Keynotes

View the keynotes for the 2024 edition of the Elite Summer School in Robotics and Entrepreneurship.

Keynote

Abdalla Swikir

Keynote

Hanumant Singh

Keynote

Daehyung Park

Keynote

Abdalla Swikir

TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH

Senior Scientist
Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence
Chair of Robotics and Systems Intelligence

Biography: Abdalla Swikir is a Senior Scientist and Teaching Coordinator at the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI), where he leads the Robot Learning research groups. He directs several high-profile EU projects, ranging from robotic design to applying AI on large-scale robotic systems. He is an IEEE senior member and the recipient of the 2023 IEEE CSS George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper and the 2023 IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters Best Paper Awards.

Talk title: Learning Dynamical Systems for Obstacle Avoidance in Robotic Manipulation: A Certified and Scalable Approach

Abstract: To enhance robot adaptability in obstacle avoidance tasks, we introduce a novel methodology integrating barrier certificates into learning stable Dynamical Systems (DS). In our approach, we directly incorporate obstacle avoidance into the learning process, effectively managing the computational and numerical challenges of developing stable and safe DSs through bilinear sum-of-squares optimization. We also propose a compositional approach to mitigate computational demands and boost our methods’ scalability. This strategy facilitates learning polynomial DSs and supports various DS representations, enhancing the framework for advanced robot control in dynamic environments.

Keynote

Hanumant Singh

NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Professor

Program co-Director: Institute of Experiential Robotics

Hanumant Singh is a Professor at Northeastern University. He received his Ph.D. from the MIT WHOI Joint Program in 1995 and then worked on the Staff at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution until 2016 when he joined Northeastern. His research interests are in the area of field robotics, with an emphasis on SLAM, imaging, and mapping, particularly in the marine, polar and aerial domains.

His group has designed and built the Seabed AUV and the Jetyak Autonomous Surface Vehicle, dozens of which are in use for scientific and academic research across the globe. He also has strong interests in small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).  He has participated in 60 expeditions in all of the world’s oceans in support of Marine Geology, Marine Biology, Deep Water Archaeology, Chemical Oceanography, Polar Studies, and Coral Reef Ecology.  In collaboration with his students his awards include the ICRA Best Student Paper Award, the Sung Fu Memorial Best IEEE Transactions on Robotics Paper Award and Best Paper Awards at the Oceans Conference and at AGU.

Keynote

Daehyung Park

KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Professor
Computer Science Department

Biography: Daehyung Park is an assistant professor at the School of Computing, KAIST, Korea, leading the Robust Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory. Prior to joining KAIST, he had been a postdoctoral associate at MIT and received a Ph.D. in Robotics at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research lies at the intersection of planning, learning, and grounding to advance collaborative robot technologies. He has received the Outstanding Planning Paper Award at ICRA 2023, Google Research Scholar Award 2022, etc. 

Talk Title: Robotic Companion Tomorrow: Enhancing Safety Intelligence in Robots.

Abstract: While generalist robot technologies have achieved notable success recently, robots are not yet widely deployable in diverse environments, as they remain largely confined to controlled settings. A crucial barrier is the lack of understanding of space and constraints embedded within our commands. In this talk, I will explore strategies to develop highly safe robotic companions, focusing on two essential aspects: 1) how to accurately ground linguistic commands within physical spaces, and 2) how to learn and enforce operational constraints. By addressing these challenges, we can create robotic teammates that provide scalable and reliable assistance even in novel environments. I will show how recent advancements make robots safe, intelligent, and collaborative, enabling them to seamlessly integrate into a variety of human settings.