Robotics & Automation for Societal Good Underlying Challenges in Humanitarian Technology, Sustainability, and Public Policy

Room: 3507, Bldg: Engineering

Co-sponsored by: Christal Gordon Many of the existing Robotics & Automation (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. I believe that most of the past and current research and development efforts in robotics and automation have been 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 Quality of Life (QoL) and not just SoL. My 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. I will share some of my efforts and thoughts on challenges that need to be taken into consideration including sustainability of developed solutions and underlying public policy issues. Speaker(s): Dr. Raj Madhavan, Location: Room: 3507 Bldg: Engineering 4400 University Dr. Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Bio-inspired Sensing and Processing

Room: Auditorium, Bldg: Arlington Central Library

Sensing and processing are two critical aspects of many engineering systems. The natural world has multiple examples of methods and techniques that can influence designs.  This talk will highlight a few examples that illustrate how sensing and processing take place in biological systems and designs that have successfully incorporated inspiration from biology. Location: Room: Auditorium Bldg: Arlington Central Library 1015 N Quincy St. Arlington, Virginia 22201