Edinburgh Centre for Robotics Annual Conference

Please note that this event is by invitation only.

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics fourth annual conference will take place at the University of Edinburgh on Tuesday 9th October in the John McIntyre Pentland Suite, Pollock Halls. 


09.00                    David Lane and Sethu Vijayakumar - Welcome to conference & 2018 cohort

09.15                    David Lane and Sethu Vijayakumar - Review of 2017-18

09.45                    Keynote speaker – Professor Katja Mombaur, Heidelberg University

Biography: Katja Mombaur is a full professor at the Institute of Computer Engineering (ZITI) of Heidelberg University, where she holds the Optimization in Robotics & Biomechanics (ORB) Chair.  She has a diploma degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Stuttgart and a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from Heidelberg University. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Robotics Lab at Seoul National University, South Korea. She also spent two years as a visiting researcher in the Robotics department of LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse. 

Katja Mombaur is coordinator of the newly founded Heidelberg Center for Motion  Research. She also is PI in the European H2020 project SPEXOR and the Graduate School HGS MathComp as well as in several national projects. Until recently, she has coordinated the EU FP7 project KoroiBot and was PI in the EU projects MOBOT and ECHORD–GOP. She is founding chair of the IEEE RAS technical committee Model-based optimization for robotics.

Her research focuses on understanding human movement and using this knowledge to improve motions of humanoid robots and in the interactions of humans with exoskeletons, prostheses and external physical devices.  Her particular interest is on dynamic motions such as walking, running, and other kinds of motions in sports, as well as motions of daily life. She and her team use and develop dynamic models  and  optimization methods for motion studies, based on the assumption that human movement is optimal.  In this context they are also interested in inverse optimal control which can determine what a human is optimizing in a given situation.   

10.30                   Student presentations – Sensing and Perception

10.50                    Break for refreshments

11.05                    Student presentations – Planning and Control

11.30                    Keynote speaker - Dr Andrew Fitzgibbon, HoloLens at Microsoft 

Biography: Dr Andrew Fitzgibbon is a scientist with HoloLens at Microsoft, Cambridge, UK. He is best known for his work on 3D vision, having been a core contributor to the Emmy-award-winning 3D camera tracker “boujou” and Kinect for Xbox 360, but his interests are broad, spanning computer vision, graphics, machine learning, and occasionally a little neuroscience.

He has published numerous highly-cited papers, and received many awards for his work, including ten “best paper” prizes at various venues, the Silver medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the BCS Roger Needham award. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Computer Society, and the International Association for Pattern Recognition. Before joining Microsoft in 2005, he was a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Oxford University, having previously studied at Edinburgh University, Heriot-Watt University, and University College, Cork.

12:15                    Student presentations – Human Robot Interaction

12.35                    Group photo

12.45                    Lunch and poster event 

13.45                    Student presentations – Machine Learning for RAS

14.10                    Keynote speaker - Professor Stefan Schaal, University of Southern California

Biography: Stefan Schaal is Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is a Founding Director of the Max-Planck-Insitute for Intelligent Systems in Germany where he led the Autonomous Motion Department for several years. He was also an Invited Researcher at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratory in Japan, where he held an appointment as Head of the Computational Learning Group during an international ERATO project, the Kawato Dynamic Brain Project (ERATO/JST). Before joining USC, Dr. Schaal was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, an Invited Researcher at the ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories in Japan, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and at the Department of Kinesiology of the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Schaal's research interests include topics of statistical and machine learning, neural networks, computational neuroscience, functional brain imaging, nonlinear dynamics, nonlinear control theory, and biomimetic robotics. He applies his research to problems of artificial and biological motor control and motor learning, focusing on both theoretical investigations and experiments with human subjects and anthropomorphic robot equipment.

14.55                    Student presentations - Field Deployment 

15:10                    Student presentations – Assisted Living

15.20                    Break for refreshments

15.35                    Student presentations - Enablers 

15.55                    Poster event

17.00                    Depart for Tour of ROBOTARIUM East

19.00                    Conference Dinner, the Playfair Library, the University of Edinburgh

After Dinner Keynote: 

Dr Kimberly Hambuchen, Principal Technologist for Robotics, Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA, Houston, Texas

Title: A Small-Town Girl’s Journey to NASA Robotics Principal Technologist

Biography: Dr Kimberly Hambuchen is currently the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (STMD) Principal Technologist for Robotics. As Principal Technologist, she serves as the STMD technical expert and advocate for robotics development across all NASA centers for STMD programs. She has spent the last 20 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Center developing software and applications to advance the intelligence, usefulness and operational intuitiveness of NASA robots, including Robonauts 1 and 2, the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), and the bipedal humanoid, Valkyrie.

A map of the venue is available below: 


Related files: 
Tuesday, 9 October, 2018 - 09:00 to 17:00
Prof. Katja Mombaur; Dr. Andrew Fitzgibbon; Dr. Stefan Schaal; Dr Kimberly Hambuchen
John McIntyre Conference Centre