There will be three Government Forum sessions at ICRA 2017, each 1h 15mins long. Each session will comprise presentations by three to four speakers, followed by a 15-minute interactive panel discussion with questions and comments from the audience. Satoshi Tadokoro (Tohoku University, Japan) and William R. Hamel (Chair, IEEE RAS Ad Hoc Committee on Governmental Affairs, USA) will also participate in the panel discussions.

Wednesday - May 31, 2017

Venue: Room 4211/4212 (Level 4)

0930 – 1045 SESSION 1
Investments and National Robotics R&D Direction
Chair: Kin Huat Low, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
0930 – 0950 An overview of Singapore’s National Robotics R&D Programme
Tong Boon Quek
, Chief Executive, National Robotics Programme, Singapore
0950 – 1010 Policies and measures for robot development and utilization​
Atsushi Yasuda
, Director, Robotics Policy Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
1010 – 1030 Reid Simmons, Program Director, Robust Intelligence, National Robotics Initiative, Smart & Autonomous Systems, CISE/IIS, National Science Foundation, USA
1030 – 1045 Panel Discussion
1045 – 1105 AM Break – L4 Pre-Function Area
1105 – 1220 SESSION 2
Government and Industry Role in Driving Growth
Chair: Cecilia Laschi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa
1105 – 1125 Robotics Research in the Engineering Directorate of the US National Science Foundation
Jordan Berg
, Program Director, National Science Foundation, USA
1125 – 1145 From Esprit to H2020: 25 years of European support to robot motion research
Jean-Paul Laumond
, Head of Research, LAAS-CNRS (Team Gepetto), France
1145 – 1205 ERC - Funding opportunities in Europe for creative minds from anywhere in the world​
Telma Carvalho
, Research Programme Officer, European Research Council Executive Agency, European Commission
1205 – 1220 Panel Discussion
1430 – 1545 SESSION 3
Bridging the Gap: Government, Academic & Industry
Chair: Guilin Yang, Director, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences
1430 – 1450 The Future of Biorobotics in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Maria Chiara Carrozza
, Professor of Biorobotics, The Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy
1450 – 1510 The European challenge for promoting large scale, disruptive research initiatives: the Flagship projects on Future Emerging Technologies (FET) and the FLAG-ERA Network of European funding agencies
Eugenio Guglielmelli, Professor, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Italy
1510 – 1530 Robot R&D Direction of Korea
Kyung-Hoon Kim, Program Director, MOTIE Intelligent Robot R&D, Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology, Korea
1530 – 1545 Panel Discussion

Government Forum Speakers

Tong Boon Quek, Chief Executive, National Robotics Programme, Singapore

An overview of Singapore’s National Robotics R&D Programme​

To bring greater coherency to the robotics-related R&D activities in Singapore, the National Robotics R&D Programme was created under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE 2015) plan in 2016. This talk will give an overview of the focus and strategy of the NR2P and share examples of R&D projects that have been initiated so far.

Bio: Prof Quek Tong Boon is currently the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Chief Executive of the National Robotics Programme as well as Advisor to the Science and Engineering Council (SERC) at A*STAR.

Until 30 June 2016, he was the Chief Defence Scientist of Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and prior to that, he was MINDEF’s Deputy Secretary (Technology and Transformation), Chief Research & Technology Officer and the Chief Executive Officer of the DSO National Laboratories.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of PUB, Singapore’s water agency and a Director on the Board of Temasek Foundation Innovates, a non-profit philanthropic organisation. He has previously served on several other Boards including that of the DSO National Laboratories, the Defence Science and Technology Agency, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, and the Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd.

In the higher education sector, his currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Advisor to the Provost of NUS. Until 30 June 2016 was also Chairman of the Temasek Laboratories at NUS, NTU and SUTD as well as Chairman of Temasek Defence Systems Institute (TDSI) at NUS and iTrust at SUTD.

He is an Adjunct Professor in the NUS Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Management.

Atsushi Yasuda, Director, Robotics Policy Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan

Policies and measures for robot development and utilization​

An overview of the Japan’s "New Robot Strategy" drawn up in 2015 and the state of actions underway in accordance with the strategy will be presented. Especially, the World Robot Summit planned to be held in Japan in 2020 and Fukushima Robot Testing Field will be mentioned. I'd like to address our policy utilizing robotics competition as an innovation vehicle, with the aim to implement robotics in real daily life/society/industry and accelerate the research and development of robots.

Bio: Atsushi Yasuda is Director of Robotics Policy office in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan. In 1998, he entered the METI and engaged in IT policy, innovation policy, climate change policy, and energy policy. He became Director of the Robotics Policy office in 2015 and is in charge of robotics policy. He has a master degree of engineering from Tokyo University and a master degree of public administration from Harvard University.

Jordan Berg, Program Director, National Science Foundation, USA​

Robotics Research in the Engineering Directorate of the US National Science Foundation​

This talk will briefly present current and upcoming programs within the Engineering Directorate of the US National Science Foundation that may be of interest to robotics researchers. These include the existing Dynamics, Control, and System Diagnostics (CMMI/DCSD) program and the Energy, Power, Control, and Networks program (ECCS/EPCN), as well as a new program on human-machine systems called Mind, Machine, and Motor Nexus (CMMI/M3X) and an upcoming robotics opportunity within the Engineering Directorate. The talk will describe the goals of these programs, and suggest ways that interested researchers can align their proposed project topics with those goals.

Bio: Jordan M. Berg received the BSE and MSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1981 and 1984. He worked in the Attitude Control Analysis group at RCA Astro-Electronics in East Windsor, NJ, from 1983 to 1986. He received the PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, and the MS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Drexel University in 1992. He has held postdoctoral appointments at the USAF Wright Laboratory in Dayton, OH, and the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications in Minneapolis, MN. Since 1996 he has been at Texas Tech University, where he is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Director of the Nano Tech Center. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2008 he held visiting faculty appointments at the University of Ruhuna and University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. He is a Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and a Fellow of the ASME. In 2014 he was appointed a Program Director for the Sensors, Dynamics, and Controls (SDC) program in the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division of the Engineering (ENG) Directorate at the National Science Foundation, where he is currently serving as an IPA rotator. His current research interests include nonlinear and geometric control, soft robotics, human-machine systems, and the modeling, simulation, design, and control of nano- and microsystems.

Jean-Paul LaumondHead of Research, LAAS-CNRS (Team Gepetto), France

From Esprit to H2020: 25 years of European support to robot motion research

The talk will focus on the presentation of a sequence of European projects from the 90’s to some currrent ones, all of them addressing robot motion technology. From the seminal one (ProMotion running from 1992 to 1995) to the very last one (Actanthrope running from 2014 to 2019), we will see how the topic has evolved and how the support of Europe has been critical.

Bio: Jean-Paul Laumond, IEEE Fellow, is a roboticist. He is Directeur de Recherche at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse, France. His research is devoted to robot motion. In 2000, he created and managed Kineo CAM, a spin-off company devoted to develop and market motion planning technology. Siemens acquired Kineo CAM in 2012. In 2006, Laumond launched the research team Gepetto dedicated to Human Motion studies along three perspectives: artificial motion for humanoid robots, virtual motion for digital actors and mannequins, and natural motions of human beings. His current project Actanthrope is supported by the European Research Council (ERC). He teaches Robotics at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He has published more than 150 papers in international journals and conferences in Robotics, Computer Science, Automatic Control and Neurosciences. He has been the 2011-2012 recipient of the Chaire Innovation technologique Liliane Bettencourt at Collège de France in Paris. Laumond is a member of the French Academy of Technologies. He is the 2016 recipient of the IEEE Inaba Technical Award for Innovation Leading to Production.

Telma Carvalho, Research Programme Officer, European Research Council Executive Agency, European Commission

ERC - Funding opportunities in Europe for creative minds from anywhere in the world​

The main funding schemes of ERC will be presented together its main achievements in the last 10 years. In particular, it will be highlighted that ERC supports individual researchers at different career development stages of any nationality performing cross disciplinary research pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional and innovative approaches. The portfolio of ERC projects in robotics will be analysed and presented.

Bio: Telma Carvalho received her PhD in Materials Science in 2002 from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. Before joining the European Research Council, she was R&D manager at one of the spin-off companies of the Catholic University of Leuven developing technologies for assessing material degradation phenomena. At present, she is the coordinator of the panel on "Systems and Communication Engineering" at the European Research Council. The European Research Council funds frontier research that enables breakthrough discoveries and establishes the conditions for future innovations that address key scientific and societal priorities.

Maria Chiara Carrozza, Professor of Biorobotics, The Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy

The Future of Biorobotics in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Research, science and social innovation are strictly interdependent, and in this framework, my vision for the future is that progress of humanity is the ultimate mission of science. Today, it is universally accepted in science that challenges of the society will require a strong interdisciplinary effort for scientists.

The integration of robotics with artificial intelligence, deep learning and high speed connection will revolutionize the society because devices will be connected to internet, and will become physically powerful, intelligent and adaptive. Large amounts of data will be available with small latency and cloud robotics will share information, data, intelligence activities and brains. Robots were originally designed for manufacturing plants, and nowadays mass production is not possible without robots but now they are indispensable in special environments as space for exploration, oceans for underwater activities or hospitals in surgical rooms. In particular, as it was predicted in science fiction, deep space exploration is now based on robotics, and robots will be essential for space science progress.

The next step will be for robots to enter in our everyday life: in the streets with self-driving cars, or ‘at our place’ in doing cleaning, entertainment or service activities. Therefore robotics is becoming ‘social’.

In order to achieve these goals, engineers must address several issues, related to human-robot interaction, to safety, to sentience and adaptability. The problem of safe, secure and effective interaction between human being and robot, cannot be faced without addressing legal and ethical issues.

The road map is already in place, with time and application those issues will be studied and investigated, and robots will share life and environments with humans, supporting their physical and cognitive activities.

Moreover, one of the most fascinating questions to answer in robotics will be originated by the integration of robotics with bionics and prosthetics, when robotics will enter into the human body with different levels of invasivity, to support human movements and physical interaction with the environment. Wearable robotics is expected to revolutionize the society in the next decade. What are the implications of this transformation of robotics? Which areas of science will be involved in the evolution of robotics? What are the main milestones to be accomplished in the journey of robots from manufacturing plants, to space, health care and ultimately into the human body?

Bio: Maria Chiara Carrozza is an Italian scientist and Member of the National Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Foreign and European Affairs Committee. From 2007 to 2013 she served as Rector of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. In 2013, she was elected Member of the Italian Parliament. From April 28, 2013 until February 2014 she served as Italian Minister for Education and Research. She currently coordinates the NeuroRobotics Area in The Biorobotics Institute at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Since 2016 she is President of the Italian National Group of Bioengineering. In 2016/17 she became Chair of the Panel for the interim Evaluation of FET Flagships Program for the European Commission, DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology. She is Partner of the IUVO, a start-up in wearable robotics founded in 2015 as a spin off of The Biorobotics Institute. Since 2015 she has served on the Board of Directors of the Piaggio Spa group.

Eugenio Guglielmelli, Professor, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Italy

The European challenge for promoting large scale, disruptive research initiatives: the Flagship projects on Future Emerging Technologies (FET) and the FLAG-ERA Network of European funding agencies

Since 2010, the European Commission launched the FET-Flagship programme to select and co-fund up to 1 billion euro a limited number of 10-year, disruptive flagship projects on future emerging technologies. Currently, two flagship programmes have been funded and have completed their 3-year ramp-up phase, the Graphene Project and the Human Brain Project. One additional flagship project on Quantum Computing will start this year. More than twenty other candidate flagships are currently competing for being supported in the next 2021-2030 time frame. Some of the current and candidate flagships include robotics & automation topics. A group of funding agencies from all the European Member States promoted a network to provide flagship projects with significant co-funding and promote synergy with other ongoing National and Regional Programmes in order to ultimately gather a critical mass of human capital and innovation resources so to generate a real disruptive impact on science, technology and industry. This talk will briefly present the FET-Flagship programme goals and current status. Then it will specifically report about the ERANET Flag-Era projects and activities, with a specific focus on robotics and automation-related topics currently being addressed by the ongoing flagships, as well as by the candidate proposals to be selected and launched by the end of 2020.

Bio: Eugenio Guglielmelli, IEEE Senior Member, is Professor of Bioengineering at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome (Italy) where he serves as Prorector for Research and as the Head of the Research Unit of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, which he founded in 2004. From 1991 to 2004, he has been with the Advanced Robotics Technology and Systems Laboratory (ARTS Lab, now The BioRobotics Institute) of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa (Italy), which he also co-ordinated (2002-2004). His main current research interests are in the fields of human-centred robotics, biomechatronic design and biomorphic control of robotic systems, and in their application to robot-mediated motor therapy, assistive robotics, neuroengineering and neurorobotics. He is the author/co-author of more than 250 papers which have appeared on peer-reviewed international journals, conference proceedings and books. He currently serves as Vice-President for Publication Activities of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS), as Member of the Board of Funders of the FET-Flagship European Programme, as member of the Stakeholder Board of the FET FLAGSHIP Human Brain Project, and as the Delegate of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) in the Executive Board of the ERANET FLAG-ERA II Programme.

Kyung-Hoon Kim, Program Director, MOTIE Intelligent Robot R&D, Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology, Korea

Robot R&D Direction of Korea

The Korean government has provided a systematic national promotion in robotics R&D since the establishment of Intelligent Robots Development and Distribution Promotion Act in 2008. For the last nine years, the Korean robot industry has grown 2.6 times in business size, 7.8 times in export and 2.7 times in employment. According to the IFR 2016 report, Korea has become the second largest robot market and has the highest industrial robot density. Despite such intensified robot usage, there has not been a globally renowned robot manufacturer founded in Korea, due to its unique enterprise culture. However, government investment in robot R&D has been effective in maintaining the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry and growing the robot related service industry. Recently, the Korean government has been focusing on the wave of Artificial Intelligence and 4th Industrial Revolution. This presentation will summarize the R&D and promotion strategies that MOTIE is pursuing to strengthen the robot (and overall) industry in Korea.

Bio: Prior to his current position as Program Director of Intelligent Robot at the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT), Dr Kyung-Hoon Kim was Vice President at Hanwha Techwin (founded as Samsung Techwin). He was with Samsung Techwin for 28 years and involved in numerous aspects of the business, including Industrial Robots, Service Robots (Surveillance) and SMT Equipment Off-Line SW R&D, before becoming Chief of Platform SW Development and SW Engineering then Vice President. Dr Kim holds a Ph.D in Mobile Robot Environment Recognition & Obstacle Avoidance and a master degree from KAIST.