CIS & RAM _  
  2008 IEEE CIS & RAM  
  _   June 28-30| Singapore    
_ _

Plenary Speech

Frontiers of Brain Machine Interface: Physical and Cognitive


These are exciting time for the field of brain research, with huge initiatives (on part with the human genome program) to map and understand human brain underway worldwide. One of the major frontiers is the development of technology, computational and cognitive science concepts to develop the human brain-mind interface. This presentation will discuss the state of the art of neural interface technology, methods to analyze brain rhythms (from neurons to brain waves/EEG) and how they may be used to "control" prosthetic or robotic limbs. With considerable advances in the field of interface to the motor system, now it is also time to focus on sensory interface: how and what sensory information to provide to the brain? Finally, the over-riding brain-machine interface would be cognitive: what can we infer about human cognitive intent in the brain machine interface. I will present some open questions and challenges towards both physical and cognitive interfaces between brain and machines.


Nitish V. Thakor has been appointed as the Provost Chair Professor, National University of Singapore, and he now leads the SiNAPSE Institute sponsored by the University, Defence and A*STAR and focused on neurotechnology research and development. He is also a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Neurology at Johns Hopkins and directs the Laboratory for Neuroengineering.

Dr. Thakor’s technical expertise is in the areas of neural diagnostic instrumentation, neural microsystem, neural signal processing, optical imaging of the nervous system, rehabilitation, neural control of prosthesis and brain machine interface.

He is the Director of a Neuroengineering Training program funded by the National Institute of Health. He has published 245 refereed journal papers, generated 11 patents, co-founded four companies, and carries out research funded mainly by the NIH, NSF and DARPA. He was the Editor in Chief of IEEE Transactions on Neural and Rehabilitation Engineering (2005-2011). He is currently the Editor in Chief of Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing from 2013.

Dr. Thakor is a recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, and is a Fellow of IEEE, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Founding Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering. He has received 2011 Technical Achievement Award from IEEE and Distinguished Alumnus award from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Robots: The New Generation


Robotics is rapidly expanding into the human environment and vigorously engaged in its new emerging challenges. From a largely dominant industrial focus, robotics has undergone, by the turn of the new millennium, a major transformation in scope and dimensions. This expansion has been brought about by the maturity of the field and the advances in its related technologies to address the pressing needs for human-centered robotic applications. Interacting, exploring, and working with humans, the new generation of robots will increasingly touch people and their lives, in homes, workplaces, and communities, providing support in services, health care, entertainment, education, and assistance. The discussion focuses on new design concepts, novel sensing modalities, efficient planning and control strategies, modeling and understanding of human motion and skills, which are among the key requirements for safe, dependable, and competent robots. The exploration of the human-robot connection is proving extremely valuable in providing new avenues for the study of human motion -- with exciting prospects for novel clinical therapies, athletic training, character animation, and human performance improvement.


Oussama Khatib received his Doctorate degree from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research, IFRR. Professor Khatib is the Co-Editor of Springer Handbook of Robotics and the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series. He is a Fellow of IEEE and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer, as the Program Chair of ICRA 2000, and the General Chair of IROS 2011. He is a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development, the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation for his fundamental pioneering contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership, and life-long commitment to the

field. He has also received the IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his vision and leadership for the Robotics and Automation Society, in establishing and sustaining conferences in robotics and related areas, publishing influential monographs and handbooks and training and mentoring the next generation of leaders in robotics education and research.























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