Speaker: Dr. Raj Madhavan

Founder & CEO of Humanitarian Robotics Technologies, LLC

Speech title: Robotics for Societal Good: Humanitarian Technologies, Sustainability, and Public Policy Challenges



Robotics & Automation (R&A) technologies have the potential to transform and positively impact the lives of several people around the globe by addressing some of the most pressing and unsolved needs of humanity, thereby elevating their Quality of Life (QoL). Many of the existing R&A technologies are at a sufficient level of maturity and are widely accepted by the academic (and to a lesser extent by the industrial) community after having undergone the scientific rigor and peer reviews that accompany such works. Yet, several of these frameworks, when subjected to the demands of deployment in practical situations, reveal their brittleness and lack of robustness (e.g. Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster). I believe that most of the past and current research and development efforts in robotics and automation are squarely aimed at increasing the Standard of Living (SoL) in developed economies where housing, running water, transportation, schools, access to healthcare, to name a few, are taken for granted. Humanitarian R&A, on the other hand, can be taken to mean technologies that can make a fundamental difference in people’s lives by alleviating their suffering in times of need such as during natural or man-made disasters or in pockets of the population where the most basic needs of humanity are not met, thus improving their QoL and not just SoL.
His current work focuses on the applied use of robotics and automation technologies for the benefit of under-served and under-developed communities by working closely with them to develop solutions that showcase the effectiveness of R&A solutions in domains that strike a chord with the beneficiaries. This is made possible by bringing together researchers, practitioners from industry, academia, local governments, and various entities such as the IEEE Robotics Automation Society’s Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT), NGOs, and NPOs across the globe. He will share some of his efforts and thoughts on challenges that need to be taken into consideration including sustainability of developed solutions and underlying public policy issues.




Speaker: Dr.José Gallardo Arancibia

Staff member of the System Engineering and Computers Department at Universidad Catolica del Norte, in the city of Antofagasta, Chile


Speech title: "The anti-personnel mines in Chile, history, efforts to disable them , the impact and projections of Minesweepers Chile in the community


The historical circumstances that had as a consequence, the sow of anti-personnel mines along the Chilean borders, and the efforts that now are done for their disabling according to the compromises acquired by the country after the subscription and ratification of the Ottawa convention, the presentation is ended with a report of the impact and projections of the first south American tournament about humanitarian mine disabling Minesweepers 2016
The anti-personnel mines in Chile, history, efforts to disable them and the impact and projections of Minesweepers Chile in the community


Speaker: Dr. Frank Podd
lecturer in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester, England

Speech title: "Clutter rejection in the detection of anti-personnel landmines "


Removing landmines is a slow process. Each detected signal must be investigated with equal caution, resulting in a great deal of careful digging. Since there are many more "clutter" objects than mines in the ground, a system that can identify clutter objects, i.e. signals that do not need to be investigated further, would drastically improve the clearance times of minefields.
One of the ways this is done by the military is by using a dual mode system. This talk presents a low cost dual mode system, designed for the humanitarian detection of anti-personnel landmines. It is a state of the art approach, combing a characterizing metal detector with a tomographic ground penetrating radar system. We invite partners for applying and adapting the technology to Egyptian minefields.





Speaker: Eng.Muhammad Aly

R & D Engineer at Innovision Systems


Tutorial session: "Robot Operating System (ROS) "



ROS is an open-source, meta-operating system for your robot. It provides the services you would expect from an operating system, including hardware abstraction, low-level device control, implementation of commonly-used functionality, message-passing between processes, and package management. It also provides tools and libraries for obtaining, building, writing, and running code across multiple computers.