Plenary Speaker I-Prof. Tony Maciejewski
Colorado State University, USA | Full Professor| IEEE Fellow
Anthony A. (Tony) Maciejewski received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1982, 1984, and 1987, respectively, all from The Ohio State University. From 1988 to 2001, he was a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. In 2001, he joined Colorado State University where he is currently the Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has co-authored over 300 technical publications in the areas of robotics and high-performance computing and served on eight journal editorial boards and over 100 conference program committees, including Editor in Chief for the Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) conference. He is a Fellow of IEEE "for contributions to the design and control of kinematically redundant robots" and is the Vice-President for Technical Activities of the Robotics and Automation Society. He is also the past president of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head’s Association. A complete up-to-date vita is available at www.engr.colostate.edu/~aam
Plenary Speaker II-Prof. Ian WalkerClemson University, USA | Full Professor
IEEE Fellow, AIAA Senior Member
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.
Plenary Speaker III-Prof. Dan ZhangYork University, Canada | Full Professor
CAE Fellow, EIC Fellow, ASME Fellow, CSME Fellow
IEEE Senior Member, SME Senior Member
Zhang is a Kaneff Professor and Tier 1 York Research
Chair in Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics in the
Department of Mechanical Engineering at York University.
Before joining in York University in January 2016, 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
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 (Kaneff Professorship, Tier 1 York Research Chair in Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics, Research Excellence Award both from university level and faculty level), the Province of Ontario (Early Researcher Award), the professional societies (Fellow of CAE, Fellow of the ASME, Fellow of the EIC and Fellow of the CSME), 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 in 2012.
Dr. Zhang has published 196 journal papers and 167 conference papers, 9 books, 9 book chapters and numerous other technical publications. Dr. Zhang has served as a General Chair for 36 International Conferences and delivered 79 keynote speeches.
Dr. Zhang is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), 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.