currently on sabbatical leave in Brisbane Australia at the Queensland University of technology and CSIRO. Dr. Arkin’s research interests include behavior-based control and action-oriented perception for mobile robots and UAVs, deliberative/reactive architectures, robot survivability, multiagent robotics, biorobotics, human-robot interaction, machine deception, robot ethics, and learning in autonomous systems. His books include Behavior-Based Robotics, Robot Colonies, and Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots. He has provided expert testimony to the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Pentagon and others on Autonomous Systems Technology. Prof. Arkin served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) AdCom, and is a founding co-chair of IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Robot Ethics. He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology and a Fellow of the IEEE.

Professor Shigeki Sugano, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Waseda University

Karakuri -Origin of Robots

It is difficult to define the robot, and it may be said that there are 100 definitions if there are 100 robotics researchers, but probably most of you will think a robot to be the machine similar to human. Many people have been interested in robots, and many kinds of robots always appear in the world of the imagination including Science Fiction motion pictures. The progress of computer technology for approximately these past 30 years brought the substantial improvement of the functions of the robots. Many kinds of industrial robots, medical robots and home robots have been developed, and the robots spread steadily now in society. In this presentation, I will look back on the history of the robot including “Karakuri” and explain the origin of robots. Also, I will introduce the significance of the robot, the relations with human and robots, and design concepts of the new human-symbiotic robots.

Bio: Shigeki Sugano received the BS, MS, and DE degrees in mechanical engineering from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, in 1981, 1983, and 1989, respectively. He was a Research Associate with Waseda University from 1986 to 1990. From 1993 to 1994, he was a Visiting Scholar with the Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, USA. Since 1991, he has been a Faculty Member with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Waseda University, where he is currently a Professor. Since 2014, he has served as the Dean of the School/Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering with Waseda University. He has authored over 200 refereed journal and conference papers. His current research interests include anthropomorphic robot, dexterous manipulator, and human-robot interaction. Dr. Sugano is a fellow of the four academic societies, IEEE, the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME), the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE), and the Robotics Society of Japan (RSJ). He served as the Secretary of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) from 2006 to 2007. He served as an AdCom Member of the IEEE RAS from 2008 to 2013. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Advanced Robotics from 2007 to 2012. He served as the General Chair of the IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM) in 2003, and the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in 2013. From 2001 to 2010, he was the President of the Japan Association for Automation Advancement. In 2017, he served as the President of SICE.