Invited Speakers

Professor Wolfram Burgard (University of Freiburg, Germany)
Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
Recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2009

Invited talk sponsored by UK Network for Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Probabilistic Techniques for Mobile Robot Navigation

Probabilistic approaches have been discovered as one of the most powerful approaches to highly relevant problems in mobile robotics including perception and robot state estimation. Major challenges in the context of probabilistic algorithms for mobile robot navigation lie in the questions of how to deal with highly complex state estimation problems and how to control the robot so that it efficiently carries out its task. In this talk, I will present recently developed techniques for efficiently learning a map of an unknown environment with a mobile robot. I will also describe how this state estimation problem can be solved more effectively by actively controlling the robot. For all algorithms I will present experimental results that have been obtained with mobile robots in real-world environments.

Professor Marco Dorigo (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
Recipient of the IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award in 2015

Swarm robotics research at IRIDIA

Swarm robotics is about constructing and controlling swarms of autonomous robots that cooperate to perform tasks that go beyond the capabilities of the single robots in the swarm. In this talk, I will give an overview of recent and ongoing research in swarm robotics in my research lab, IRIDIA, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
In particular, I will present results obtained with homogeneous and heterogeneous swarms of robots that cooperate both physically and logically in search and retrieval tasks.

Professor Tony Belpaeme (Plymouth University, UK)
Public lecture sponsored by Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

The friendly face of robots

Robotics poses a number of formidable challenges, one of which is interacting with people using the same interaction channels used by people when communicating with each other. Building such “social robots”, which can interpret and produce the full gamut of human communication, is at the moment nigh impossible. Luckily, robotics researchers are helped by a surprising willingness of people to treat technology as if it is human, making the building of social robots just a little more achievable. I will show how our research group and teams around the world are working towards robots that are social, how these robots tap into our primitive social brain and how they can be deployed to do provide support in health care, therapeutic settings and education.