Keynote & Plenary

Keynote Speaker I

Prof. Anand Krishna Asundi, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Anand Asundi (安顺泰) is currently Professor and Director of the Centre for Optical and Laser Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also Deputy Director of The Photonics Institute, Singapore. His teaching area is in Optical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics with research interests in Computational Optical Metrology, Photomechanics and Optics for Life. He has numerous patents, has published extensively and presented invited seminars/talks at various institutions and at international conferences. He is Editor of Optics and Lasers in Engineering and Fellow of SPIE, the International Society of Optical Engineers and the Institution of Engineers, Singapore. He is founding chair of the Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore and the Asian Committee on Experimental Mechanics. He has chaired numerous conferences both in Singapore and overseas. He is also the founder of d’Optron Pte Ltd., an award winning Start-up Company for precision metrology and quantitative phase microscopy.


Speech Title: Optobots – Optics with Robotics


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Keynote Speaker II

Prof. Yangmin Li, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong


Dr. Li started his academic career in 1994 as a Lecturer of Mechatronics Department at the South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China.  He was a Fellow in International Institute for Software Technology of the United Nations University (UNU/IIST) from May to November 1996, a visiting scholar in University of Cincinnati in 1996, and a Posdoctoral Research Associate in Purdue University, W. Lafayette, USA in 1997. He was an Assistant Professor (1997.9-2001.8), Associate Professor (2001.9-2007.8) and Full Professor (2007.9-) in University of Macau. He is now a Full Professor at Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Professor Li is serving as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Automation Science Engineering, Associate Editor of Mechatronics etc. reputable international journals. He was senior member of IEEE, member of ASME and CSME. Prof. Li has published 369 papers in journals, book chapters and conferences. His papers have been cited 4867 times and his h-index is 40 according to Google Scholar up to now.



Keynote Speaker III

Prof. Xie Ming, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Prof. Xie Ming is holding the positions of Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Humanoid Robotics (Indexed by SCI/SCIE), Associate Editor of IEEE Transaction on Autonomous Mental Development, and Director of private companies. He has served as technical consultants to Asia Electronics Pte Ltd in 1994, Port of Singapore Authority in 1994, Delphi Automotive Systems Pte Ltd in 2001, ST Aerospace Ltd in 2006, Murata Electronics Pte Ltd in 2007, and Sony Electronics Pte Ltd in 2007. He has also worked with Renault Automation (Paris/France) in 1986, INRIA Sophia-Antipolis (Nice/France) between 1990 and 1993, and Singapore-MIT Alliance between 2000 and 2004. In addition, Xie Ming has served as the General Chair of International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots in 2007, and International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Applications in 2009. Xie Ming obtained his B.Eng in control and automation in 1984. At the same year, he was selected as one of Chinese government’s overseas scholars. Thereafter, he obtained the Master degree in industrial automation from the University of Valenciennes (France) in 1986, and the Ph.D degree in informatics from the University of Rennes (France) in 1989. He has published one best-selling book in robotics in 2003, and over 100 research papers so far. Xie Ming has taught a number of university courses such as Applied Machine Vision, Robotics, Computer Graphics, Statistical Process Control, and Physics. Xie Ming’s research strengths are in machine intelligence, humanoid robotics and autonomous vehicles. In total, he has won two scientific competition awards, and two best conference paper awards.

Speech Title: Robot-Integrated Manufacturing

Abstract: The first industrial revolution was characterized by fully machine-integrated manufacturing since 1784 while the second industrial revolution was characterized by fully production-line-integrated manufacturing since 1923. After the third industrial revolution which was characterized by fully computer-integrated manufacturing since 1969, we have just entered the era of fourth industrial revolution which is characterized by fully robot-integrated manufacturing since 2014. Under the name of industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution was initiated in Germany during the period of 2011 to 2013. And, the aim is to achieve manufacturing as agile as possible with the help of massive deployment of sensors, actuators, networks, robots, and cloud computing. In this keynote speech, I will talk about: a) the landscape of manufacturing and industrial revolutions, b) the landscape of robotics and automation, and c) the roadmap of robotics applications for achieving robot-integrated manufacturing.


Professor Er Meng Joo, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Prof. Professor Er Meng Joo is currently a Full Professor in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He served as the Founding Director of Renaissance Engineering Programme and an elected member of the NTU Advisory Board and from 2009 to 2012. He served as a member of the NTU Senate Steering Committee from 2010 to 2012.

He has authored five books entitled “Dynamic Fuzzy Neural Networks: Architectures, Algorithms and Applications” and “Engineering Mathematics with Real-World Applications” published by McGraw Hill in 2003 and 2005 respectively, and “Theory and Novel Applications of Machine Learning” published by In-Tech in 2009, “New Trends in Technology: Control, Management, Computational Intelligence and Network Systems” and “New Trends in Technology: Devices, Computer, Communication and Industrial Systems”, both published by SCIYO, 18 book chapters and more than 500 refereed journal and conference papers in his research areas of interest.

Professor Er was bestowed the Web of Science Top 1 % Best Cited Paper and the Elsevier Top 20 Best Cited Paper Award in 2007 and 2008 respectively. In recognition of the significant and impactful contributions to Singapore’s development by his research projects, Professor Er won the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award twice (2011 and 2015). He is also the only dual winner in Singapore IES Prestigious Publication Award in Application (1996) and IES Prestigious Publication Award in Theory (2001). Under his leadership, the NTU Team emerged first runner-up in the Freescale Technology Forum Design Challenge 2008. He received the Teacher of the Year Award for the School of EEE in 1999, School of EEE Year 2 Teaching Excellence Award in 2008, the Most Zealous Professor of the Year Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2014. He also received the Best Session Presentation Award at the World Congress on Computational Intelligence in 2006, Best Paper Award (First Prize) at the International Automatic Control Conference 2016 and Best Presentation Award at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Control, Power and Instrumentation (ICICPI) 2016. On top of this, he has more than 60 awards received at international and local competitions.

Currently, Professor Er serves as the Editor-in-Chief of 3 international journals, namely International Journal of Intelligent Autonomous Systems, Transactions on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and the International Journal of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications. He also serves an Area Editor of International Journal of Intelligent Systems Science and an Associate Editor of 14 refereed international journals, namely IEEE Transaction on Cybernetics, Information Sciences, Neurocomputing, Asian Journal of Control, International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, ETRI Journal, International Journal of Humanoid Robots, International Journal of Modelling, Simulation and Scientific Computing, International Journal of Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing, International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining, International Journal of Fuzzy and Uncertain Systems, International Journal of Automation and Smart Technology, International Journal of Intelligent Information Processing and an editorial board member of the Open Automation and Control Systems Journal and the EE Times.

Professor Er has been invited to deliver more than 60 keynote speeches and invited talks overseas. He has also been active in professional bodies. Under his leadership, the IEEE CIS Singapore Chapter won the CIS Outstanding Chapter Award in 2012 (The Singapore Chapter is the first chapter in Asia to win the award). He was bestowed the IEEE Outstanding Volunteer Award (Singapore Section) and the IES Silver Medal in 2011. He is listed in Who’s Who in Engineering, Singapore, Edition 2013.


Speech Title: Cognitive Robotics: Recent Developments and Futuristic Trends

Abstract: The quest for building human-like intelligence has gained enormous momentum in recent decades. Since the seminal works on Artificial Intelligence (AI), the desire of realizing the quest has become stronger. With the rapid developments in Science, Engineering and Technology, machines that mimic human intelligence have become a reality and sometimes indispensable parts in our daily life, such as Apple Siri and Google Voice. Cognition is a group of mental processes that include attention, memory, producing and understanding language, solving problems and making decisions and making decisions. Cognitive robotics is concerned with endowing robots with intelligent behavior by providing a processing architecture that will allow it to learn and reason about how to behave in response to complex goals in a complex world. In this talk, recent developments of cognitive robotics with applications in the healthcare industry, domestic services, marine vehicles etc will be reviewed. The futuristic trends and challenges will also be discussed.


Plenary Speaker I

Prof. Tetsuya Akagi, Okayama University of Science, Japan


Tetsuya Akagi is currently a professor of Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science, Japan. He received his doctor degree in Engineering from Okayama University of Science in 1998. He started at Tsuyama National College of Technology, Japan as a research associate on 1998. Then, he joined Okayama University of Science as a lecturer from 2005. He received Young Scientists' Prize from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. His research interests include mechatronics and robotics; especially wearable control systems using microcomputers and wearable control devices such as flexible pneumatic actuator, soft sensor and wearable control valve. Prof. Tetsuya Akagi is currently a member of The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME), The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE), The Robotics Society of Japan (RSJ), and The Japan Fluid Power System Society (JFPS).


Speech Title: Development of Pneumatic Soft Actuators and Sensors for Low-cost Home Rehabilitation Device

Abstract: Based on an aging society and chronic lack of physical therapists in Japan, a rehabilitation device that can recover physical ability of elderly after injuring temporally is required. In ideal, it is better that the patient can use the rehabilitation device without special knowledge at home. In addition, the device must be produced at low-cost so that patients can buy them by themselves without financial support from the government. Therefore, the actuators used in such a home rehabilitation need to be flexible so as not to injure the human body. The compact and light-weight control devices such as a valve, an actuator and a sensor are also required. In this plenary talk, several pneumatic drive soft actuators are introduced. One is a novel flexible pneumatic cylinder that can be used even if the cylinder is deformed by external forces. A flexible wearable robot arm and a portable spherical actuator using flexible pneumatic cylinders for a rehabilitation device for human wrist and arm are also introduced. As a soft actuator with larger force and longer stroke, a long stroke type Rubber artificial muscle that can generate larger force with a long stroke of more than 90 % of the original length of the muscle is introduced. In addition, various low-cost built-in position sensors for these soft actuators are introduced. Small-sized and low-cost control valves using vibration motor and buckled tubes for wearable driving system will be also introduced.

Plenary Speaker II

Prof. Assit. Prof. REN Hongliang, National University of Singapore, Singapore


Hongliang Ren is currently an assistant professor and leading a research group on medical mechatronics in the Biomedical Engineering Department of National University of Singapore (NUS). He is an affiliated Principal Investigator for the Singapore Institute of Neurotechnology (SINAPSE), NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute, and Advanced Robotics Center at National University of Singapore (NUS). Dr. Ren received his Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering (Specialized in Biomedical Engineering) from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 2008. Prior to joining NUS, he worked as a Research Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University, Children's Hospital Boston & Harvard Medical School, and Children's National Medical Center, USA. His main areas of interest include Biorobotics & Intelligent Control, Medical Mechatronics, Computer-Integrated Surgery, and Multisensor Data Fusion in Surgical Robotics. Dr. Ren is IEEE Senior member and currently serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Automation Science & Engineering (T-ASE) and Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing (MBEC).


Speech Title: Human-Centered Flexible Surgical Robotics with Continuum Backbones

Abstract: Representing a major paradigm shift from open surgery, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) assisted by robotics and sensing is emerging by accessing the surgical targets via either keyholes or natural orifices. It is challenging to get delicate and safe manipulations due to the constraints imposed by the mode of robotic access, confined workspace, complicated surgical environments and the limited available dedicated technologies, particularly in terms of endoluminal curvilinear targeting and curvilinear guidance. Addressing the aforementioned challenges and aiming at human-centered flexible minimally invasive robotic systems, we focus on the key biorobotics research in continuum robotic system development, compliant robotic modeling & control, collaborative human-robot interaction, cognitive sensing and intelligent navigation, which are tackling fundamental and technical challenges mostly in the context of MIS applications