Humanoids 2023: PAL Robotics takes part in Austin edition

PAL Robotics at Humanoids 2023

The PAL Robotics team was excited to take part in The IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids) as Gold Sponsors, including meeting with the community, participating in several workshops, and discussing our latest work with visitors at our booth. We were fortunate to have the opportunity, once again, to take part in this annual global event for the humanoid robotics community. Read on to find out more about this year’s conference in Austin, Texas! 

The IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots was established in 2000 and is held annually. The Humanoids Conference is a forum for researchers working in the area of humanoid robots including mechatronics, control, perception, planning, learning, Human-Robot Interaction, biomechanics, Artificial Intelligence, cognition, and neuroscience. 

PAL Robotics has previously taken part in Humanoids Conferences around the world, including in Okinawa, Toronto, Beijing, Seoul, and Madrid.

Workshops on topics including Roboethics, Commercially Viable Humanoids, and Physical & Social HRI

We took part in the workshops “Building Bridges: A Workshop on Physical & Social Human-Robot Interaction,” “Can we build Baymax?  Part VIII: Let’s talk about Safe, Commercially Viable Humanoids,” “Roboethics: Bioethical Issues Related to Humanoid Robot Development and Deployment,” and “Design Considerations for the Development of Reliable Humanoid Robots.”

Read more about each of these workshops:

Workshop “Building Bridges: A Workshop on Physical & Social Human-Robot Interaction”

Our colleague Adrià Roig participated in the workshop focusing on “Designing Safe and Compliant Humanoid Robots for Physical and Social Interaction.”

More and more application scenarios for robots (and humanoid robots in particular), including manufacturing, disaster recovery, household, and healthcare settings, envision them to engage in rich, long and multi-modal interactions with humans, requiring both physical and social interaction components. The objectives of this workshop were to bring together the pHRI and sHRI research communities, and generate discussions bridging these two fields.

Speakers in the workshop were: Alessandro Roncone (University of Colorado Boulder), Patricia Alves-Oliveira (University of Michigan), Angelica Lim (Simon Fraser University), Dongheui Lee (Technical University of Vienna), Adrià Roig (PAL Robotics), AJung Moon (McGill University), Marie Charbonneau (University of Calgary), and Mehdi Benallegue (AIST).

Yue Hu (University of Waterloo), Barbara Bruno (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), and Katja Mombaur (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) were the organisers of this workshop. Read more about the workshop.

Workshop “Design Considerations for the Development of Reliable Humanoid Robots”

Our colleague Luca Marchionni participated in the workshop focusing on the design and control of our agile bipedal robot, Kangaroo. Luca talked about the motivation and inspiration beyond the platform, the design of the lower body, and the latest work on Kangaroo.

This workshop aimed to discuss the hardware design of legged robots: how specific design decisions affect overall system performance, how specific performance requirements can constrain the design space and decisions, when or where in the design process to employ design rules, and techniques used to evaluate design decisions based on desired performance.

The topics discussed included:

  • How to specify design objectives for the whole robot?
  • Co-Design / parallel engineering of mechatronics and controls
  • Sensor selection and electrical system characterisation
  • Materials selection for weight, stiffness, and durability.

Workshop speakers were: Josh Farina (IHMC), Luca Marchionni (PAL Robotics), Youngwoo Sim (UIUC), Donghyun Kim (U. Mass Amherst), Florian Loeffl (DLR), Andrew SaLoutos (MIT), Tomas Slimak (TU Munich), and Daniele Pucci (IIT). 

Robert J. Griffin (IHMC), Youngwoo Sim (UIUC), and Josh Farina (IHMC) were the organisers of this workshop. Read more about the workshop.

Workshop “Can we build Baymax?  Part VIII: Let’s talk about Safe, Commercially Viable Humanoids”

PAL Robotics’ CEO, Francesco Ferro talked at the workshop “Can We Build Baymax?” which brought together researchers working on safe, commercially viable humanoid robots, especially looking at efforts towards the safe commercialisation of humanoids including design considerations for manufacturing and production at scale. This workshop has been running since 2015, based on Baymax, the humanoid character in the Disney feature animation “Big Hero 6” – a healthcare robot with an inflatable body capable of interacting with people. 

Speakers at the workshop were:

  • Bernt Øivind Børnich (1X Technologies)
  • Jonathan Hurst (Agility Robotics)
  • Nick Paine (Apptronik)
  • Robert Griffin (IHMC)
  • Jerry Pratt (Figure AI)
  • Zen Koh (Fourier Intelligence)
  • Francesco Ferro (PAL Robotics)
  • Jeremy Fishel (Sanctuary AI)
  • Taro Takahashi (Toyota’s Frontier Research Center)
  • Tony Yang (Unitree)

The workshop was organised by: Chris Atkeson (Carnegie Mellon University), Joohyung Kim (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Jinoh Lee (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Katsu Yamane (Path Robotics Inc), and Alex Alspach (Toyota Research Institute). Find out more about the workshop

Workshop “Roboethics: Bioethical Issues Related to Humanoid Robot Development and Deployment”

PAL Robotics’ CEO, Francesco Ferro talked at this workshop which covered topics such as: 

  • Ethical Frameworks for Human-centred Robotics
  • Privacy and Data Protection for Human-centred Robotics
  • Ethical considerations in using robots for medical and caregiving tasks.
  • Establishing boundaries and ensuring empathetic care in robot-human interactions.

Francesco discussed the role of the AI, Data and Robotics Association (Adra, asbl), the European AI ACT, ethical considerations for social robots, and ethical procedures for the projects PAL Robotics collaborates in.

Speakers at the workshop were: Jennifer K. Wagner (Pennsylvania State University), Luis Sentis (The University of Texas at Austin), Samira Kiani (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine), Divya Srinivasan (Clemson University), and Francesco Ferro (PAL Robotics). 

The workshop was organised by: Moria Bittmann (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering) and Elizabeth Smith (National Institutes of Health). Find out more about the workshop.

Talking more about our latest work at the PAL Robotics booth

At the event, we had the chance to talk more about our latest work with advanced biped robots TALOS and Kangaroo, and our newest mobile manipulator TIAGo Pro, as well as upcoming projects, to our visitors at our booth. 

Watch Kangaroo free-walking and read more about the latest developments with the biped robot in our Kangaroo blog post.  

Watch recent demonstrations with TALOS in our latest video: TALOS MPC walking with WBID.

See our video on TIAGo Pro, the robot launched in 2023 with Series Elastic Actuators arms and enhanced non-verbal communication. 

We would like to thank the organisers of Humanoids 2023 for what was an excellent event, in particular the General Chair of Humanoids 2023, Luis Sentis (The University of Texas at Austin). We look forward to Humanoids 2024! To find out more about PAL Robotics, visit our website. To ask more about our humanoid robots and how they can fit into your institution, get in touch with us. 

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