Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Special issue on Robotic Co-workers: Psychological and Cognitive Safety in Human-robot Interactive Social Environments - IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Development Systems


*Important Dates*
31 December 2019 – Deadline for manuscript submission
15 Apr 2020 – Notification of authors
15 May 2020 – Deadline for revised manuscripts
15 July 2020 – Final version

Guest Editors*

Dr. Trung Dung Ngo,
University of Prince Edward Island, Canada,
tngo@upei.ca

Dr. Rachid Alami,
LAAS-CNRS, University of Toulouse, France 
Rachid.Alami@laas.fr

Dr. Takayuki Kanda,

Kyoto University, Japan
 kanda@i.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Dr. Goldie Nejat
University of Toronto, Canada
nejat@mie.utoronto.ca

Dr. Yongsheng Ou,
SIAT, Chinese Academy of Science, China
ys.ou@siat.ac.cn

*Aim and Scope*
In the vision of a cyber-society, humans and robots will closely collaborate to perform given tasks. Robots will automate mundane tasks and let humans focus on higher-order jobs requiring more cognitive skills. In this trend, professional and personal service robots are enabling assistive technologies in human-robot shared workspaces. However, the first and the most challenging issue with respect to deploying developmental and cognitive robots in human populated environments is how to guarantee human physical and cognitive safety in human-robot shared workspaces. Physical safety is about how to maintain a minimum physical distance between robots and humans, which is obviously necessary to deploy autonomous robots in human populated environments, while cognitive safety implies that robots should not cause stress and discomfort to humans when working with or around them. Human risks and their inconveniences when working in an interactive social environment essentially come from unavoidable situations due to robot malfunctioning operations caused by either misunderstanding and misinterpreting information extracted from sensing and perception or failures of path planning and motion control. Furthermore, humans may feel uncomfortable as well as fearful and stressful towards collaborative robots as such robots don’t behave in the natural way of humans with respect to their social situations, contexts, and cultures. It is important to find out a methodological approach for incorporating social signals, cues, and norms into developmental perception, cognitive reasoning and motion planning of the robot control architecture so that the robot is capable of securing human psychological and cognitive safety when interacting and collaborating with humans to perform tasks in human-robot shared workspaces.

*Themes*
The Special Issue aims to address challenges and methodologies of how to deal with psychological and cognitive safety in order to accelerate deployment and adoption of developmental and cognitive robots into human-robot shared workspaces. The ultimate goals of this special issue are to (1) to address the state-of-the-art research (2) and to generate an avenue for researchers to disseminate their recent research findings in the perspective of psychological and cognitive safety in human-robot shared workplaces.
This special issue targets on all aspects of guaranteeing psychological and cognitive safety in human-robot interactive social environments with, but not limited to, the following topics: 

Current state-of-the-art: future perspective of developmental and cognitive robots with concerns of ethics and rules for human psychological and cognitive safety in human-robot shared workspaces.
Perception for psychological and cognitive safety: capacity and roles of human face and body detection and tracking, human gestures and posture recognition, social cues and signal detection and identification, human-object interaction and human group interaction detection and tracking in satisfying psychological and cognitive safety. 
Cognitive reasoning, motion planning and control: methodological development of human aware robot navigation, collaborative task performances in dynamic social environments with concerns of psychological and cognitive safety.
Machine learning for developmental and cognitive robots: using learning by demonstration, reinforcement learning, deep learning, and hierarchical learning to enhance psychological and cognitive safety in human-robot shared workplaces.
Ergonomic studies of developmental and cognitive robots: developmental and cognitive factors and benchmarks, evaluation methods, objective and subjective measurement metrics, experiments and validation methods for psychological and cognitive safety.
Applications domains: concerns of psychological and cognitive safety when working with developmental and cognitive robots in public places, light industry, digital manufacturing, and transformed manufacturing.

*Submission Guideline*
Manuscripts should be prepared according to the “Information for Authors” of the journal found at https://cis.ieee.org/publications/t-cognitive-and-developmental-systems/tcds-information-for-authors and submissions should be done through the IEEE TCDS Manuscript center: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tcds-ieee and please select the category “SI: Psychological and Cognitive Safety”.



Monday, 22 April 2019

A paper to be appeared on IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics

We are happy that our latest research result has been accepted to appear on IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics.

"Hierarchical Distributed Control for Global Network Integrity Preservation in Multi-Robot Systems", Pham Duy Hung, Tran Quang Vinh, and Trung Dung Ngo, IEEE Transaction on Cybernetics (pre-print). 

A new special issue on "Modern Mechatronics and Automation - An Open-Source Approach"

I am organizing a new special issue on  "Modern Mechatronics and Automation - An Open-Source Approach". Please submit your original paper to it.

Scope:
Nowadays, we can see modern mechatronic systems and automation everywhere, from industrial manufacturing to home automation. Using open-source hardware and software to rapidly prototype and develop mechatronic and automated systems has been well recognized by technological developers. Open-source electronic platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry PI boards and its compatible devices become a part of teaching and research activities at universities. The trend of shared source codes and documentation on the web-based software platforms, e.g. Github, allowing professionals and amateurs to access and collaborate their intellectual works has been promoted and implemented at not only open-source communities but also the leading technological corporations. Ethical laws on open-source hardware and software have been frequently consolidated along the incredible growth of the open-source world. Indeed, technological and social impacts of open-source hardware and software in mechatronics and automation are not deniable.

The primary aim of this Special Issue is to gather the most recent methodologies, technologies, and applications of open-source hardware and software in modern mechatronics and automation. We invite all papers with novel contributions in principles, development and applications of open-source hardware and software with, but not limited to, the following topics:

·      Current state of the art of open-source hardware and software used in mechatronics and automation.
·      Use open-source hardware and software in prototyping and development of mechatronics and automation.
·      Impacts of open-source approach on development and applications of mechatronic systems.
·      Ethical laws for open-source hardware and software in mechatronics and automation.  
·      Methodologies of using open-source platforms in research and education.

Keywords:
-       Open-source hardware
-       Open-source software
-       Open-source drivers
-       Free operating systems
-       Modern mechatronics
Automation
-       Internet of Things (IoT)
-       Cyber-physical systems (CPS)
-       Robotics
-       Do-it-yourself (DIY)
-       Rapid prototyping
-       Rapid development
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A paper appeared on The Visual Computer

Our latest paper "Face detection and tracking using hybrid margin-based ROI techniques" appeared on the Visual Computer.

Face detection and tracking using hybrid margin-based ROI techniques", Bacha Rehman, Wee Hong Ong, Abby Chee Hong Tan, and Trung Dung Ngo (pre-print).

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Open positions at the MoreLab

Postdoctoral fellowship, PhD and Master scholarship are available at the Morelab.org, Canada

Position 1: High-level Perception for Human-robot Interaction and Collaboration
Good knowledge in computer vision/robot vision is required. Practical experience in sensor fusion and data association is plus.

Position 2: Socially Capable Mobile Robot Navigation
Good knowledge in robot perception, path planning, motion planning and control is required. A strong background in algorithms is plus. Hands-on skills of system integration are highly expected.

Position 3: Deep Reinforcement Learning for Socially aware Robot Navigation
Fundamental knowledge in machine learning for robotics is required. Practical experience of applied AI in robotics and autonomous systems is highly expected.

Position 4: Multi-robot Systems/Swarm Robotics
Solid background in Math and Control Theory is required. Algorithmic thinking and programming skills are required for this project. 

You can find demonstrations of our research projects at:
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMoreThanOne/videos

PhD and Master applicants with background in Engineering and Computer Science (Robotics, Control Engineering, Robot Vision and AI) are welcome. Good knowledge in Math
and practical experience in Computer Programming are required. Hands-on skills in ROS and Matlab are highly expected.

Admission requirements for PhD and Master students: English score (IELTS >= 7.0 or TOELF>= 100) and high GPA (>75%) of your degree(s). 

Feel free to contact the lab director (morelab.org@gmail.com) for more information. Please send your CV, degrees and transcripts, samples of your research work along with a research statement to express your interests in a position.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Workshop on Robotic Co-workers 4.0: Human Safety and Comfort in Human-Robot Interactive Social Environments, IROS2018

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/humansafetyandcomfortiros2018/home

Aim and Objectives
Professional and personal service robots are becoming enabling assistive technologies for social interactive environments. However, the first and the most challenging issue with respect to deploying service robots in human populated environments is how to guarantee human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workspaces. Human physical safety is concerned with how to maintain the minimum physical distance between robots and humans, while human psychological comfort implies that robots should not cause stress and discomfort to humans when working with or around them. Human risks and their inconveniences when working in an interactive social environment essentially come from unavoidable situations due to robot malfunctioning operations caused by either misunderstanding and misinterpreting information extracted from sensing and perception or failures of path planning and motion control. Furthermore, humans may feel uncomfortable as well as fear and stress towards service robots as such robots do not behave in the natural way of humans with respect to their social situations, contexts, and cultures. It is important to find out a methodological approach of incorporating social signals, cues, and norms into sensing, perception, path planning, and motion control of the robot control architectureso that the robots capable of securing human physical safety and ensuring psychological comfort when interacting and cooperating with humans in human-robot shared work spaces
The primary objective of this workshop is to create an open interactive forum for researchers, engineers, developers and entrepreneurs of professional and personal service robots as well as psychologists and sociologists who are interested in the impacts of robotics and AI. Our goal is to gather speakers and an audience from multiple disciplines to discuss about challenges and methodologies of how to guarantee human safety and comfort in order to accelerate deployment of service robots into human-robot shared work spaces. Last but not least, through this workshop, we aim to deliver our main message to all the targeted audience that human safety and comfort must be critically considered because it is one of the most important issues we must address in order to deploy robotic co-workers in human-robot shared work spaces, especially when human society is moving towards cyber-societies in which humans and robots will harmoniously live and work together.

Topics of interest
This half-day workshop aims to generate an interactive forum for researchers who are interested in human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workplaces. We are committed to open-end discussions on all aspects of guaranteeing human safety and comfort in human-robot interactive social environments with, but not limited to, the following topics: 
  • Current state-of-the-art in human safety and comfort in interactive social environments
  • New hardware and software design for human safety and comfort
  • System design and integration for human safety and comfort 
  • Safety rules for human safety in human-robot shared workspaces 
  • Ethics for human safety and comfort
  • Human detection and tracking techniques in shared environments
  • Human face and body detection and tracking
  • Human gestures and posture recognition 
  • Human-object interaction and human-robot handover detection and tracking 
  • Human group interaction detection and tracking 
  • Sensor fusion techniques to extract social cues and signals 
  • Learning algorithms for interpretation of social signals and cues in contexts 
  • Human aware robot navigation techniques 
  • Robot navigation in dynamic social environments
  • Robot avoiding and approaching techniques 
  • Human-robot interaction in close proximity 
  • Path planning and motion planning for mobile service robots in social environments 
  • Control engineering applied for services mobile robots
  • Real-time control and optimization of robot operations in social environments
  • Applications of mobile service robots in social environment

Co-organizers

Rachid Alami, LAAS-CNRS, TMBI, Univ. Toulouse, France (Rachid.Alami@laas.fr)
Takayuki Kanda,  Kyoto University, Japan (kanda@atr.jp)
Goldie Nejat, University of Toronto, Canada (nejat@mie.utoronto.ca)
Yongsheng Ou, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, China (ys.ou@siat.ac.cn)
Xuan Tung Truong, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada (xuantung.truong@gmail.com)
Trung Dung Ngo, The More-Than-One Robotics Laboratory, Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering, University of Prince Edward Island (tngo@upei.ca)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A Special Issue on Open-Source Electronics Platforms: Development and Applications

We are organizing a special issue on Open-Source Electronics Platforms - Development and Applications.

Scope: 
Open-source electronics platforms are becoming very popular in our daily activities. Arduino- and Raspberry-compatible modules have been applied for a wide range of applications from do-it-yourself (DIY) to industrial projects. Using open-source electronics platforms as educational tools for teaching engineering and science at universities is undeniable. Influences of open-source electronics platforms in technological renovations and social impacts have been well recognized.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather the most recent development and applications of open-source electronics platforms. We invite all papers with novel contributions in principles, development and applications of open-source electronics platforms with, but not limited to, the following topics.
  • Current state of the art of open-source electronics platforms
  • Principles and development of open-source electronics platforms
  • Software frameworks and operating systems for open-source electronics platforms
  • Using open-source electronics platforms to develop modern information systems including IoT, cyber-physical systems, sensor networks, automation, and robotics.
  • Usability of open-source electronics platforms in research and education
Keywords:
  • Hardware platforms
  • Software frameworks
  • Free operating systems
  • Open-source drivers and firmware
  • Communication protocols
  • Internet of Things
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Sensor networks
  • Robotics
  • Automation
  • Educational tools
  • Engineering and science education
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects
  • High-level research projects
Deadline for manuscript submission: October 31 2018

Thursday, 12 October 2017

A paper accepted to be appear on Automatica

We have a great news today that our paper has been accepted to appear on Automatica.

Cartesian product-based Hierarchical Scheme for Multi-agent Systems, M. Iqbal, J. Leth, and T.D.Ngo, Automatica (URL).

Friday, 8 September 2017

Organizing a workshop on Human safety and Comfort in Human-Robot Interactive Social Environments at the International Conference on Social Robotics, Tsukuba, Japan, November 2017

We are organizing a half-day workshop on "Human safety and Comfort in Human-Robot Interactive Social Environments" at the International Conference on Social Robotics, Tsukuba, Japan, November 2017. A detailed info and program of this workshop can be seen below:

Aim and Scope:
Service robots are becoming enabling assistive technologies as co-workers and helpers in human-robot interactive social environments. However, the first and the most challenging issue to deploy service robots in human populated environments is how to guarantee human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workspaces. Human physical safety is concerned with how to maintain the minimum physical distance between robots and human while human psychological safety implies that robots are not allowed to cause stress and discomfort to humans when working with or around them. Human risks and their inconveniences when working in an interactive social environment essentially come from unavoidable attack of the robots due to malfunctioning operations caused by either misunderstanding and misinterpreting information extracted from sensing and perception or failures of path planning and motion control. Hence, such functional components and their incorporation play crucial roles on securing human physical and psychological safety in human-robot interactive social environments. 

This half-day workshop aims to create a forum for researchers who are interested in human safety and comfort in human-robot interactive social environments. We welcome open discussions on all aspects of guaranteeing human safety and comfort in human-robot interactive social environments with, but not limited to, the following topics: 

  • Current state of the art of human safety and comfort in human-robot interactive social environments 
  • New hardware and software for human safety and comfort
  • System design and integration for human safety and comfort
  • Safety rules for human safety in human-robot shared workspaces (beyond the Proxemics – Hall’s model)
  • Human-robot interaction studies focusing on safety and comfort
  • Ethics for human safety and comfort
  • Human face and body detection and tracking
  • Human gesture and posture recognition
  • Human detection and tracking techniques
  • Human-object interaction detection and tracking
  • Human interacting group detection and tracking
  • Sensor fusion techniques to extract social cues and signals
  • Learning algorithms for interpretation of social signals and cues in contexts
  • Human aware robot navigation techniques
  • Human avoiding and approaching techniques
  • Human-robot interaction in proximities
  • Path planning and motion planning for mobile service robots in social environments
  • Robot navigation in dense human crowds
  • Control engineering applied for services mobile robots
  • Real-time control and optimization of robot operations in social environments
  • Applications of mobile service robots in social environments 
Organizers:
  • Goldie Nejat, University of Toronto, Canada (nejat@mie.utoronto.ca) 
  • Yongsheng Ou, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, China (ys.ou@siat.ac.cn) 
  • Takayuki Kanda, ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, Kyoto, Japan (kanda@atr.jp) 
  • Rachid Alami, LAAS-CNRS, TMBI, Univ. Toulouse, France (Rachid.Alami@laas.fr) 
  • Xuan Tung Truong, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada (xuantung.truong@gmail.com) 
  • Trung Dung Ngo, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada (tngo@upei.ca)