Autonomous Technologies Forum
Thursday, October 13, 09:35-17:50, Room 203  

An IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC) incubation project, entitled “Autonomous Technologies and their Societal Impact” is bringing together industry, academia, and government to understand the current and future implications of autonomous technologies via workshops and forums consisting of presentations and panel discussions from leaders and experts in technological, legal, and public policy fields.
The first workshop in the series was organized at IEEE PHM’16 in Ottawa on June 20th focusing on issues relevant to North America, in general (see The second WS in the series is taking place at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Stockholm on Sept. 2nd. It aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and agencies involved in areas related to autonomous technologies and their impact on society with particular attention to topics that are relevant to laws, regulations, and issues from a European perspective (see
Third in the series, the ATSI Forum at IROS’16 will allow for discussion on the design of autonomous technologies and their societal impact in both positive and negative ways with particular emphasis on issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific region but not exclusively. Emphasis will be placed not only on technology and public policy issues but also on environmental, cultural, structural, political, and socio-economic factors.
Based on the discussions before, during, and after these workshops and forums, a White Paper consisting of ‘valid’ and ‘balanced’ concerns reflecting the state-of-the-art with an emphasis on technology and public policy issues that are representative of various stakeholders from across the globe will be published towards the end of 2016. The findings and summaries will be made available via the FDC website for other initiatives and similar efforts to use them as a reference guide to foster discussions within the community and to foster best practices.

  Speaker Title
Session I

Welcome & Introduction 
Raj Madhavan (IEEE FDC & HumRobTech, LLC, USA)  Autonomous Technologies and Their Societal Impact 
Coffee Break 
Ryan Gariepy, Clearpath Robotics, Canada  On the Front Lines of Technological Unemployment 
Seungbin Moon, Sejong University, Korea  Impact of Standardization in Robotic Technology 
Ludovic Righetti, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany  What Can We Do As Scientists In The Debate On Autonomous Technologies? 
Q&A and Discussion 
12:00-13:30 Awards Luncheon 
Session II

Sukhan Lee, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea  Robotics, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Humanity 
Daniele Nardi, Sapienza" Universita' di Roma, Italy  Robots in Our Homes: Some Reflections on Societal and Ethical Issues 
Bill Smart, Oregon State University  How the Law Thinks About Robots (and Why You Should Care) 
Zexiang Li, HKUST, Hong Kong  The Impact of Drones and Automated Manufacturing Systems in China and the Region 
Q&A and Discussion 
Coffee Break 
Session III

Paolo Fiorini, University of Verona, Italy  Autonomous Robots in Medicine and Surgery: Status, Ethical, Regulatory and Future Social Impact 
Laurel Riek, Univ. of California, San Diego  Healthcare Robotics: Nothing About Us without Us 
Raj Madhavan (Moderator)  Panel Discussion + Q&A 
Closing Remarks 

Raj Madhavan (IEEE Future Directions Committee & HumRobTech, LLC, USA)

Raj Madhavan is the Founder & CEO of Humanitarian Robotics Technologies, LLC and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Robotics with AMMACHI Labs at Amrita University, Kerala, India. He has held appointments with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (March 2001-January 2010) as an R&D staff member based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (March 2002-June 2013), and as an assistant and associate research scientist, and as a member of the Maryland Robotics Center with the University of Maryland, College Park (February 2010-December 2015). He received a Ph.D. in Field Robotics from the University of Sydney and an ME (Research) in Systems Engineering from the Australian National University. Over the last 20 years, he has contributed to topics in field robotics, and systems and control theory. His current research interests lie in humanitarian robotics and automation – the application and tailoring of existing and emerging robotics and automation technologies from a variety of domains, including unmanned (aerial, ground) vehicles. He is particularly interested in the development of technologies and systems that are cost effective, reliable, efficient and geared towards improving the quality of lives of people in under-served and underdeveloped communities around the globe. He has authored over 185 papers in archival journals, conferences, and magazines including three books and four journal special issues. Within IEEE, Dr. Madhavan was the Founding Chair of the IEEE Washington/Northern Virginia Section Robotics Automation Society (2007- 2009; 2010 Best Chapter of the Year Award) and Sensors Council Chapters (2008-2009). He is a senior member of IEEE and is currently active within IEEE in the following roles: Chair, Autonomous Technologies and their Societal Impact, TAB Future Directions Committee Incubation Project; Chair, Economics of Machine Automation and Humanitarian Activities, IEEE-SA Global Initiative on the Design of Autonomous Systems; Vice Chair, Assessment & Best Practices, Humanitarian Activities Committee; Member, SIGHT Steering Committee; and Chair, Partnerships Subcommittee, SIGHT. Within the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, he served as the Founding Chair of the Technical Committee on Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking of Robotics and Automation Systems, TC-PEBRAS (2009-2011), Founding Chair of the Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge, HRATC (2014, 2015), Vice President of the Industrial Activities Board (2012-2015), Chair of the Standing Committee for Standards Activities (2010-2015), and since 2012 is the Founding Chair of the Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT). He is the 2016 recipient of the IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award for his “distinguished service and contributions to RAS industrial and humanitarian activities”. See for more details.