Prof. Sami Haddadin, Director of the Institute of Automatic Control (IRT), Leibniz University Hanover (LUH), Germany
Title: Robots for Humans
Refreshments at 3:45 p.m.
Host: Aaron Dollar
Abstract: Enabling robots for direct physical interaction and cooperation with humans and potentially unknown environments has been one of robotics research primary goals over decades. I will outline how our work on human-centered robot design, control, and planning may let robots for humans become a commodity in our near-future society. For this, we developed new generations of impedance controlled ultra-lightweight robots, previously at DLR, now in my new lab, which are sought to safely act as human assistants and collaborators over a variety of application domains. These may e.g. involve industrial assembly and manufacturing, medical assistance, or healthcare helpers in everyone’s home, but also neurally controlled assistive devices. A recent generation of lightweight robots was commercialized as the KUKA LBR iiwa, which is considered to be the first commercial representative of this new class of robots. Based on a smart mechatronics design, a robot (let it be a manipulator, humanoid or flying system) has to be quipped with and also learn the skills than enable it to perceive and manipulate its’ surrounding. Furthermore, it shall deduct according actions for successfully carrying out its given task, possibly in close collaboration with humans. At the same time the primary objective of a robot’s action around humans is to ensure that even in case of malfunction or user errors no human shall be harmed, neither its surrounding be damaged. For this, instantaneous, truly human-safe, and intelligent context based force-sensitive controls and reactions to unforeseen events, partly inspired by the human motor control system, become crucial. I will outline how far we have come with the aforementioned research problems till today, which major hurdles are still ahead, and what can be expected from near-to-midterm future research.
Bio: Sami Haddadin is Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Automatic Control (IRT) at Leibniz University Hanover (LUH), Germany. Until 2014 he was Scientific Coordinator “Terrestrial Assistance Systems” and “Human-Centered Robotics” at the DLR Robotics and Mechatronics Center. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2011 and a consulting scientist of Willow Garage, Inc., Palo Alto until 2013. He received degrees in Electrical Engineering (2006), Computer Science (2009), and Technology Management (2008) from TUM and LMU, respectively. He obtained his PhD with summa cum laude from RWTH Aachen in 2011. His research topics include physical Human-Robot Interaction, nonlinear robot control, real-time motion planning, real-time task and reflex planning, robot learning, optimal control, human motor control, variable impedance actuation, neuro-prosthetics, and safety in robotics. He was in the program/organization committee of several international robotics conferences and a guest editor of IJRR. He is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics. He published more than 100 scientific articles in international journals, conferences, and books. He received five best paper and video awards at ICRA/IROS, the 2008 Literati Best Paper Award, the euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2011, and the 2012 George Giralt Award. He won the IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award in 2011 and 2013. He is a recipient of the 2015 IEEE/RAS Early Career Award, the 2015 RSS Early Career Spotligh, and the 2015 Alfried Krupp Award for Young Professors.