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New Generation of Bio-Aware Artificial Systems in Human-Robot & Haptic Interfaces

March 29, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
MERL Bldg 660, Room 203

Open to public

TOWARDS A NEW GENERATION OF BIO-AWARE ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS AND ADVANCED HUMAN-ROBOT AND HAPTIC INTERFACES Abstract:The human body is an extraordinarily sophisticated and versatile sensorimotor system. Controlling its large number of elements, such as muscles, bones, and joints, as well as integrating multiple sensory modalities, are complex tasks the Central Nervous System (CNS) must deal with. Trying to replicate such a rich variety of behavior in robotic and haptic systems is a daunting task and merely copy-catting biological observations in an artificial body is clearly unfeasible. On the contrary, bio-aware robotics can represent a successful approach to fully take advantage from nature for a new generation of technological devices. A possible strategy to pursue this objective is the translation of neuroscientific results into a mathematical language, which can be understood by artificial systems and used to inform a more effective device design. In this talk, I will discuss how neuroscience can inspire bio-aware robotics, leveraging on the concept of sensory-motor synergies as a generalized simplification approach humans rely on to cope with the abundancy of body sensors and degrees of freedom. I will discuss how this concept can be successfully applied to inform the development and control of simple, intuitive yet effective robotic systems, with special focus on haptics, tactile sensing and wearability.  Applications and perspectives for robotics-enabled human assistance, prosthetics and advanced human-robot interaction will be finally discussed.Bio:Matteo Bianchi is currently an Assistant Professor at the Research Centre “E. Piaggio” and the Department of Information Engineering (DII) of the Università di Pisa. He is also clinical research affiliate at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, USA) and serves as co-Chair of the RAS Technical Committee on Robot Hands, Grasping and Manipulation and Vice-Chair  for Information and Dissemination of the RAS Technical Committee on Haptics.  He is the Principal Investigator of the EU Project SoftPro (No.688857) for the Research Centre “E. Piaggio”. From January to June 2011, he worked as visiting student at the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. His research interests include haptic interface and sensor design, control and validation with applications in virtual reality, robotics/medical robotics (robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery and prosthetics), tele-robotics, and assistive/affective human-robot interaction; human and robotic hands: optimal sensing and control; psycho-physics and mathematical modelling of the sense of touch and human manipulation; human inspired control of soft robots. He is an author of contributions to international conferences and journals and serves as member of the editorial/organizing board of international conferences and journals. He is recipient of  several national and international awards, including the JCTF novel technology paper award at the IEEE/RSJ IROS Conference in Villamoura, Portugal (2012) and the Best Paper Award at the IEEE-RAS Haptics Symposium in Philadelphia, USA (2016). He is a member of the IEEE.

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Design Group, Mechanical Engineering
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