Keynote Speakers




Prof. Maria Pia Fanti

Polytechnic University of Bari (Italy)

Biography: Maria Pia Fanti received the Laurea degree in electronic engineering from the University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. She was a visiting researcher at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York, in 1999. Since 1983, she has been with the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy, where she is currently a Full Professor of system and control engineering and Chair of the Laboratory of Automation and Control. Her research interests include management and modeling of complex systems, such as transportation, logistics and manufacturing systems; discrete event systems; Petri nets; consensus protocols; fault detection. Prof. Fanti is IEEE fellow and has published more than 320 papers and two textbooks on her research topics.
She was senior editor of the IEEE Trans. on Automation Science and Engineering and she is Associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems. She was member at large of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, and currently she is member of the AdCom of the IEEE Robotics and Automaton Society, and chair of the Technical Committee on Automation in Logistics of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Prof. Fanti was General Chair of the 2011 IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering, the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Service Operations and logistics, and Informatics and the 2019 IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Conference.


Prof.  Shugen Ma

Robotics and Autonomous Systems Thrust, HKUST (Guangzhou) (China)

Professor Emeritus of Ritsumeikan University (Japan)

Biography: Shugen Ma (Foreign Fellow of the EAJ, IEEE Fellow, AAIA Fellow, JSME Fellow) received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering Science from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1991. From 1991 to 1992, he was a Research Engineer with Komatsu Ltd, and from 1992 to 1993, he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Riverside. He joined the Department of Systems Engineering at Ibaraki University as an Assistant Professor in 1993 and then moved to Ritsumeikan University as a Professor in 2005. In 2023, he joined the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Thrust of Systems Hub as a Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou). His research interests include the design and control of environment-adaptive robots, field robotics, and Bio-robotics. He has published over 500 papers in refereed professional journals and international conference proceedings. He has also developed over 50 novel robot systems, filed over 80 patents, and supervised 44 Ph.D. students and over 100 M.Phil. students to graduation. For this achievement, he has been featured in the list of the world’s top 2% of scientists published by Stanford University.

He is the general chair of IROS2022 in Kyoto, founded the ROBIO conference in 2004, and served as the general chair of ROBIO 2004, ROBIO 2010, and ROBIO 2016. He was/is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transaction on Robotics from December 2003 to November 2007, an Editor of Advanced Robotics, and an Associate Editor of Biomimetic Intelligence and Robotics, serving many societies and conferences.


Prof.  Xinyu Liu

University of Toronto (Canada)

Speech Title: Soft Sensors, Electronics and Robots

Abstract: In the past decades, significant efforts have been spent on developing soft sensors, electronics, and robots for more efficient and seamless interactions between human and engineering systems. In addition, natural biological systems have also provided enormous inspirations for novel biomimetic designs of soft robots. Together, all these activities have gradually blurred the boundary between our natural biological systems and artificial machines, which may eventually realize the scientific fantasy of cybernetic organisms (cyborgs). My research group at University of Toronto is working at the interface of soft/stretchable sensors, electronics, and robotics. In this talk, I will describe our recent work on developing polymer-based soft sensors and electronics and introduce our progress on optogenetic locomotion control of a living soil-dwelling nematode C. elegans for microrobotic applications. Experimental results and demonstrations will be presented to showcase how new soft materials and structures are designed to construct multifunctional sensors and electronics for wearable sensing, human-machine interaction, and soft robotics; and how the optogenetic worm locomotion control strategy could potentially convert a small organism into a living soft microrobot. Finally, the future work along these directions will be briefly discussed.

Biography: Xinyu Liu is the Percy Edward Hart Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto (U of T). Prior to joining U of T, he was an Associate Professor and the Canada Research Chair in Microfluidics and BioMEMS in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. He obtained his B.Eng. and M.Eng. from Harbin Institute of Technology in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2009, all in Mechanical Engineering. He then completed an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University in 2009–2011. At U of T, his research activities primarily focus micro/nano and soft robotics. He received many international and national research awards, including 10 best paper awards at major engineering and biomedical conferences. He serves as the Corresponding Chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee for Micro and Nano Robotics and Automation, a Senior Editor of IEEE Trans. Automation Science and Engineering and IEEE Robotics & Automation Letters, a Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Robotics and AI, an Associate Editor of IEEE Trans. Nanotechnology and IET Cyber-Systems and Robotics, an Editor of Microsystems & Nanoengineering, and an Advisory Editor of Research. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, an elected Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and a Fellow of ASME and CSME.


Prof. Feng Duan

Nankai University (China)

Biography: He is the Outstanding Professor of Nankai University, Vice Dean of the School of Medicine, and Director of Tianjin Key Laboratory of Interventional Brain Computer Interface and Intelligent Rehabilitation. He is the National Defense Outstanding Youth, Tianjin Outstanding Talents, and Tianjin Outstanding Youth, leading 41 national defense science and technology innovation special zones, national key research and development, and national natural science fund projects. Published 200 papers, including multiple top journals in HBM, TIE, and TNSRE. Received domestic and international awards such as the Japan Artificial Intelligence Special Contribution Award, the Japan Robot Open Championship (three consecutive championships), the Tianjin Science and Technology Progress First Prize, and the Second Prize. Realizing the control of the human brain over the car and mouse brain, as reported in the journal Nature. He has completed the world's first non-invasive brain computer interface experiment on non-human primates, and developed the first domestic turbojet powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The results have been reported by the People's Daily.


Prof. Yuwen Sun

Dalian University of Technology (China)

Biography: TBA


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