IEEE ICMA 2018 Conference
Plenary Talk 2

The world is not a safe place!
Safe Robots for Dangerous Jobs

Prof. Darwin G Caldwell, FREng
Deputy Director
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Director, Department of Advanced Robotic IIT
Via Morego 30, 16163 Genoa, Italy
Email: darwin.caldwell@iit.it

The world is not a safe place! It is a multifaceted, unstructured, dynamic and dangerous environment. Sometimes events occur, both through natural disaster e.g. earthquake, weather, volcanoes, climate, fire, etc. and following human intervention e.g. nuclear, chemical, biological, oil and gas refining/exploration, mining, excavation, etc. that place people at extreme direct and indirect risk. Under such circumstances there is a massive safety driven need for robots to enter the domain and assist, augment or replace humans.
But operation in these potentially devastated outdoor or human engineered environments, using tools designed for humans deployment, requires robots that have human or human/animal-like levels of agility, compliance, dexterity, robustness, reliability and movement/locomotion. The challenges for both the software and the mechatronics are therefore immense.
This presentation will explore the core mechatronic technologies needed to create and operate humanoid (COMAN, COMAN+ and WalkMan), quadruped (HyQ and HyQ-real) and “centaur” quadruped (HalfMan) robots in complex, unstructured and destructed environments, and will demonstrate how many key loco-manipulation tasks may be addressed.

Prof. Darwin G Caldwell is Deputy Director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), and Director of the Dept. of Advanced Robotics at IIT. He is or has been an Honorary Professor at the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Bangor, Kings College London and Tianjin University, China. His research interests include; innovative actuators, force augmentation exoskeletons, medical, rehabilitation and assistive robotic technologies, dexterous manipulators, haptics, humanoid and quadrupedal robotics (iCub, cCub, COMAN, WalkMan, HyQ, HyQ2Max, HalfMan, COMAN+). He is the author or co-author of over 500 academic papers, and 19 patents and has received awards and nominations from many international journals and conferences. Caldwell is a past chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Chapter (UKRI), a past co-chair of the IEE (IET) Robotics and Mechatronics PN. He is on the editorial advisory board of Science Robotics, Senior Editor for the Journal of Medical Robotics Research, Editor for Frontiers in Robotics and AI, and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Social Robotics and Industrial Robot. Prof. Caldwell is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The Robotics Society of Japan Kagawa University Kagawa University The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Japan Society for Precision Engineering The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers Harbin Engineering University University of Electro-Communications University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Changchun University of Science and Technology