27th International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics
AROB 27th 2022
7th International Symposium on BioComplexity
ISBC7
5th International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics
SWARM5
January 25-27, 2022
B-Con PLAZA, Beppu, JAPAN and ONLINE (Zoom)

Invited Speakers

Evgeni Magid

Kazan Federal University, Russia

e-ASIA Joint Research Program: Recent progress in development of an international collaborative informational system for emergency situations management of flood and land slide disaster areas

East Asia is a region that is vulnerable to natural disasters, including floods, land slides and earthquakes. Every year such disasters take human lives and bring significant economic losses. Therefore, it is important to develop technological solutions, which could employ robots and informational systems in order to help predicting natural disasters and negotiating with their consequences.

The project "Informational system for management of flood and land slide disaster areas using a distributed heterogeneous robotic team" is supported by e-ASIA Joint Research Program. Our joint project includes research teams from Russia, Thailand, and Japan, each contributing unique experience and expertise toward achieving common research goals. Based on our experiences of different disasters response, we develop a joint international operation framework for a disaster site management with distributed heterogeneous UAV/UGV/UUV/USV robotic teams. The robot-based information system considers interaction protocols, thematic mapping approaches and map fusion processes. Each team uses different robots to maximize available sensors usage and create a separate thematic map, following joint framework rules. We target to construct and test an informational system that creates a large joint thematic multi-layer map for management of a disaster site.

Japanese team designs control strategies for heterogeneous UAVs/UGVs, graphical user interfaces and Geological Information System that can handle collected data flexibly. Russia team develops a robot simulator in Gazebo and simultaneous localization and mapping technologies. Thailand team develops a new terrestrial mobile robot with rough terrain mobility and manipulation capability and its teleoperation system.

The project provides a new working framework and control strategies for heterogeneous robotic teams’ cooperative behavior in sensing, monitoring and mapping of flood and landslide disaster areas. The new control strategies, interfaces, and communications protocols will be extensively tested in simulations and verified in field experiments. The project improves the understanding of mechanisms involved in technologically supported decision-making for the efficient management of emergency situations. The project affects industrial and technological advancements through the development of autonomous robots and their components, and contributes to society needs through creating a new generation of technological tools for international and national emergency centers.

This talk will summarize the goals, the framework, a recent progress and achievements of the project.

Biography:

Professor Evgeni Magid is currently an acting Head of Intelligent Robotics Department, a Professor, a founder, and a Head of Laboratory of Intelligent Robotic Systems (LIRS) at Kazan Federal University, which is one of the top 10 Russian universities and the third oldest university in Russia. Professor, founder and a Head of Intelligent Robotic Systems Laboratory at Innopolis University, Russia. He worked at University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK; Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, USA; University of Tsukuba, Japan and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan. He earned his Ph.D. degree (2011) from University of Tsukuba, Japan, and Master (2006) and Bachelor (2002) degrees from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel. Senior member of IEEE, member of ACM and INSTICC. His research interests include urban search and rescue robotics, mobile robotics, path planning, robotic teams, and human-robot interaction. He authors over 200 publications in English, Russian and Japanese languages and 5 patents. As a PI, he conducted over 20 research projects with governmental and industrial external funding, including 3 international projects that engaged foreign research partner teams from top universities of India, Israel, Japan and Thailand.


Kamilo Melo

KM-RoBoTa Sarl, Renens, Switzerland and EPFL, Biorobotics Laboratory, Lausanne, Switzerland

Robust undulatory swimming generation in lampreys, eels and Robots.

Undulatory swimming is a prevalent locomotor mode for a variety of animals that live in aquatic environments. Both vertebrate as well as invertebrate species rely on this particular motion pattern and control their muscles through an interplay between central and peripheral mechanisms. Corresponding studies have helped to unravel distinct building blocks of this neural control system that includes distributed central pattern generators and mechanisms for intersegmental coordination. However, given that undulatory animals perceive their hydrodynamic environment by means of specific sense organs that provide information about fluid flow and pressure, it remains unclear how these exteroceptive sensor modalities influence or possibly even help to generate undulatory swimming. In this talk, I will show with the use of a robot and additional simulated fluid-body interactions that simple local synchronization of body actuation with hydrodynamic forces can lead to robust self-organized undulatory swimming. In this work, we demonstrate that these conceptual synchronization mechanisms have both the ability to provide motion coordination between body segments in the absence of internal neural coupling, and to spontaneously generate oscillations in the absence of explicit central pattern generators. In particular, experiments with the robot and in simulation, show that undulatory swimming can in principle be generated by either purely central or purely peripheral mechanisms, and that the combination of both is remarkably more robust against lesions in control circuits than any of these mechanisms alone. Our findings foster new hypotheses on how animals potentially use local feedback to master swimming, clarify the benefits of combining central and peripheral control mechanisms, and provide new perspectives for the design and control of swimming robots based on self-organizing principles.

Biography:

Kamilo Melo designs, builds and maintains advanced bio-robotic systems for scientific research and industry. In parallel to his work as director of KM-RoBoTa, he currently is scientific advisor of the Biorobotics Laboratory of EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. The focus of his work is the creation of animal-like robots and automated machines informed by real animals and other biological organisms, to be used in different fields. These include academic research, industrial inspection and intervention, disaster response, art and entertainment. He has carried out important research in bio-robotics that has been featured in the cover of prestigious scientific journals including: Science Robotics (08.2021), Nature (01.2019), and the JRSInterface (07.2016). Among his robots (https://km-robota.com) there is a crocodile robot broadcasted in the BBC’s documentary “Spy in the Wild” in 2017, and several art pieces commissioned by artists like Pamela Rosenkranz (2019) and Nina Canell (2021). Kamilo has a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, a PhD in Robotics, and several years of postdoctoral training with Profs. Raja Chatila (Paris Sorbonne, France), Antonio Bicchi (University of Pisa, Italy) and Auke Ijspeert (EPFL, Switzerland). With KM-RoBoTa, he currently leads research in the USA, Singapore and Colombia, and performs tech-transfer from research to products and services in robotics across Europe, Asia and Latin America markets.


Masahiro Takinoue

Department of Computer Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

DNA nanotechnology for soft micromachines and molecular robots

A living cell is a soft microrobots constructed with biological information molecules. Inspired by the living cells, the bottom-up construction of cell-like molecular robots and artificial cells has been actively challenged. Our group has been studying nano to micrometer sized molecular robots based on DNA nanotechnology and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. In this presentation, we would report two topics:
(i) DNA-based molecular robots: Recently, the development of DNA-based molecular machines and robots has attracted much attention due to their promising applications in medical, agricultural, and environmental technologies. DNA nanodevices and nanomachines have been constructed based on DNA sequence design, which enables us to program functions and to control the devices and machines according to the program. Here, we will report a DNA droplet produced through liquid-liquid phase separation of a DNA nanostructure (named DNA Y-motif) solution [1,2]. In this study, we found that the fusion of the liquid-like DNA droplets could be controlled based on the sticky-end sequence and that the autonomous fission of DNA droplet could be achieved with enzymatic reaction. These results show that the condensed soft matter phase of DNA nanostructure can be used as a molecular robot body that has the integration ability of functional molecules such as proteins.
(ii) autonomous collective motion of microparticles: In nature, collective behaviors of living systems are often observed such as ant colony, flocks of birds and fish, self-organization of cellular slime molds, and group locomotion of human beings. The collective behavior is an emergent phenomenon produced from many elements with only a few simple functions. Since it is generally difficult to implement very complex function into nano to micrometer-sized robots, the concept of collective behaviors is important for the construction of molecular robots. Here, we will report an autonomous collective motion of microparticles. The microparticles were placed under a stationary asymmetric sawtooth-like electric field in an oil phase with a surfactant. Even though the electric field was not changed, the microparticles exhibited autonomous unidirectional collective motion through particle-particle interaction when the microparticles were crowded condition. This phenomenon is considered to be caused by a novel principle, which we named an auto-flashing ratchet model, and to be achieved due to a nonequilibrium electron transfer through the surfactant micelles. This principle will be applied to transport various microparticles and micromachines in the future.

  1. 1. Sato, Y., et al., Science Advances, Vol. 6, no. 23, eaba3471 (2020).
  2. 2. Kurokawa, C., et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 114(28), 7228 (2017).
  3. 3. Hayakawa, M., et al., Advanced Intelligent Systems, 2, 2000031 (2020) (cover picture).

Biography:

Masahiro Takinoue is a biophysicist studying artificial cell engineering and DNA molecular robotics. He received a B.Sc. in Physics in 2002, M.Sc. in Physics in 2004, and Ph.D. in Physics in 2007 from The University of Tokyo, Japan. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow of Research Fellowship for Young Scientists of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at the University of Tokyo (2007-2008), a postdoctoral fellow at Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kyoto University, Japan (2008-2009), an assistant professor at Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan (2009-2011), he has been an associate professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan (2011-). He joined École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France as an invited Professor (2018). He won several awards such as Outstanding Researcher Award on Chemistry and Micro-Nano Systems from the Society for Chemistry and Micro-Nano System, Japan (2021) and The Young Scientists’ Prize from MEXT, Japan (2017).


Hiroto Tanaka

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Penguin-mimetic robotic wing mechanism

Biography:

Hiroto Tanaka received the BSc degree in mechanical engineering at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 2003, MSc degree in information science and technology at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan in 2005, and the PhD degree in information science and technology at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan in 2008. He was a JSPS research fellow in Isao Shimoyama lab at The University of Tokyo from 2006, to 2009, a postdoctoral fellow in Robert Wood lab at Harvard University from 2009 to 2011, and an Assistant Professor in Hao Liu lab at Chiba University from 2011 to 2015. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. His current research interests include biomechanics, biomimeitcs, and soft robotics of flying and swimming animals. He is leading one of the teams of JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) KAKEHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Science of Soft Robots” since 2018.


Ryohei KANZAKI

Director and Professor
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, Japan


Learning from Intelligence of Insects
~ Odor Source Orientation Robot Based on Insect Sensory and Neural System ~

To elucidate the dynamic information processing in a sensor and a brain underlying adaptive behavior obtained through evolution (i.e., biological intelligence), it is necessary to understand the behavior and corresponding neural activities. This requires animals which have clear relationships between behavior and corresponding neural activities. Insects are precisely such animals and one of the cadaptive behaviors of insects is high-accuracy odor source orientation, which is not yet available in conventional approaches. Insects are valuable model systems in neuroscience due to the balance between the moderate complexity of their nervous systems and a rich behavioral repertoire. Insect brains contain on the order of 105 to 106 neurons. The concept of individually identifiable neurons and small networks composing functional units have been vital for understanding insect brains. Insects are also uniquely suited for multidisciplinary studies in brain research involving a combined approach at various levels, from molecules over single neurons to neural networks, behavior, modeling, and robotics.

To examine the neural basis of the odor-source orientation behavior, we have employed a strategy that tackles the question at multiple levels, from genes, single cells of the neural system to the actual behavior. We implemented a model of the neural circuit reconstructed from single neurons, and integrated it with a mobile robot and a drone. We have developed an insect-robot hybrid system, which moves depending on the behavioral or the neural output of a brain, as a novel experimental system. The robot is controlled by the behavior of an insect tethered on the robot or by the neural activity of the insect brain. This system has contributed to better understanding of the behavioral and neural basis of adaptive behavior. We also have developed highly sensitive olfactory sensors based on olfactory receptor proteins of insects using a genetic engineering.

At first in this lecture, strategy of odor navigation of a male silkmoth and its neural basis revealed by using multidisciplinary approaches will be shown. Second, the extent of adaptation in the behavioral strategy, as governed by the neural system and investigated via a robotic implementation, will be introduced.

Our multidisciplinary research will enable us to use the full potential of the features of insect sensors and brains as model systems for understanding the dynamical sensory and neural substrates of adaptive behaviors (i.e., biological intelligence). As well as being of biological interest, this topic is also of interest for engineering including robotics and AI, because they also need to execute tasks in changing environmental conditions. The bottom up and top down interdisciplinary studies are key and fundamental approaches to understand the biological intelligence acquired through evolution.

Biography:

Ryohei Kanzaki is currently a director and professor of Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), The University of Tokyo. He is interested in biological intelligence (BA) developed through evolution and in reconstructing BA using multidisciplinary approaches. He is a Program Officer of JST PRESTO "Bio-Multisensory Systems" from April 2021.

Ryohei Kanzaki received his B.S., M.S. and D.Sc. degree in Neurobiology from University of Tsukuba in 1980, 1983 and 1986, respectively. From 1987 to 1990 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, University of Arizona. From 1991 to 2003 he was successively an assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba. From 2004 to 2006 he was a professor at Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo. Since 2006 he is a professor at RCAST. Since 2016 he has been a director of RCAST. He was a president of the Japanese Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (JSCPB) from 2012 to 2015. He received an honorary degree from the University of Milano-Bicocca in computer sciences in 2019 and was awarded the Wakayama Prefecture Cultural Prize in 2020. He is also contributing to art and science education project of children by JST project as a chair.


Leonardo De Mattos

Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

Novel devices for microsurgery and challenging medical operations

Robotics has large potential to enhance the overall capacity and efficiency of healthcare systems. Robots can help surgeons perform better quality operations, leading to reductions in the hospitalization time of patients and in the impact of surgery on their post-operative quality of life. In particular, robotics can have a significant impact on precision medical treatments, such as microsurgeries. These operations present stringent requirements for super-human precision and control of the surgical tools, which makes them prime application areas for robotics. However, the gap between ultra-performing new technologies and their real use in clinical practice is often very difficult to be overcome. The reasons are varied – from regulatory to economical – but they all contribute to a challenging and very long time-to-market. On the other hand, relatively simple technologies can have a much faster way into the market and yet largely improve clinical performance. In this talk, I will present translational research being conduct at IIT to address major issues in precision medical treatments using robotics technologies. This includes innovations in mechatronics, perception and surgeon-robot interfaces aimed at introducing novel computer and robot-assisted technologies into demanding surgical specialties such as laryngology and pediatrics. Specifically, two main applications will be discussed: Transoral laser microsurgery and peripheral intravenous catheterizations.

Biography:

Leonardo De Mattos is a Permanent Researcher and Head of the Biomedical Robotics Laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT, Genoa). His research background ranges from robotic microsurgery and assistive human-machine interfaces to computer vision and micro-biomanipulation. Leonardo received the B.Sc. degree from the University of São Paulo (USP, São Carlos, Brazil) in 1998, the M.Sc. degree in 2003, and the Ph.D. degree in 2007, both in Electrical Engineering from the North Carolina State University (NCSU, Raleigh, USA). Leonardo worked as research assistant at the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (CRIM, NCSU) from 2002 until 2007. Since then he has been a researcher at IIT’s Department of Advanced Robotics. Dr. De Mattos collaborates closely with other institutions, including hospitals and industry. Leonardo was the PI and coordinator of the European project µRALP – Micro-Technologies and Systems for Robot-Assisted Laser Phonomicrosurgery, and of the TEEP-SLA project (dedicated to the creation of new communication interfaces and assistive systems for ALS patients). He is currently the PI and coordinator of the translational project Robotic Microsurgery and of two other industrial projects in the areas of robotic surgery and smart medical devices. Leonardo has graduated 16 PhD students and is currently supervising 5 PhD candidates. He is the author or co-author of more than 170 peer-reviewed publications, and has been the chair and main organizer of several international scientific events, including the 4th and the 9th Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery (CRAS 2014 and CRAS 2019), the IEEE BioRob 2014 Workshop on Robotic Microsurgery and Image-Guided Surgical Interventions, and the IEEE BioRob 2012 Workshop on Robot-Assisted Laryngeal Microsurgery. He is current serving as Editor for Applied Sciences, Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, IEEE ICAR 2021, and IEEE IROS 2021, and Guest Editor for Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

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