Keynote Speakers



Prof. Bernie Roth

Innovating Robots and Products Using Design Thinking

Abstract: This talk describes how the basic ideas used in the design thinking methodology can be applied to innovating robots and other products. Examples of actual designs and products are used to illustrate the importance of establishing a problem statement from a user centric point of view. Although the basic ideas behind user-centered design have been widely known for over twenty years they are not universally used in the design of robots, medical devices and similar products. It is shown that establishing user centric problem statements can lead to reframing the original problems, and to surprisingly functional and elegant solutions. Whereas, when a deep empathy for the ultimate user is missing, as in more traditionally derived problem statements, this can reflects itself in both poor performance and market failure.

Bio: Bernie Roth is the Rodney H. Adams Professor of Engineering at Stanford University. He has published widely in the areas of design, kinematics, robotics, creativity and education. His awards include: seven Best Paper Awards (ASME), the Melville Medal, the Mechatronics (MESA) Achievement Award, the Outstanding Design Educator Award (ASME), J. F. Engleberger Award (IFR), the Pioneer in Robotics Award (IEEE), the Robotics and Automation Award (IEEE) and honorary PhDs from the University of Paris and the University of Casino. He has been an industrial and government consultant and a director of several corporations. He has served as president of the International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science (IFToMM) and as chair of ASME’s Design Engineering Division. He is the organizer of workshops on creativity and personal effectiveness, and is one of the founders of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (the where he now serves as Academic Director.

Prof. Yoshihiko Nakamura

Human models for Humanoid design

Bio: Yoshihiko NAKAMURA received Ph.D. degree from Kyoto University in 1985. He is currently a professor at the Department of Mechano-Informatics, the University of Tokyo. Dr. Nakamura’s research stems from the foundation of kinematics, dynamics, and control. Humanoid robotics, cognitive robotics, neuromusculoskeletal human model, biomedical systems applications, and their computational algorithms and software are the current fields of his research. He conducted a CREST Project “Brain-like Information Processing for Humanoid Robots” (1998-2003) supported by the Japan Science and Technology Corporation. His book publication includes Advanced Robotics: Redundancy and Optimization (1991 Addison-Wesley), Building the Robot Brain (2003 Iwanami), and Robot Motion (coauthored with M. Uchiyama, 2004 Iwanami) for which the Publication Award was presented by the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers in 2005. Dr. Nakamura received the excellent paper awards from the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers in 1985, from the Artificial Intelligence Society of Japan in 2003, and from the Robotics Society of Japan in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2007 respectively. He also received the International 3D Award for Technological Innovation in 2003. Dr. Nakamura was a recipient of King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions Paper Award, IEEE Transaction of Robotics and Automation in 2001 and 2002. He was appointed as the Distinguished Lecture for 2006-2008 of the Robotics and Automation Society of IEEE and received the Most Active Distinguished Lecture Award in 2007. He is a member of academic societies including IEEE. He is also the President of International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science (IFToMM). Dr. Nakamura is a Foreign Member of Academy of Engineering Science of Serbia, and a Fellow of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Robotics Society of Japan, and the World Academy of Art and Science.

Prof. Alberto Broggi

From Italy to China with no driver

Abstract: The presentation will describe the latest challenge in autonomous driving: a 13,000 km test from Parma, Italy, to Shanghai, China, during summer 2010. Four electric and driverless vehicles marked the history in autonomous driving and vehicular robotics after successfully reaching Shanghai after 3 months of automatic operation, from Europe to Asia.  On July 12, 2013, VisLab continued testing its technology with PROUD project. Urban driving in a real environment for the  first time ever with nobody behind the steering wheel: BRAiVE, VisLab's most advanced intelligent vehicle, drove in downtown Parma, negotiating two-way narrow rural roads, pedestrian crossings, traffic lights, artificial bumps, pedestrian areas, and tight roundabouts.  The presentation discusses current trends and the evolution of ADAS (Advanced Driving Assistance Systems) and also presents VisLab vision on environmental sensing for intelligent vehicles.

Bio: Alberto Broggi received the Dr. Ing. (Master) degree in Electronic Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Information Technology both from the Università di Parma, Italy, in 1990 and 1994, respectively. From 1994 to 1998 he was an Assistant Professor at the Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione of the Università di Parma; from November 1998 to October 2001 he has been Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica (Vision Laboratory) of the Università di Pavia, Italy. On November 2001 he joined again the Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione of the Università di Parma as an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering. In 2003 he got the recognition for Full Professorship in two distinct Universities and two years later became Full Professor at the Università di Parma. From 2000 to 2003 he has also been Visiting Professor at the Perception Systeme Information Lab. (PSI), Institut National des Sciences Appliquees (INSA) de Rouen, Rouen, France.

He is the Director of the Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Lab and author of more than 150 publications on international scientific journals, book chapters, refereed conference proceedings, and a book covering the whole ARGO Project, which was also translated in Chinese. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems for the term 2004-2008; in 2009 he acted as the new President-Elect of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society; he was President of the same Society for the term 2010-2011; and in 2012 he is Past-President.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Weber

Robotic Microsurgery - New opportunities to fight hearing loss

Abstract: For more than a decade, the concept of robot-assisted image guidance has been applied to surgical procedures in the field of Neuro-, ENT-, CMF-, as well as orthopedic surgery. Yet, delicate surgical procedures that require effective targeting accuracy of below one millimeter have not reached clinical maturity. High accuracy surgical robotic technology can play an important role in reshaping surgical procedures of the future.  An excellent example of a clinical indication where high accuracy tool guidance is required is minimally invasive and atraumatic cochlea implantation. This novel procedure aims to enable the insertion of a cochlear electrode through a small diameter tunnel traversing the lateral skull base, and the creation of a small opening in the cochlea wall. This enabling technology could open the door to new more advanced implant types and technologies which further reduce trauma and increase clinical effectiveness.  In this talk I will discuss latest developments in the domain of robot assisted image guidance dedicated to a microsurgical approach for the treatment of severe hearing loss. The talk will cover activities surrounding the technical development of a high accuracy robotic system and translational aspects towards clinical implementation.

Bio: Stefan Weber received a degree in Electrical Engineering and Automation from the University of Ilmenau (Germany) in 1998. He then joined the Robotics Lab of the University of Southern California USC as a Fulbright Fellow. He graduated with a PhD in Augmented Reality applications in medicine from the Humboldt-University in Berlin (Germany) in 2004. From 2005 to 2008 he worked as a young scientist at the Technische Universität München. From 2008 to 2012 he was assistant professor for Computer Assisted Surgery and Implantation Technology at the University of Bern. In 2012, he became full professor for Image-Guided Therapy and director of the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Bern. His research interests include fundamental and translational aspects of image guided surgery, surgical robotics and medical image analysis.  Stefan Weber is a member of the Cantonal Ethics Board.



Prof. Itzik Ben Israel

Will robots help democracies win "small" wars against terror? 

Abstract: What is a robot? Are mines, air-to-air missiles or UAVs robots?  The definition is difficult and one would better divide different types of robots into categories, e.g. autonomous robots, semi-autonomous robots, robots with or without man-in-the-loop.  What is the main drive for introducing robots into the battlefield?  Is it because they are capable of doing missions that are beyond human capability, or, perhaps they are cheaper alternatives for the same missions, or maybe in order to save human life?  My main thesis is that the main drive is to solve the "paradox of power" which states that the more powerful a country is in the military technology, the more inhibitions it has to use its power.  Are robots solving this paradox, and what is the reaction of the not-so-much developed countries?  This talk will deal with all of these questions.

Bio: Professor Yitzhak Ben Yisrael is an Israeli military scientist, general and ex-politician. He currently serves as the chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and the National Council for Research and Development, under the auspices of the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology. He finished his service in the IDF ranked General, serving as head of the military Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry. Between 2010-2012 he served as chief Cybernetics adviser to PM Netanyahu, during which period he founded the National Cyber Bureau in the PM office and launched the National Cyber Initiative. Ben Yisrael is now head of the Security Studies program in Tel Aviv University, where he also heads the annual international Cyber Security conference. Between 2007 and 2009 he served as a member of the Knesset for Kadima.  Ben Yisrael is one of Israel's top experts on Space, Cyber and technological related security.



Profile Juretzki

Bjoern Juretzki

European research strategy for robotics

Abstract: Robotics is one of the fastest growing market domains of our time. With promising applications emerging in service robotics and conventional industrial robots acquiring new functionalities that enable them to work in less structured environments, now is the time to move from the lab to the market and to re-orient ourselves towards innovation. To facilitate this step change, the EU has put forward a comprehensive Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in robotics. The goal of the PPP is to give external stakeholders both from academia and industry more say in defining the EU research and funding strategy. This talk will outline how EU policy makers see the future development of the robotics market, what their strategy is and how the planned PPP in robotics fits in.

Bio: After studies in Germany and the UK, Bjoern Juretzki first worked as a statistical analyst for a small Internet start-up London. In 2008, he joined the unit dealing with robotics in the European Commission. He is mainly managing projects in the area of industrial robotics, but is also in charge of preparing the Public-Private Partnership in Robotics and deals with all kinds of regulatory and legal issues arising from more autonomous systems and robots.


Robotics in Horizon 2020

EU Funding Opportunities and PPP in robotics

European Research Strategy for Robotics


Col. Eyal Tene, Technology Brigade,  IDF

A road map for the use of robots by the Israeli Defense Forces

Commander of the Ground Forces Technological Brigade