Towards intuitive to use and safe robots by Pedro Neto and Mohammad Safeea

By ITeN Editorial Board
09 November, 2021

Wednesday December 8, 2021 2:00 PM GMT (3:00 PM CET, 9:00 AM EST)

By Pedro Neto and Mohammad Safeea (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

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Humans and robots are increasingly sharing common workspaces and tasks. In such a scenario, robots need to safely interact, collaborate and learn with humans. The human-robot interactive process may rely on cognitive interfaces (using gestures, human behaviour, anticipation) and physical interfaces featuring physical contact with the robot. Reinforcement learning and sim-to-real represent a step towards building autonomous robot learning with a higher-level understanding of the world. All the above interfaces require safe robots, robots that can avoid collisions with moving humans/objects in unstructured environments. The research challenges for the future will be discussed, as well as the issues related to the implementation of collaborative robotic systems in industry. Laboratory and industry use cases will be presented.

Presenters’ bio:

Pedro Neto is currently Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Coimbra, coordinator of the Collaborative Robotics Lab of the University of Coimbra and invited professor at Arts et Métiers ParisTech. In 2016, supported by an external investment of more than 2 million Euros, he created the Collaborative Robotics Laboratory dedicated to the study of the human-robot interaction and collaboration. His research interests include human-robot interaction (cognitive and physical) and collaboration, pattern classification, and advanced robot applications in manufacturing domain. He has co-authored more than 100 papers and collaborated with more than 70 companies in robotics projects and consulting, some of them granted by the European Commission in HORIZON 2020 framework. He served as organizer and scientific committee of more than 30 international conferences.

Mohammad Safeea received his Doctor of Engineering in 2020 by both the University of Coimbra, Portugal and École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers, Lille (Joint Ph.D). He completed the Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering by the University of Coimbra in 2016. He participated in various European research projects. He received various awards and he is the author of various publications in international peer reviewed journals and conferences. His main research interests are robot dynamics & control, AI, and the issues of safety in human robot interaction.