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All Workshops will be offered on July 15

Future of Work in the Age of Robotics and AI

Minghui Zheng (primary contact person)

Texas A&M University


Hao Su

North Carolina State University


Tan Chen

Michigan Technological University

Jingang Yi

Rutgers University

While robotics and AI are rapidly changing the landscape of jobs and work, there are numerous obstacles to overcome in order to establish new industries and job roles, all while striving to improve productivity and the overall quality of work life. This workshop is designed with the purpose of bringing together individuals involved in robotics across various sectors. Its goal is to facilitate discussions on cutting-edge robotics research, including topics like human-robot collaboration, motion planning and control, and artificial intelligence. By examining these advancements, we seek to understand how robotics and AI will impact future work across industries such as manufacturing, construction, transportation, warehousing, and more. Through collaborative exploration and discussion, the workshop aims to shed light on the potential implications of these technologies for the workforce of tomorrow.

Half Day Workshop

Date: 15 July 2024, Monday

Time: 09:00 - 13:00

This workshop will be about 3 hours and may consist of 6-8 presentations (20 minutes per talk). Here are some confirmed speakers.


  1. Ben Armstrong, Executive Director and Co-leader of the Work of the Future initiative, Industrial Performance Center, MIT, 

  2. Taskin Padir, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University,, Awardee of FW-HTF-RL: Co-worker Robots to Impact Seafood Processing (CRISP): Designs, Tools and Methods for Enhanced Worker Experience)

  3. Jingang Yi, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University., Awardee of FW-HTF-R:Wearable Safety Sensing and Assistive Robot-Worker Collaboration for an Augmented Workforce in Construction)

  4. Kamal Youcef-Toumi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT.

  5. Jonathon E. Slightam, Sandia National Laboratories

Tentative Program:

09:30-09:40: Welcoming Remarks

09:40-10:40: Invited Talks (3 slots)

10:40-11:00: Coffee Break, Poster/Demo Session

11:00-12:20: Invited Talks (4 slots)


12:20-13:00: Lunch, Discussion & Closing

Exploring Recent Innovations in Motor Design and Control: Trends
and Practical Insights

Xiaocong Li

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences, Harvard University, MA, USA

Christopher H. T. Lee

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

The objectives of our workshop are to showcase cutting-edge innovations in motor design
and control, with an emphasis on recent trends in transportation electrification and
broader electrification initiatives. Through talks hosted by esteemed professors, the
workshop aims to facilitate interdisciplinary learning, inspiring future innovations and
collaborations. Attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of current trends and
challenges, acquiring valuable perspectives through expert talks and panel discussions.

Half Day Workshop

Date: 15 July 2024, Monday

Time: TBC

This workshop will be about 2.5 hours., Here are some confirmed speakers.

  1. Prof. David Trumper, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  2. Prof. Jian Guo Zhu, University of Sydney

  3. Associate Prof. Chuxiong Hu, Tsinghua University

  4. Prof. Narayan Kar, University of Windsor

Japan's Moonshot Goal 3 Initiative for an AI-Robots Society

Yasuhisa Hirata (Primary contact person)

Department of Robotic, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Japan



Shigeki Sugano

Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, School of Creative Science and
Engineering, Waseda University, Japan


Hideki Hashimoto

Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, Japan

The "Moonshot R&D Program" is a national program in Japan that promotes challenging research and development by setting ambitious goals that attract people to address important social issues such as the super-aging society and global warming. Moonshot Goal 3’s aim is "Realization of AI robots that autonomously learn, adapt to their environment, evolve in intelligence and act alongside human beings, by 2050." and is based on the concept of Coevolution (technology that improves performance by itself through collaboration between AI technology and robot technology) and Self-organization (technology that enables robots to adapt to the environment, etc.).

The following are some examples of where AI robots with these technologies can be used:

  1. AI robots that autonomously make judgements and act in environments where it is difficult for humans to act.

  2. An automated AI robot system that aims to discover impactful scientific principles and solutions, by thinking and acting in the field of natural science.

  3. AI robots that humans feel comfortable with, have physical abilities equivalent to or greater than humans, and grow in harmony with human life.

Four R&D projects started in December 2020 and seven in 2022. In this workshop, we will introduce the vision of the society in 2050 in which humans and robots will coexist, and the efforts to realize it, as envisioned by each R&D project. We will also provide an opportunity to discuss the future of society together with you.

Half Day Workshop

Date: 15 July 2024, Monday

Time: 13:30  - 16:30

This workshop will be a half-day workshop. Here are some confirmed speakers.


  1. SUGANO Shigeki, Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University

  2. NAGATANI Keiji, Project Professor, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

  3. HARADA Kanako, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo 

  4. HIRATA Yasuhisa, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University

  5. USHIKU Yoshitaka, Principal Investigator, OMRON SINIC X Corporation

  6. KUNII Yasuharu, Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University

  7. SHIMODA Shingo, Designated Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University

  8. YOSHIDA Kazuya, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University

Tentative Program:

13:30-13:40: Welcome and Introduction of Moonshot Project

13:40-14:25: Invited Talks on Human Assistive AI Robots

  • Smart Robot that is Close to One Person for a Lifetime

Shigeki Sugano, Tetsuya Ogata
Waseda University

  • Adaptable AI-enabled Robots to Create a Vibrant Society

Yasuhisa Hirata
Tohoku University

  • Awareness AI Robot System for leading proactive behavior improvement

Shingo Shimoda
Nagoya University

14:25-14:55: Invited Talks on Discovering Impactful Scientific Principles and Solutions by AI Robots

  • Co-evolution of Human and AI-Robots to Expand Science Frontiers

Kanako Harada
The University of Tokyo

  • AI & Robots that Harmonize with Humans to Create Knowledge and Cross Its Borders

Yoshitaka Ushiku
OMRON SINIC X Corporation

14:55-15:25: Coffee Break and Poster Session

15:25-16:10: Invited Talks on AI Robots Acting in Environments where It is Difficult for Humans to Act

  • Collaborative AI robots for adaptation of diverse environments and innovation of infrastructure construction

Keiji Nagatani
The University of Tokyo

  • Intelligent Multi Agents for Exploration and Settlement in Unknown and Unexplored Areas

Yasuharu Kunii
Chuo University

  • Self-Evolving AI Robot System for Lunar Exploration and Human Outpost Construction

Kazuya Yoshida
Tohoku University

16:10-16:30: Discussion for Future AI Robots and Closing

Recent Advancement of Indoor
Light-Than-Air Agents

Ningshi Yao (primary contact person)

George Mason University

Fumin Zhang

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Donald Sofge

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The goal for this workshop is to disseminate the latest breakthroughs in Light-Than-Air (LTA) agents, i.e., robotic blimps, within the dynamic context of advanced intelligent mechatronics. This workshop is motivated by significant recent advances in unmanned aerial vehicles and the demands of convenient platforms to support experiments and demonstrations. As a new type of aerial robots, LTA robots provides natural cushioning and lift, making them a unique robotic platform that offers a relatively long flight duration and quiet sound profile. Blimps do not impose the threats that quad-rotors can cause humans and the environment, which can serve as a safe platform to be used for various applications. However, one challenge of developing and deploying LTA agents is the trade-off between size and payload. Small indoor blimps can only carry a very limited amount of payload (normally less than 150 grams) that restricts the battery, sensors, actuations, and computation onboard. This challenge motivates researchers to push boundaries to design new and lighter mechatronics, more efficient locomotion, and smarter control and decisionmaking process for the LTA agents. In this workshop, we aim to report recent research achievements and identify these relevant challenges, as well as a review for testbed and facilities for this domain of research.

We have organized a full-day workshop on LTA agents for American Control Conference 2022. Since then, there have been significant advancements on LTA agent development, especially on hardware and mechatronics designs. In this workshop, we’ll have five committed speakers with diversified expertise. Note that three speakers are assistant professors who are establishing a career on this topic of research and participating in a national robotic blimp competition, one roboticist from U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and one full-professor who has been promoting LTA robotic technology for more than 10 years. Meanwhile, we will solicit a number of posters presentation from students at the full-day workshop. In the second part of the workshop, there will be a dedicated demo and tutorial section for the participants have access to physical LTA agents in which they will manually control or program the agents to perform a predefined task. Finally, we will have a panel session with subject matter experts and the participants. We will talk about the technology, future goals, and future workshops/tutorials. This will encourage discussion and participation between participants, the organizers, and subject matter experts.

Full Day Workshop

Date: 15 July 2024, Monday

Time: 09:00 - 17:30

This workshop will be a full-day workshop which includes five 45-min talks. Here are some confirmed speakers.


  1. Fumin Zhang, Chair Professor and Director of the Cheng Kar-Shun Robotics Institute at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

  2. Ningshi Yao, Assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University

  3. Donald Sofge, Roboticist and Section Head at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

  4. Daigo Shishika, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University

  5. Xi Yu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University

Tentative Program:

09:00-09:15: Welcome and Opening Remarks

09:15-10:00: Dynamics and Control of Miniature Autonomous Blimps

Fumin Zhang
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

10:00-10:30: Coffee Break and Poster Session

10:30-11:15: Lighter-Than-Air Autonomous Ball Capture, Scoring and Defending Robots--Design, Development, and Deployment

Ningshi Yao
George Mason University

11:15-12:00: Blimp Swarm Robotics Research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Donald Sofge

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

12:00-13:15: Lunch Break

13:15-14:00: Lighter-Than-Air Autonomous Ball Capture, Scoring and Defending Robots--Design, Development, and Deployment

Daigo Shishika
George Mason University

14:00-14:45: Sailing with the Uncertainty – Coordinating Robots in a Dynamic World

Xi Yu

West Virginia University

14:45-15:15: Coffee Break and Poster Session

15:15-16:45: Interactive Session: Demos/Tutorials/Posters

16:45-17:25: Panel Discussion: Recent Developments and Open Problemns in LTA Agents

17:25-17:30: Closing Remarks

Advances of Intelligent Mechatronics: Research
Landscape and Future Directions

Chao-Chieh Lan

National Cheng Kung University

Shaohui Foong

Singapore University of Technology and Design

Hungsun Son

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology


Chun-Yeon Lin

National Taiwan University


Jiajie Guo

Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Email: Email:

Jingang Yi

Rutgers University


This workshop on advances of intelligent mechatronics provides a platform for education, communication and discussion for the new developments on modeling theories, design methods, fabrication techniques, control principles and illustrative applications in the field.

Intelligent mechatronics have been critical and necessary to smart robots in unstructured environments under complicated states for they are effective in addressing the needs for adaptability to nonlinear deformations and robustness to harsh conditions. As a combination of compliant structures and stretchable electronics, intelligent mechatronics has the advantages of light weights, compact sizes, zero backlashes, quick response and high energy efficiency, thus have wide applications such as human-motion sensing, health inspection, bio-inspired actuation, process state monitoring, high precision positioning/transmission, intelligent fixation and so on. With the emerging applications to robotics, this tutorial provides an opportunity to highlight the role of AIM with a focus on intelligent mechatronics in the most active research areas in recent years.

As intelligent mechatronics is newly developed with soft robotics and intelligent manufacturing, there exist many challenging but urgent problems unsolved in the field. Topics of interest are categorized in modeling theories, design methods, fabrication techniques, control principles and illustrative applications, which include but not limited to modeling, design and fabrication methods for flexible mechatronic systems, actuation and sensing for soft robotics, smart sensors and actuators, compliant mechanisms in automation and manufacturing, flexible electronics for human-machine interface, human-centered robotics for assistive/rehabilitative equipment, intelligent methods and algorithms for mechatronics, soft materials, analysis and control. In this way, active experts and young scholars in related fields are invited to present their new discoveries and achievements, which will be instructive and informative for students and researchers from various areas. 

Besides, intelligent mechatronics is an interdisciplinary research area involving researchers with diversified academic backgrounds. For example, theoretical modeling mainly requires knowledges in physics, mechanics and mathematics, while system design and control rely on mechanical, automation and electrical engineering. One the other hand, chemical engineers and material scientists develop fabrication methods and techniques, and immediate applications are usually provided by experts in biomedical and manufacturing engineering. So it is desired to have a communication and discussion platform to exchange ideas and emerging achievements for better collaborations.

In summary, the objectives of the workshop include the following:

  1. Educating the community with basic principles and newly achievements in intelligent mechatronics

  2. Providing an instructive and informative platform with a discussion session to distribute newly emerging methods and techniques

  3. Attracting attentions from diversified communities for potential collaborations

  4. Highlighting the role of mechatronics in recent developments of robotics and manufacturing

Half Day Workshop

Date: 15 July 2024, Monday

Time: TBC

This workshop will be a half-day workshop. Here are some confirmed speakers.


  1. Hideki Hashimoto (Chuo University)

  2. Shigeki Sugano (Waseda University)

  3. Santosh Devasia (University of Washington)

  4. XiaoBo Tan (Michigan State University)

  5. Jingang Yi (Rutgers University)

  6. Zhi Zhou (General Electric)

  7. Shaohui Foong (Singapore University of Technology and Design)

  8. Hungsun Son (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology)

  9. Chun-Yeon Lin (National Taiwan University)

  10. Junwei Li (Nanyang Technological University)

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