August 08, 2022

National Symposium on Trends and Developments in Intelligent Systems and Robotics

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Center for Robotics, Automation and Intelligent Systems (cRAIS) in collaboration with the departments of ECE, EEE, CSE, ME and MCA, conducted a two-day National Symposium and Workshop on Trends and Developments in Intelligent Systems and Robotics (TD-ISR 2022). The symposium was sponsored by IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), IEEE Robotics; Automation Society (RAS), and supported by The Robotic Society (TRS), India. TD-ISR’22 promoted the dissemination of research and technological innovation in Robotics and Intelligent Systems. The aim was to provide a lively forum for discussion and deliberation about the current status and future trends in the focus areas of the symposium. The participants included students, research scholars and faculty. The two day event comprised talks by expert speakers in the field of Robotics and Intelligent Systems to appraise the participants about the work being carried out at various academic, research and industrial organizations. A half-a-day hands-on workshop on Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2) was also part of the event. 

Day one, started with inauguration which included lighting of the lamp and an invocation. cRAIS faculty of Dept. of EEE and Chair, IEEE RAS, Bangalore Section, Dr. Venkatarangan, welcomed the guests and participants. cRAIS Director of Dept. of ECE and Symposium Chair, Dr. Shikha Tripathi appraised the audience about the Centre, highlighting its interdisciplinary focus, roadmap and vision. She also spoke about TD-ISR 2022, its objectives, purpose and the lineup of talks and hands on sessions planned. The registrar Dr. K S Sridhar, congratulated the organizers for coming up with an impressive list of speakers and hands-on session and the for the fact that it was an in-person event. Invited guests Dr. Asokan and Dr. Amit Kumar Pandey emphasized the importance and relevance of Robotics and AI in current times. Dr. Sanjeev G. from the Dept of ECE and mentor IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) presented the Vote of thanks.

The symposium started with a keynote by Dr. T Asokan, Head of Department, Engineering Design, IIT Madras, who spoke about Design, Dynamics and Control of Field and Service Robots. This talk focused on designing and controlling field robots for specific applications. Design and control of autonomous underwater robots, teleoperated robots for minimally invasive surgery, Multimodal robots for various modes of locomotion, and aerial robots for enhanced performance capabilities were discussed. Dr. Amit Kumar Pandey, Founder and President of Socients AI & Robotics and Co-Founder, Chief Scientist, CTO of being AI Ltd, HongKong. He spoke about Social Robots, Avatar and AI: Intersection of Art and Science, Opportunities and Social Innovation. The talk was focused on some of such potential use cases, R & D, innovation and applied perspectives, besides the increasing opportunities in the domain. It opened the floor by highlighting the multidisciplinary nature of the domain, the challenges we need to address as a community, and the need for a bigger collaborative ecosystem. Dr. Ashitava Ghosal, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IISc, gave an overview of the recent research conducted by students at Robotics Lab, IISc in areas of Serial hyper- redundant robots, Sun tracking using a parallel manipulator, and Actuated flexible endoscopic end-effectors. Research in these areas involved modeling, simulation and development of hardware to validate the numerical and theoretical results. Mr. Prabindh Sundareson, Technology Architect at NVIDIA, Bangalore, spoke about Synthetic data in training intelligent vision systems. With the increasing need for intelligent and autonomous systems to sense, move and react to the surroundings, it is a clear necessity to train such systems with as much relevant data as can be obtained. However, there are many challenges in obtaining real-world data, particularly in a 3D environment. In this talk, he covered some of the recent advances in Graphics and Computing techniques in 3D processing and their possible application in dynamic settings for autonomous systems. A hands-on foundational workshop on ROS2 was conducted by Mr. Nippun Kumaar, Assistant Professor in the School of Computing at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Bangalore. The participants learnt about the difference between ROS1 and ROS2, created a workspace, wrote simple publisher and subscriber code, and learned concepts through TurtleSim.

On the second day, Dr. G N Srinivas Prasanna, Professor in Robotics at IIIT-B, spoke about his research on Electrical Mechanisms: A new class of electromagnetic actuators, joint work with Smitha Srinidhi, and Shivani. P. Bhat, alumni of PES University. He discussed the design and properties of a new class of mechanisms, where the electromagnetic actuators are distributed throughout a system. He showed that the flexible energy storage in the electromagnetic field enables us to convert a highly pulsing prime mover to a fixed torque prime mover. This was achieved by configuring a mechanism as a reactive load, which exchanges energy with the pulsing prime mover during each cycle. Dr. Ramesh Babu, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-M. He spoke about the indigenous development of industrial robots. Recent trends indicate the growing need and the increasing adoption of industrial robots in India. Thus, the development of an indigenous industrial robot, application- specific deployment, establishing marketing and support system and infrastructure results in Atmanirbhar Bharat and enhancing the performance of capital goods and other sectors. He discussed the consortia model to be adopted and the approach towards the development of aggregates and industrial robots. As a part of the industrial accelerator, the development of industrial robots will be taken up by a consortium of companies from machine tool manufacturers, auto industries and respective supply chain units down the value stream.

The role of institutions in the consortium was also addressed. Dr. Suresh Sundaram, Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace, IISc, who spoke about Recent Advancement in Predictive Motion Planner for Autonomous Vehicle using Reinforcement Learning. To ensure the safety and efficiency of its maneuvers, an Autonomous Vehicle (AV) should anticipate the future intentions of surrounding vehicles using its sensor information. If an AV can predict its surrounding vehicles’ future trajectories, it can make safe and efficient maneuver decisions. In this talk, he presented a Deep Spatio-Temporal Context- Aware decision Network (DST-CAN) model for predictive maneuver planning of AVs. Mr. Shailesh Sakri, Director, Automotive Audio Software, Harman International, Bangalore and Chair, IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), Bangalore Section, delivered a talk on Driver Distraction monitoring intelligence, a product that detects driver inattention. This system improves safety and reduces accidents by identifying distractions such as tiredness, answering a phone call, smoking and more. His talk made the participants aware of the signal processing trends in intelligent automotive systems and generated interest in the field.

Mr. Abhishek P M, Associate, Principal Engineer at ABB Robotics, Bangalore, spoke about Digitalization trends in ABB Robotics. Automation has always been about productivity and quality – scaling up, doing more – the shifts we are witnessing today, the greatest in a generation means that flexibility and simplicity are key to success. It is a strategic need, essential across the entire value chain, from manufacturing and logistics through to the point of consumption. Robotic automation is a vital enabler of this flexibility. He discussed how customers can achieve this flexibility and add value to their businesses by driving innovation to create new possibilities with robotics, mobile robotics, etc, supported by digital services and Simplification. Every talk was immensely enriching and engaging, ending with food for thought and an interactive question and answer session between the speaker and the audience.

The project showcase displayed projects like Social Humanoid Robot, Mobile Payload Carrier, 3D Mapping, Planning and Control and Suturing Robot by students as well as research by interns and research associates at cRAIS, PESU, which drew the attention and appreciation of the invited guests and participants. 

In the concluding session, a representative from the IEEE RAS Student Chapter of PES University, highlighted the chapter’s recent activities, innovative projects, achievements and roadmap ahead. Participants were handed certificates of participation and volunteers were given certificates of appreciation. The session was coordinated by Dr. Shikha Tripathi, the Chair of TD-ISR ’22 and vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Venkatarangan. The event was an enriching experience for all those who were part of it as organizers or participants. National Symposium on Trends and Developments in Intelligent Systems and Robotics was held on Aug 5-6. 2022 at RR campus.