Open Discussion on How Robots will Design and Navigate our Lives

The University of São Paulo Polytechnical School (Poli USP) together with swissnex Brazil hosted the event “Autonomous Robots: from design to navigation and interaction” to create space for an open discussion between specialists in the area of robotics, both from the fields of academia and entrepreneurship. Dialogue was centered on the role of robotics in dynamic environments, how smart robots will be and if they will deliver the promise of acceleration of the digital transformation journey.

The event was opened by Prof. Roland Siegwart (a full Professor of Autonomous Systems at ETH Zurich) who was warmly welcomed by Prof. Liedi Bernucci, Director of Poli USP. During his presentation, Prof. Siegwart shared his experience and research from a Swiss perspective. Besides his work in the field of academia, he is also a member of the board of directors of several companies, his primary goal is to find new ways to deal with uncertainties and enable the design of highly interactive and adaptive autonomous robots.

Following his presentation was a roundtable discussion with the event guests: Ph.D. Paulo Eigi Miyagi a full Professor of Engineering from Poli-USP, who works in the area of Mechatronics Engineering, with emphasis on systems automation and has carried out R&D in industrial automation, robot programming and control systems design and Ph.D. Daniel Consalter, CTO at Fine Instrument Technology (FIT), who is an entrepreneur focused on innovation and works in the development of analytical equipment and solutions in process and quality control in agro, oils and gas, oil and fats, citrus, food, soils, polymers and others in partnership with the University of São Paulo (USP).

The discussion was moderated by Ph.D. Marcelo Becker who is, since 2008, an Associate Professor at University of São Paulo School of Engineering (EESC-USP) and has published more than 100 papers in the field of vehicular dynamics, mechanical design and mobile robotics in several conferences and journals. His main areas of interest are mobile robots for agriculture, inspection robots, vehicular dynamics, design methodologies and tools, mechanical design applied on robots and mechatronics.

It was an insightful evening of exchanges among Swiss and Brazilian players on the role of robotics in dynamic environments.  We had a room full of curious minds willing to hear and talk about different views on the influence of intelligent robots towards the next steps of the world’s digital transformation journey. The event also included a Network Apéro moment after the roundtable discussion. 

 

 

Guest speakers:

 

Ph.D. Roland Siegwart is full Professor of Autonomous Systems at ETH Zurich since July 2006 and Founding Co-Director of the Wyss Zurich Foundation. From January 2010 to December 2014, he took office as Vice President Research and Corporate Relations in the ETH Executive Board. He is a member of the board of directors of various companies, including Komax and NZZ. He received his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 and his Doctoral Degree in 1989 from ETH Zurich. He spent ten years as a professor at EPFL Lausanne (1996-2006) and held visiting positions at Stanford University and NASA Ames. He is and was the coordinator of multiple European projects and co-founder of half a dozen spin-off companies. He is IEEE Fellow, recipient of the IEEE RAS Inaba Technical Award and officer of the International Federation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He is in the editorial board of multiple journals in robotics and was a general chair of several conferences in robotics including IROS 2002, AIM 2007, FSR 2007 and ISRR 2009. Roland Siegwart’s research interests lie in the design and control of robot systems operating in complex and highly dynamical environments. His primary goal is to find new ways to deal with uncertainties and enable the design of highly interactive and adaptive autonomous robots. Prominent application examples are personal and service robots, autonomous micro-aircrafts, walking, and swimming robots and driver assistant systems. Furthermore, he is an active promoter of innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland.

Ph.D. Liedi L. B. Bernucci holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (1981), and a Master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of São Paulo (1987). She did her research for her Master’s degree at the Institut Für Grundbau und Bodenmechanik at the ETH in Zürich. She returned to the same Swiss institution for her dual doctorate with FAPESP scholarship (1988-1989) and finished her Doctorate in Transport Engineering at the University of São Paulo in 1995. Dr. Bernucci completed her Ph.D. in 2001 and became a full Professor at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo in 2006. She was the Chief of the Department of Transport Engineering of the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (USP) for seven years, until March 2014. She is currently director of the Polytechnic School. Prof. Bernucci works in the area of Transport Infrastructure: Urban Roads, Highways, Airports, and Railways. She has supervised many studies and coordinated several research projects financed by development agencies and by public and private companies. She was the coordinator of the Asphalt Commission of IBP – Brazilian Institute of Petroleum and participated in several associations and groups of standardization work and studies.

 

Ph.D. Paulo Eigi Miyagi is a full Professor of Engineering from Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (USP). He holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Control Engineering, both from Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. He is a“Livre-Docente” in the area of automation and robotics. He is currently Associate Editor of the “Journal of Control, Automation, and Electrical Systems,” “International Journal of Mechatronics and Applied Mechanics,” and a member of the Editorial Board of the “Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering.” He works in the area of Mechatronics Engineering, with emphasis on systems automation and has carried out R&D in industrial automation, robot programming and control systems design.

 

Ph.D. Daniel Consalter is CTO at Fine Instrument Technology (FIT). He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the Institute of Physics of São Carlos at the University of São Paulo (IFSC – USP) in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrumentation. He completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Physics from the Gleb Wathghin Institute of Physics at the State University of Campinas (IFGW – UNICAMP) where he worked on the Auger Project with instrumentation. Dr. Consalter is an entrepreneur focused on innovation and works in the development of analytical equipment and solutions in process and quality control in agro, oils and gas, oil and fats, citrus, food, soils, polymers and others in partnership with the University of São Paulo (USP), the Brazilian Company for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA) and Brazilian Center for Physics Research (CBPF).

 

PhD Marcelo Becker (Moderator) holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (ME) with emphasis on Mechatronics (1993) from University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil. Received his M.Sc. ME and D.Sc. ME degrees, respectively, in 1997 and 2000 at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. During his Doctorate studies, he spent 8 months as a guest student at the Institute of Robotics (IfR) ETH in Zurich. At that time, he was involved in research on obstacle avoidance and map building procedures for indoor mobile robots. From August 2005 until July 2006 he did a Sabbatical at the Autonomous System Lab (ASL) at the EPFL in Lausanne. There he was involved in research on obstacle avoidance for indoor and outdoor mobile robots. From 2001 until 2008 he was an Associate Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas), Brazil. From 2002 to 2005 he was also the co-head of the Mechatronics Engineering Department and of the Robotics and Automation Group (GEAR) at PUC Minas. Since 2008, he is Associate Professor at University of São Paulo (EESC-USP). Becker published more than 100 papers in the field of vehicular dynamics, mechanical design, and mobile robotics in several conferences and journals. Although his research interests range broadly, his chief areas of interest are mobile robots for agriculture, inspection robots, vehicular dynamics, design methodologies and tools, mechanical design applied on robots and mechatronics.