Prof. Darwin Caldwell
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), IT
Advanced Robotics and AI in “Demanding” Industrial, and Manufacturing Environments
Early robots were commonly used for tasks that were often described as dull, dirty and dangerous: essentially jobs that were unpopular with humans. After more than 50 years of development, robots are now common in industrial production, and they are increasingly seen in the domestic, service and transportation sectors. Indeed, the target applications in which robots may be used, now and in the future, is increasingly switching from the dull and repetitive, to the challenging and diverse. With these new operational demands, there is a need for new, increasingly sophisticated robots that combine advanced physical design and capabilities with enhanced cognitive capacities.
In this presentation we will consider the use of advanced robotic systems including “general purpose” robots such as humanoids, centaurs and quadrupeds, and also more specialized crawler and snake-like robots. The presentation will explore some of the key aspects of the hardware and software design and show how developments in these core technologies will move the use of robots from the dull and repetitive to the unexpected, unpredictable and challenging, where they can be effectively integrated into future designs for use in “demanding” environments and advanced manufacturing (Industry 4.0).
Darwin G. Caldwell, FREng, is Deputy Director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), where he was also the founding Director of the Department of Advanced Robotics. The humanoid and quadrupedal robots: cCub, COMAN, WalkMan, HyQ, HyQ2Max, HyQ-Real and Centauro were all developed in his Department. Prior to this he had worked on the development of the iCub. Caldwell is an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, the University of Bangor, Kings College University of London, all in the U.K., and Tianjin University, and Shenzhen Academy of Aerospace Technology in China. His current research interests include humanoid and quadrupedal robotics, innovative actuators, force augmentation exoskeletons, dexterous manipulators, Telepresence and haptics, and medical, surgical and rehabilitation robotics. He is the author or co-author of over 500 academic papers, 20+ patents, and has received awards and nominations from over 40 international journals and conference. Prof. Caldwell has been a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK National Academy) since 2015.