Keynote Speakers

Darwin Caldwell

Fellow of IEEE
Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

Bio: Prof. Darwin Caldwell is Founding Director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, Italy, where he is also the Director of the Dept. of Advanced Robotics. Caldwell pioneered the development of core technologies in compliant actuation, Soft and Human Friendly Robotics and the creation of ‘softer’, safer robots, drawing on developments in materials, mechanisms, sensing, actuation and software. These developments have been fundamental to applications in humanoids, quadrupeds and medical robotics. Key robots developed in/by his group have included: iCub, a child-sized humanoid robot capable of crawling, grasping objects, and interacting with people; COMAN, a compliant humanoid robot designed to safely interact with people; WALK-MAN, a 1.85m tall, 120kg humanoid that competed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge; the HyQ series (HyQ, HyQ2Max, HyQ-Real) of high performance hydraulic quadrupedal robots; and the Centauro, a “human-robot symbiotic system capable of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in the rough terrain and disasters” (e.g. earthquake, nuclear, chemical). Prof. Caldwell is or has been an Honorary professor at the University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, King’s College London, and the University of Bangor in the UK, and Tianjin University and SAAT in China. He has published over 600 papers, and has received over 50 awards/nominations at international conferences and events. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Prof. Teresa Zielińska

Senior Member of IEEE
Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

Bio: Full professor in technical sciences, deputy-director of the Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics of Warsaw University of Technology (WUT). She graduated from the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology of WUT (M.Sc.), received Ph.D. from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering of WUT and habilitation from the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She is employed by WUT and is a member of the Committee of Automatic Control and Robotics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, vice-chair of the Polish IEEE Robotics and Automation Section (2016-2019) and Secretary General of International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science (IFToMM) (2011-2019) She is the local coordinator of international program European Master of Advanced Robotics (EMARO), member of the Team of Experts of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2017-2018). She has conducted research in several universities: Politechnic University of Turin (within a grant awarded by the Italian Ministry of Education), Loughborough University of Technology (Great Britain, grant awarded by the Science and Engineering Research Council), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) – employed as a senior fellow. Visiting professor at: National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia), Keio University (Hiyoshi, Japan), Shanghaji Jiaotong University (Shanghai, China). She cooperated with Ohio State University (USA) within the Poland-USA Marie Curie-Skłodowska Fund. She is a co-recipient of 2 national patents and author or co-author of 300 publications. Teresa Zielinska received the award of the Minister of Higher Education (Poland) for her research monograph, Gold Cross of Merit and Medal of the Commission of National Education as well as many university awards for her research. Her research interest concern robotics, in that development of real-time control systems, motion synthesis and design of novel robotic systems. Teresa Zielinska also works on walking machines, humanoids and mobile robots. She also developed a sensor prototype for measuring shear forces and the control system for the team of autonomous walking machines. Currently she focuses on bio-robotics. She is a member of the editorial boards of several national and international journals. She managed or participated in national, European and international research grants.

Robotics - Current and Future Development Trends

Abstract: At the beginning, key facts about the development of modern robotics will be given, then selected statistical data illustrating the development of robotics will be quoted. Research directions will be presented, taking into account industrial and service robots. Our works will be presented in reference to current research trends. Projects inspired by biology and research on walking machines and humanoid robots will be presented. Works on humanoids motion design will be discussed. Research concerning humanoids posture planning will be illustrated. We will also mention our studies concerning inferring human movement intention. Learning from observation will be addressed. The general goal of our works are service robots that interact directly with a human. The presentation ends with conclusions.

Prof. Joanna Kwiecień

AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland

Bio: Joanna Kwiecień - a Professor at AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH-UST) in Krakow. She received her PhD degree in Automatics and Robotics, and DSc degree at AGH-UST in 2004, and 2019, respectively. She is a specialist on methods and algorithms of artificial intelligence (mainly swarm intelligence), which have many applications in robotics (e.g. path planning, swarm robotics). Her interests include also modeling and optimization of real systems, discrete optimization, and decision making. She is the author and co-author of over 50 national and international research papers. She has been a reviewer for several international conferences and journals, such as: IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, Expert Systems with Applications, Swarm and Evolutionary Computation. She has been involved in research projects as one of the contractors - most of them has been funded by The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR).

Selected Topics of Artificial Intelligence in Robotics

Abstract: Artificial intelligence technologies have infiltrated much of the world’s research. Different techniques of artificial intelligence, including deep learning, swarm intelligence, tiny machine learning can potentially be a good match to tackle the numerous challenges of many well-known problems in robotics and robotic systems. Some problems especially pertinent to show the various possibilities of AI technologies, appearing in complex robotic systems will be presented, for example swarm intelligence method applied to path planning problems, and machine and deep learning approaches to anomaly detection. By integrating AI algorithms and architectures with adequate computing power, robotic systems and mobile robots may perform more complex tasks, e.g. navigate autonomously, respond and make decisions in real time. Based on existing methods of AI, important aspects for the application of AI technologies to view some challenges and research problems from robotics perspective will be discussed.


Prof. Rezia Molfino

University of Genova, Italy

Bio: Rezia Maria Molfino is a full Professor at the University of Genova, Dynamics and Control of Mechanical Systems, Flexible Automation. Mechanical Design Methods in Robotics, Robot programming methods, Robot Mechanics, Service and Industrial Robotics. She is an expert of the Advisory Group for Horizon 2020 LEIT-NMBP (Advisory Group for Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing), president of SIRI (Italian Association of Robotics and Automation) from 2000 to 2016; then Vice President, ex-President of IIS (Italian Institute of Welding),National Coordinator at IFR (International Federation of Robotics), member of ESF (European Science Foundation) Community of Experts, expert evaluator of the Italian Ministry of Industry, Trade e Handicraft, National Evaluation and Foresight Agency (ANEP). Her main research topics include flexible and evolvable manufacturing and automation; dynamics and motion control and simulation of space mechanical systems; instrumental robot design, kinematic and dynamic modelling and simulation; intelligent manipulation and grasping; surgical robots, climbing robots, security robots, extreme robotics. She is an author or co-author of some 250 publications in the area of robotics (dynamics, kinematics, design) and manufacturing systems (assembly and joining simulation, design, govern), tutor of more than fifty PhD and degree theses on Flexible automation, robotics and intelligent, manufacturing systems design and simulation.

Intelligent Handling Tools

Abstract: The talk introduces the important role of intelligent flexible handling tools in industrial and service sectors The multi-points grasping philosophy to adapt handling tools to objects with different complex geometric shapes is presented. The problem of handling soft material is faced and some solution illustrated. Innovative soft and collaborative handling systems are briefly discussed.