ARQ - Advanced Robotics at Queen Mary

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The Centre for Advanced Robotics @ Queen Mary (ARQ) is inviting to its day of inauguration. We will be showcasing QMUL's varied and exciting robotics activities and hear from our researchers about their most recent advancements in their areas of interest - highlights include soft robotics, flying solar-copters, micro swarm robots, articulated prosthetics for children, robot co-workers for the factory environment, tactile sensing, haptic tele-operation, wearable robots and much more. The event is open to everyone with an interest in the growing field of robotics, be it just curiosity or your professional interest in robotics. On the day, you will see the newly opened robotics laboratory, be able to attend a range of talks by the experts on applications of robotics and meet the Queen Mary research faculty during the networking reception in the historical Octagon hall of QMUL. The event will take place on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at QMUL Mile End campus in London, UK.
The day will start with demonstrations in the  robotics laboratory space and will continue with our public engagement talks and interactive demonstrations from QMUL researchers in  the Octagon hall. The event is a part of the UK Robotics Week and is co-sponsored by the Centre for Public Engagement, the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and the School of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS) of QMUL.
Free registration: the event is free to attend but registration is required: Please register to the event using this link.
Please address any questions you may have to: Dr Jelizaveta Konstantinova <> and Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov <>
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Programme, 29/06/2017

Robotics lab visit and demonstrations, venue: ARQ lab (see access details below)
(List of lab demonstrations: soft robotic manipulator, robotic prosthesis, haptics and tactile sensing, wearable robotics, etc TBD)
12:00 - 14:00 Lab open for school children (please register in advance, as places a limited).
14:00 - 15:30 Lab open for all members of public.
Talks "Robotics for Society", Demonstrations and Networksing reception, venue: Octagon (16:00-20:00)
15:45-16:00 Welcome tea/coffee reception
16:00-16:05 Welcome word by QMUL Vice Principal for Science and Engineering, Professor Edmund Burke
16:05-16:15 Introduction of ARQ and robotics activities at QMUL, Professor Kaspar Althoefer, Head of ARQ
16:15-17:05 Autonomous robots: motivations, challenges and impact of an emerging technologyProfessor Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona, Italy (details below)
coffee/tea break (15 mins)
17:20-17:30 Fly by the Sun: The ‘Solarcopter’ prototype, Dr Hassan Shaheed (ARQ, SEMS, QMUL)
17:30-17:40 Predicting behaviour from eye movements, Dr Isabelle Mareschal (ARQ, SBCS, QMUL)
17:40-17:50 Cognitive robots that learn like humans and from humansDr Lorenzo Jamone (ARQ, EECS, QMUL) 
17:50-18:00 Robots physically interacting with people, Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov (ARQ, EECS, QMUL)
18:00-18:15 Soft roboticsProfessor Kaspar Althoefer (ARQ, EECS/SEMS, QMUL)
Interactive demonstrations and networking reception, venue: Octagon, 18:10-20:0
(List of interactive demonstrations: augmented musical instruments, robotics for manufacturing, soft robots, TBC)
Invited Keynote talk details (16:20-17:10):
Autonomous robots: motivations, challenges and impact of an emerging technology
Professor Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona, Italy, IEEE Fellow
Abstract. Autonomous robots are under active research and scrutiny, because they capture the interest and imagination of large communities and have great potential impact on lifestyles, occupation and societal organization. Since the road to autonomy is long and difficult, it is likely that specific sectors, mostly professional, will lead the way by gradually introducing semi-autonomous features into existing robotic products. As it happened in the past, robotic surgery is a candidate to lead this process because it addresses a very small market segment, its users are experienced and sophisticated professionals, and there is a demand of novel features in surgical robotic products. In this talk I will discuss some of the motivations for the introduction of autonomous robots in surgery and in other fields, and the many technical challenges that need to be overcome. Since ethical and social aspects of robotic autonomy will determine the acceptance of this new technology, I will also report on the on-going discussion among the stakeholders about introducing autonomous robots into the job market.
Biography. Paolo Fiorini, received the Laurea degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Padova, (Italy), the MSEE from the University of California at Irvine (USA), and the Ph.D. in ME from UCLA (USA). From 1985 to 2000, he was with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where he worked on autonomous and teleoperated systems for space experiments and exploration. In 2001 returned to Italy at the School of Science of the University of Verona (Italy) where is a Full Professor of Computer Science. His research focuses on teleoperation for surgery, space, service and exploration robotics, with particular emphasis on the theoretical and practical problems of high safety applications, such as space and surgical robots. In 2001 he founded the ALTAIR robotics laboratory, which has been awarded several EU and Italian grants, including projects on robotic surgery, such as Accurobas, Safros, Isur, and Eurosurge. In 2009, he founded the company Surgica Robotica for the development of a new generation of surgical robots that received the CE certification for abdominal surgery in 2012. He is an IEEE Fellow (2009).

How to find us

How to come: the simplest way is to use London Ungerground tube stations Stepney Green or Mile End:

Past events:

Seminar: Spatial perception for mobile robots

by Dr Stefan Leutenegger, Imperial College London, Dyson Robotics Lab
When: April 12, 15:00-16:00
Where: Room GC 222, Graduate Centre (new building 18, see campus map), QMUL Mile End campus
Campus map:
The seminar is open to all.
Abstract: Mobile robots need dedicated sensing and processing for localisation and mapping as well as scene understanding. Recent years have brought tremendous advances in vision sensors (e.g. RGB-D cameras) and processing power (e.g. GPUs) that have led us to design new algorithms that will empower the next generation of mobile robots. With the arrival of deep learning, we are furthermore now in the position to link respective unprecedented performance in scene understanding with 3D mapping. In this talk, I will go through some recent algorithms and software we have developed as well as their application to mobile robots, including drones.
Bio: I am a Lecturer in the Dyson Robotics Lab, Imperial College London, co-leading it with Andrew Davison. My research is centered around autonomous robot navigation: robots need dedicated sensing capabilities as well as algorithms for localisation inside a potentially unknown environment. I received a BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich in 2006, 2008, respectively, and a PhD in 2014, working at the Autonomous Systems Lab of ETH Zurich on Unmanned Solar Airplanes: Design and Algorithms for Efficient and Robust Autonomous Operation.


Title: How humans communicate through touch
by Dr Atsushi Takagi, Human Robotics group, Bioengineering, Imperial College London

When: Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, 15:00-16:00
Where: Room 4.02, Computer science building (Bancroft Road Teaching Rooms), 4th floor (card free access from Bancroft road entrance)

Abstract: We interact with humans on a daily basis using several senses. The least studied of these is touch, like when parents assist a child to take their first steps, and during tango dancing. In this talk, I will shed some light on the mechanism of physical coordination through experiments and by simulating human behaviour computationally. First, I highlight the need to control the cognitive biases that affect the behaviour of interacting pairs. Then, I provide evidence that humans infer a partner's intentions through touch, and show how a robot imbued with this ability could assist patients undertaking physiotherapy.

Bio: Atsushi Takagi received his MSc in Physics in 2011 from Imperial College London, where he also received his PhD in 2016 on the "Mechanism of interpersonal sensorimotor interaction" which examined how pairs, like during Tango dancing, coordinate their actions. He uncovered the mechanism that enables physically interacting partners to exchange certain information through haptics or touch.

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