We are excited to announce the 4th workshop titled Can we build Baymax? will be held on November 6, 2016 at the IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2018) in Beijing, China. This workshop has taken place every year since the first in 2015. Baymax is a humanoid character in the Disney feature animation Big Hero 6. It is a healthcare robot with an inflatable body, capable of walking, bumping into surrounding objects, learning motions and physically interacting with people. However, in the real world it is not easy to build such a robot. In the previous workshops, we have discussed topics on mechanisms and structure, sensors, protection, control, and fabrication regarding such special soft robots. As a continuation of this discussion, this workshop will bring together researchers focusing on practical technologies to realize fail-safe systems and tackle challenges in learning for humanoid robots like Baymax.

We invite you to contribute and to participate in this workshop.

The workshop's topics include, but are not limited to:
Confirmed Speakers:
Previous Workshops:

Workshop Schedule

09:00 - 09:10 Welcome and Introduction
09:10 - 09:40 Katsu Yamane
"Fail-Safe is Essential for Learning in Humanoid Robots"
09:40 - 10:00 Hiroshi Kaminaga (Short talk)
"Introduction of a Humanoid Robot Aiming at Heavy-duty Applications, HRP-5P"
10:30 - 11:00 Gordon Cheng
"Big Hugs"
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:30 Yohei Kakiuchi
"Humanoid robot wearing a functional suit for adapting working environment"
11:30 - 12:00 Jinoh Lee
"Whole-body Rolling Action Strategy for Post Falling-over"
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:00 Abderrahmane Kheddar
14:00 - 14:30 Shihao Wang, Kris Hauser
"Real-time Humanoid Fall Mitigation with Hand Contact"
14:30 - 15:00 Coffee Break
15:00 - 15:30 Nikos Tsagarakis
"Enhanced Physical Performance Versatile Robots for Unstructured Environments"
15:30 - 16:00 Open Discussion and Closing Comments


Gordon Cheng

Gordon Cheng holds the Chair of Cognitive Systems with regular teaching activities and lectures. He is Founder and Director of Institute for Cognitive Systems, Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Technical University of Munich, Munich/Germany. He is also the coordinator of the CoC for Neuro-Engineering - Center of Competence Neuro-Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Formerly, he was the Head of the Department of Humanoid Robotics and Computational Neuroscience, ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, Kyoto, Japan. He was the Group Leader for the newly initiated JST International Cooperative Research Project (ICORP), Computational Brain. He has also been designated as a Project Leader/Research Expert for National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan. He is also involved (as an adviser and as an associated partner) in a number of major European Union Projects. Over the past ten years Gordon Cheng has been the co-inventor of approximately 20 patents and is the author of approximately 250 technical publications, proceedings, editorials and book chapters.

Hiroshi Kaminaga

Hiroshi Kaminaga is a senior researcher in AIST, Japan. He received his bachelors degree in 1997 from Sophia University and masters degree in 1999 from Kyoto University for mechanical engineering. He received his doctorate in information science and technology from The University of Tokyo in 2009. He worked as an R&D engineer from 1999 to 2002 in Hewlett-Packard Japan and from 2002 to 2005 in a robotics startup company, ZMP Inc. He started his academic career as a research fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in 2009, as an assistant professor of The University of Tokyo from 2009. He has been in his current position in AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) since 2017.

Abderrahmane Kheddar

Abderrahmane Kheddar received the BSCS degree from the Institut National d\92Informatique (INI), Algiers, the MSc and PhD degrees in robotics, both from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris 6. He is presently Directeur de Recherche at CNRS. He is the Director of the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotic Laboratory (JRL), UMI3218/CRT, Tsukuba, Japan; and team leader of the Interactive Digital Humans (IDH) team at CNRS-UM LIRMM at Montpellier, France. Prior to this, he was (1999-2003) assistant professor and (2004-2008) full professor at the University of Evry where he created and headed the virtual reality and haptics group. His current research interests include humanoid robotics, haptics, and thought-based control using brain machine interfaces en physical re-embodiment. He is a founding member of the IEEE/RAS chapter on haptics (acting also as a senior advisor), the co-chair and co-founding member of the IEEE/RAS Technical committee on model-based optimization. He is presently Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and the Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, and Frontiers in Bionics; he is a founding member of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics and served in its editorial board during three years (2007-2010) and served as AE also the MIT Press PRESENCE journal (2013-2014). He also coordinated or acted as a PI for several EU projects and JSPS Kakenhi projects.

Nikos Tsagarakis

He received his DEng degree in Electrical and Computer Science Engineering in 1995 from the Polytechnic School of Aristotle University, Greece, an M.Sc degree in Control Engineering in 1997 and in 2000 a PhD in Robotics from the University of Salford, UK. Before becoming a Senior Researcher at IIT with overall responsibility for Humanoid design and Human Centred Mechatronics development he was a research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Robotics and Automation at the University of Salford where he worked on haptic systems, wearable exoskeletons, rehabilitation robots and humanoids robots. He is an author or co-author of over 250 papers in research journals and at international conferences and holds 12 patents. He has received the Best Jubilee Video Award at IROS (2012), the 2009 PE Publishing Award from the Journal of Systems and Control Engineering and prizes for Best Paper at ICAR (2003) and the Best Student Paper Award at Robio (2013). He was also a finalist for Best Entertainment Robots and Systems – 20th Anniversary Award at IROS (2007) and finalist for the Best Manipulation paper at ICRA (2012), the Best Conference Paper at Humanoids (2012), the Best Student Papers at Robio (2013) and ICINCO (2014). He has been in the Program Committee of over 60 international conferences including IEEE ICRA, IROS, RSS, HUMANOIDS BIOROB and ICAR. Nikos Tsagarakis is Technical Editor of IEEE/ASME Transactions in Mechatronics and on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. Since 2013 he is also serving as a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Robotics Research (CORE), Department of Informatics, King’s College University, London, UK.

Shihao Wang

Shihao Wang is a Ph.D. student of Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. He is originally from China, received Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Beihang University in June 2014 and received Master degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in June 2015. After one year research at Penn State University, he joined Duke in Fall 2016 for Ph.D, research which is focused on Robotics, Legged Locomotion, Dynamic Walking and Controls.


Christopher G. Atkeson

I am a Professor in the Robotics Institute and Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU. I received the M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics (Computer Science) from Harvard University and the Ph.D. degree in Brain and Cognitive Science from M.I.T. I joined the M.I.T. faculty in 1986, moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing in 1994, and moved to CMU in 2000. I have received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and a Teaching Award from the MIT Graduate Student Council.


Joohyung Kim

Joohyung Kim is currently a Research Scientist in Disney Research, LA. His research interests include implementation of robots based on animation characters, soft human-robot interaction, balancing and walking control for humanoid robots and novel mechanisms for legged locomotion. He received BSE and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Seoul National University, Korea, in 2001 and 2012. Prior to joining Disney Research, he was a postdoctoral fellow in Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University for DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2013. From 2009 to 2012 he was a senior engineer in Samsung Electronics, Korea, developing biped walking controllers for humanoid robots.

Jinoh Lee

Jinoh Lee is a Research Scientist in the Department of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). He received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea, in 2003 (awarded Summa Cum Laude, Top 2%) and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea in 2012. Since 2012, he has joined IIT as a postdoctoral researcher and has been awarded a competitive grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of the Korean Government titled 'Fostering Next Generation Researchers Program' (2013-2014). He has been involved in projects such as WALK-MAN (Whole-body Adaptive Locomotion and Manipulation), participated in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals, where contributions were made to develop various manipulation skills on the humanoid. His research has primarily focused on control of compliant multi-DoF robotic systems and the dexterous and reactive manipulation of humanoids and bimanual robots with multiple contacts.

Katsu Yamane

Dr. Katsu Yamane is a Senior Scientist at Honda Research Institute USA. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1997, 1999, and 2002 respectively from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining Honda in 2018, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Disney Research, an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, and a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Yamane is a recipient of King-Sun Fu Best Transactions Paper Award and Early Academic Career Award from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and Young Scientist Award from Ministry of Education, Japan. His research interests include humanoid robot control and motion synthesis, physical human-robot interaction, character animation, and human motion simulation.

Alex Alspach

Alex designs and builds soft systems for sensing and manipulation at Toyota Research Institute (TRI). He earned his master's degree at Drexel University with time spent in the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab (DASL) and KAIST's HuboLab. After graduating, Alex spent two years at SimLab in Korea developing and marketing tools for manipulation research. While there, he also worked with a production company to develop artists' tools for animating complex, synchronized industrial robot motions. Prior to joining TRI, Alex developed soft huggable robots and various other systems at Disney Research.

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