On March 19-20th 2019 AIR held its kick-out conference. All partners were present and presented the past years research and discoveries, as well as looking ahead by addressing future research challenges and applications. The conference was hosted by the Skövde University.
The general theme in AIR is on the interaction of humans and autonomous systems that move in shared physical spaces. The scenarios that instantiate this general theme are: autonomous systems in the home, autonomous systems in industrial environments, autonomous systems in the traffic and methodologies and framework. In that sense AIR is a one of a kind research project.
Discoveries and research of today
During day one, all research scenarios presented the last years research and discoveries. In the afternoon participants had the pleasure of listening to keynote Alessandra Sciutti from Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). She spoke about about her research perspective on robots and humans from mutual understanding to interaction and trust.
The research landscape and possibilities of tomorrow
Day two was spent at ASSAR – Industrial innovation arena. Participants where given a tour of the demonstrators displayed at ASSAR and demonstrators produced within the AIR project. These included industrial robots/rav that cooperate with man without security barriers, autonomous trucks, humanoids such as Pepper and FurHat, voice-controlled robots and VR technology.
Keynote day two, Bertil Thorvaldssson Senior Advisor at the University of Skövde and a Technical Fellow at ABB Robotics, give us a brief look into the past but for the main part of his talk The next wave of digital manufacturing he spoke about what lies ahead.
Kick-off with open house
We ended the kick-out with an open house for the general public which came to be a very appreciated event. Both business associates and families came to learn more about the research conducted within AIR. In total this event had roughly 150 or so visitors. AIR started the open house by briefly explaining AIR and showing visitors below video produced:
On October 23rd researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) came to University of Skövde to discuss Human-robot interaction and to visit and be inspired at ASSAR – Industrial Innovation Arena.
IIT-RBCS has a long lasting activity on social robotics with special focus on investigating the role of social signs (such as gestures’ dynamic parameters and gaze direction). So on October 23rd the AIR consortia opened up the talk held by IIT to researchers.
Human-robot interaction The visiting researchers were Giulio Sandini, Alessandra Sciutti and Francesco Rea from the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences unit at IIT, in Genova, Italy. The researchers gave the attendants an insight to both the cognitive basis underlining social interaction and how social skills in robotics can be designed and implemented on the humanoid robot iCub to promote natural human-robot interaction.
Tour of ASSAR After the talks, Jessica Lindblom and Erik Billing from the AIR team Skövde took Francesco, Alessandra and Giulio to ASSAR-industrial innovation arena. A meeting place where education, innovation and research supply industry with new solutions. The environment focuses on the development of production, production methods, and production technology as well as bear the stamp of diversity and equality—a meeting place where sustainable manufacturing will be created together. The name ASSAR is a historical tribute to the initiator of the Volvo companies, Assar Gabrielsson, but also a name which is looking to the future with the meaning “the one who gives answers.”
On October 17th and 18thÖrebro University hosted a lunch-to-lunch workshop with focus on scenario Autonomous systems in industrial environments. All partners of the distributed research environment participated as well as participants from industrial partner companies.
Day one, the 17th of October, started with Professor Achim Lilienthal, coordinator of the AIR project at Örebro University, presenting AIR. Thereafter, researchers Martin Magnusson, Erik Schaffernicht and Henrik Andreasson (ORU) gave presentations on how the AIR project has helped develop research within other Örebro University research projects. After the presentations, Alex Liebert from Usify, lead a workshop including different exercises aiming at reaching and discussing new research ideas in cooperation with the participants from AIR and the industrial partner companies.
New research ideas During day two, the 18th of October, the focus was the new research ideas reached during day one and the future of AIR. With the support of Lovisa Svensson and Emyr Williams, representatives from Örebro University’s Grants Office, the distributed research environment discussed what is going on in the research fields, how to continue the collaboration and applying for different funding opportunities and which partner companies could have an interest in future research projects.
Next stop during the AIR-consortia on tour was Halmstad University, on September 25th. Same topics as on the Örebro stop, the focus of the meeting was to discuss the collaboration of work packages.
The team discussed how to address joint challenges, both overall and within the different work packages, focusing on evaluation aspects of the interaction quality between humans and autonomous systems from a human-centred perspective.
The task for the day was to discuss common tasks and challenges within the work packages. Of particular interests were evaluation aspects of the interaction quality between humans and autonomous systems from a human-centred perspective.
On September 13th AIR members participated and presented research from the AIR project at ICMR2018 – International Conference on Manufacturing Research. Skövde’s Pepper robot also participated in the science fair at the final day of the conference held at ASSAR – Industrial Innovation Arena.
With the accelerating globalisation of manufacturing in the 21st century, the urgent need to keep pace has produced rapid advancements in technology, research and innovation. ICMR solicits papers on both cutting edge theoretical research and its recent industrial applications with the goal of bringing together practical and theoretical knowledge from academic, governmental and industry organisations across the world.
In 2018 the ICMT conference was held at Skövde University campus and ASSAR Industrial innovation arena. ICMR was initiated by The Consortium of UK University Manufacturing and Engineering (COMEH) and has been the UK’s main manufacturing research conference for 32 years and an international conference since 2003 – bringing together researchers, academics and industrialists together to share their vision, knowledge and experience, and discuss emerging trends and new challenges. A perfect arena for the AIR consortia to discuss research result and share ideas with colleagues within the field.