Keynote Speakers & Invited Speakers
Prof. Dan ZhangYork University, Canada | Full Professor
Dr. Dan Zhang is a Kaneff Professor in Advanced
Robotics and Mechatronics, as well as the Chair of the
Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Lassonde
School of Engineering at York University. From July 1st
2004 to December 31 2015, Dr. Zhang was a Professor and
Canada Research Chair in Advanced Robotics and
Automation, was a founding Chair of the Department of
Automotive, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Engineering
with the Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science at
University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He
received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Laval
University, Canada, in June 2000.
Dr. Zhang's research interests include robotics and mechatronics; high performance parallel robotic machine development; sustainable/green manufacturing systems; rehabilitation robot and rescue robot.
Dr. Zhang’s contributions to and leadership within the field of robotic and automation have been recognized with several prestigious awards, within his own university (Research Excellence Award both from university level (2009) and faculty level (2008)), the Province of Ontario (Early Researcher Award in 2010), the professional societies (election to Fellow of the ASME in 2016, the EIC in 2012 and the CSME in 2010), and federal funding agencies (Canada Research Chair in January 2009 and renewed in January 2014). Besides, he was awarded the Inaugural Teaching Excellence by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science of UOIT in 2006 and the Best Professor Award by UOIT Engineering Students' Society in2012.
Dr. Zhang is the editor-in-chief for International Journal of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, the editor-in-chief for International Journal of Robotics Applications and Technologies, Associate editor for the International Journal of Robotics and Automation (ACTA publisher) and guest editors for other 4 international journals. Dr. Zhang served as a member of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Grant Selection Committee.
Dr. Zhang was director of Board of Directors at Durham Region Manufacturing Association, Canada, and director of Board of Directors of Professional Engineers Ontario, Lake Ontario Chapter, Canada. Dr. Zhang is a registered Professional Engineer of Canada, a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), a Fellow of (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) ASME, and a Fellow of (Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering) CSME, a Senior Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Senior Member of SME.
Speech Title: Advancing and Integrating the Performance of Robotic Systems for the 21st Century Manufacturing
Speech Abstract: There has been increasing in developing enviromentally-benign manufacturing technologies, robots, etc. This is considered a significant step in achieving sustainable development. Sustainability of a manufacturing system becomes critical technology that enables manufacturing companies to reduce production costs and improve their global competitiveness. System sustainability can be achieved by reconfiguration and decentralization, whose system configurations are evolved with the changes of design requirements and dynamic environment. The modular construction of parallel robotic machines allows them to be used as a class of reconfigurable machine tools. Nevertheless, parallel robotic machines as contemporary manufacturing robotic systems often have difficulty meeting the highly increased workplace demands on (1) operational accuracy, (2) operational load capacity, (3) task adaptability, and (4) reliability. For example, according to some large robot/robotic machine tool manufacturers and manufacturing robot user, i.e., ABB Robotics, Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc. and ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., the current robotic systems for high speed machining often fail due to thermal effects, which fatally distort the accuracy of the systems. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), more than 60% of industry robots operating in the manufacturing industry are articulated robots (i.e., serial robots), or robots that can only allow material handling, but not material fabrication.
In this talk, the rational of using parallel robotic machines for green and sustainable manufacturing is discussed and explained. A comparative study is carried out on some successful parallel robotic machines and conventional machine tools. Meanwhile, the latest research activities of parallel manipulators in the Laboratory of Robotics and Automation of UOIT are introduced, they are: parallel robotic machines, reconfigurable/green robotic manipulators, web-based remote manipulation as well as the applications of parallel manipulators in micro-motion device, MEMS (parallel robot based sensors), wearable power assist hip exoskeleton, and rescue robot.
Prof. Ian WalkerClemson University, USA | IEEE Fellow, Full Professor
Professor Walker is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Senior
Member of the AIAA. He has served as Vice President for
Financial Activities for the IEEE Robotics and
Automation Society, and as Chair of the AIAA Technical
Committee on Space Automation and Robotics. He has also
served on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions
on Robotics, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and
Automation, the International Journal of Robotics and
Automation, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine,
and the International Journal of Environmentally
Conscious Design and Manufacturing. His research has
been funded by DARPA, the National Science Foundation,
NASA, NASA/EPSCoR, NSF/EPSCoR, the Office of Naval
Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, South Carolina
Commission of Higher Education, Sandia National
Laboratories, and Westinghouse Hanford Company.
Professor Walker's research centers on robotics,
particularly novel manipulators and manipulation. His
group is conducting basic research in the construction,
modeling, and application of biologically-inspired
"trunk, tentacle, and worm" robots. Their work is
strongly motivated by the dexterous appendages found in
cephalopods, particularly the arms and suckers of
octopus, and the arms and tentacles of squid. The
ongoing investigation of these animals reveals
interesting functional aspects of their structure and
behavior. The arrangement and dynamic operation of
muscles and connective tissue observed in the arms of a
variety of octopus species motivate the underlying
design approach for our soft manipulators. These
artificial manipulators feature biomimetic actuators,
including artificial muscles based on pneumatic
(McKibben) muscles. They feature a “clean” continuous
backbone design, redundant degrees of freedom, and
exhibit significant compliance that provides novel
operational capacities during environmental interaction
and object manipulation. The unusual compliance and
redundant degrees of freedom provide strong potential
for application to delicate tasks in cluttered and/or
unstructured environments. This work in turn leads to
novel approaches to motion planning and operator
interfaces for the robots. This work is currently funded
by DARPA under the DSO BIODYNOTICS program, by NASA, and
by NASA/EPSCoR Dr. Walker also conducts research in the
area of fault tolerance and reliability of robots. New
work focuses on the creation of animated environments.
This work in Architectural Robotics, a fast-emerging
area, exploits key aspects of engineering and
architecture in exploring how our environments of the
future could morph in real time. Applications being
investigated by Walker's group focus on assisted living
and aging in place.
Speech Title: Grasping with Soft Continuum Robots
Speech Abstract: The talk will discuss the use of soft and compliant robotic elements in novel grippers,aimed at more versatile and adaptive machine grasping. Traditional robot grippers are based on rigid elements, typically parallel jaws. This restricts the size, shape, and structure of graspable payloads. We will discuss alternative robot gripers based on compliant continuum elements which proved a softer, more adaptable interface with grasped objects.