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Mechanical Engineering - FEA
 

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SUSTAINABLE HUMANITARIAN TECHNOLOGIES FORUM

THE ROLE OF ROBOTICS, AUTOMATION, AND AI IN DEVELOPING ECONOMIES


Full-day Forum, International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 24, 2018

ORGANIZERS: RAJ MADHAVAN & DANIEL ASMAR

Humanitarian robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence technologies will play an ever-increasing role in global development, particularly in developing economies, in the coming years sooner than one might think or be willing to admit. We are already witnessing several instantiations of such applications in established domains ranging from manufacturing and defense to emerging areas such as disaster response, firefighting, and education, to name a few (for instance, see (RAS SIGHTfor a listing of the projects being carried out under the auspices of the IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology). The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development consists of seventeen Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) that include building resilient infrastructures for sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation (Goal 9) to strengthening and revitalizing global partnerships for sustainable development (Goal 17) among others.

Adoption of emerging technologies tends to be slow in developing countries due to reasons that are usually beyond GDP rates and standard of living indices. Whilst the potential of these technologies is for the most part undeniable, the challenge lies in making them reliable, cost-effective and easily accessible for the masses by taking into account socio-economic, cultural, environmental, and sustainability factors. Additionally, ethical, legal, and societal considerations of robotics, automation, and other emerging AI technologies are of paramount importance as the demarcation lines between individual privacy, safety, and security and those of the collective society get blurred without timely governance and regulation. To address these concerns, the Sustainable Humanitarian Technologies Forum will take on the above issues centered on the following three themes:

  • Robotics, Automation, and AI Technologies for the benefit of humanity
  • Technology-Policy and Ethical, Legal and Societal (ELS) Aspects of Emerging Technologies
  • Global South Considerations (particularly those of developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America)

The Forum will bring together experts and thinkers from both technology and public policy domains. The format will consist of keynote addresses and regular presentations with a mini panel discussion after each thematic session covering the gamut of issues stemming not only from research, development, and deployment standpoints but also those from public perception of robotics, automation, and AI.

An hour-long panel discussion will conclude the Forum with audience participation both at the conference venue and elsewhere (via Twitter and Facebook). As a record of the Forum, we intend to capture key points from speakers, salient points from the discussions, identify missing gaps and future steps, and summarize them in a post-event White Paper to formulate action items.

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

If you are working in the above areas and if the goals and themes of the Forum are of interest to you, we would love to hear from you! We are soliciting presentations from researchers and practitioners from industry, academia, NGOs, NPOs, regulatory, and funding agencies. Please email us a 2-page (max.) write-up of your background, experience, and what you would like to present at the Forum to <icra2018shtf@gmail.com>.  In addition, include a separate section in your submission on how your participation/presentation would benefit the Forum. Note that you are not required to write a paper but your presentation at the Forum will be archived post-event for the benefit of the community.

 Depending on the level of interest, selected presenters will be invited to write an expanded article for a special issue journal. Along with your submission, let us know if you would be interested in submitting an article to such a special issue.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Deadline for Submission of 2-page write-up: Feb. 15, 2018 (email to <icra2018shtf@gmail.com>)
  • Notification of Acceptance: February 25, 2018
  • Forum: May 24, 2018 (confirmed)


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS


Professor Salah Sukkarieh

Professor of Robotics and Intellighent systems
Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics



The role of Field Robotics in Food Production:

The cost reduction in robotic technologies is opening up various opportunities to support the need of emerging and developing countries. One of these is in food production and in particular producing nutritious food. There are a number of challenges including ICT education, economic justification, and a supporting technology ecosystem, all of which are required to form a sustainable outcome. In this talk an overview of some of the agriculture robotics activities being undertaken at the ACFR in STEM, indigenous agriculture, and developing countries will be presented along with the challenges being faced.

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