Legacy Disruptors in Applied Telerobotics: Improving the Machine, the Interface, and the Human.

  • Workshop Summary

    Monday 4th November – IROS 2019 – The Venetian Macao, Macau

    The workshop will bring together individuals from the broad field of Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction research, to discuss the future of Human-Machine Interfaces in telerobotics. The focus is to discuss the legacy issues that occur in telerobotics and to draw on innovative approaches that might be introduced. The workshop aims to encourage discussion of new methods and technologies for disrupting existing legacy systems in telerobotics. Examples of established systems from research and industrial applications will be reviewed to identify the lessons learned, and considered alongside areas that have high levels of innovation. The workshop invites participation across industry, academia and throughout all applications in telerobotics.

    The two primary goals of the workshop are (i) to identify the technologies and methods that could introduce improvements to existing operations, and (ii) to capture the best practices in human-machine interaction that have been identified through a long history of telerobotics operations.

    The proposed speakers come from a rich variety of backgrounds, aiming to drive a diverse and cross-collaborative discussion. Speakers bring experience on the challenges and insights of updating legacy telerobotics systems (be it surgical, nuclear, or space), and will present discipline specific solutions brought to these challenges. A plenary discussion will collate the experiences from the participants and focus on a roadmap and general guidelines for best practices moving forward. We expect that the work discussed in the submitted papers will present cutting-edge applications in telerobotics across all fields, giving a great overview on innovative solutions in applications of telerobotics.

    Additional aims include:
    • Identify lessons learned and features that can carry forward from established tele-operation systems.
    • Provide an insight and encourage innovation from new applications of tele-operation (e.g., search and rescue).
    • Produce a clear roadmap for the future of teleoperating system design and guidelines of best practice to adopt.


  • Topics of Interest

    • Disruptive Technologies (VR/AR/etc.)
    • Legacy systems in all areas of telerobotics
    • All applications telerobotics including:
      • Medical and Surgical Robotics
      • Nuclear, Remote, and Hazardous Environments Robotics
      • Off-Shore Remote Inspection and Mining Robotics
      • Space Robotics
      • Search & Rescue Robotics
    • Human Machine Interfaces
      • Physical, Graphical, Augmented and Virtual Realities
  • Registration

  • Frontiers Research Topic

    Legacy Disruptors in Applied Telerobotics

    A special research topic will be published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI (cite score 3.36) on the topic of Legacy Disruptors in Applied telerobotics. We would like to encourage attendees to consider submitting their abstracts in this research topic.


  • Programme

    9:00 – 9:10 Welcome Dr Ioannis D. Zoulias
    9:10 – 09:35 Haptic Feedback of Teleoperated Tool Vibrations Prof Katherine Kuchenbecker
    09.35 – 10:00 Control Concepts for VR-Based Haptic Telemanipulation Dr Thomas Hulin
    10:00 – 10:15 Upgrading a legacy tele-robotic system: the MA23 case Quentin Parent
    10:15 – 10:30 Interactive Augmented Reality for Robot-Assisted Surgery Maria Paola Forte
    10:30 – 10:45 Enhancing Teleoperation for Nuclear Decommissioning Dr Alex Smith
    10:45 – 11:15 Coffee Break  
    11:15 – 11:40 Robotic Solutions for CERN Accelerator Harsh Environments Dr Mario Di Castro
    11:40 – 12:05 3D reconstruction, Augmented Reality, and Telerobotic Operation Prof Young Soo Park
    12:10 – 12:45 5-Min Lightning Talks Session
    Simulation-based Telerobotic System for Nuclear Decommissioning

    Dr Sungmoon Joo
    Constraint-Based Shared Control for BMI Applications Santiago Iregui
    Towards Immersive Robotic Telepresence Using 360 Cameras and Head-Mounted Displays Dr Markku Suomalainen
    AI-Assisted Teleoperation for Robotic Manipulators in a Glovebox Dr Inmo Jang
    Robotic Solutions for Legacy Gloveboxes Dr Ozan Tokatli
    12:45 – 14:00 Lunch Break
    14:00 – 14:25 Beyond the Stability of Telerobotics: Methods to Relieve Operator’s Workload Prof Jee-Hwan Ryu
    14:25 – 14.50 Incorporating Touch for Intuitive and Dexterous Teleoperation Dr Jeremy Fishel
    14:50 – 15.05 Enabling semi-autonomous behaviours: handling multiple input streams and task uncertainty Selma Wanna
    15:05 – 15.20 Towards using telemanipulation in nursing care – a preliminary study with input devices from the market Dr Pascal Gliesche
    15:20 – 15.45 Current deployments and developments of telemanipulator robotic systems for nuclear fusion research Robert Skilton
    15:45 – 16.15 Coffee Break  
    16:15 – 16.40 Challenges of Improving Reactor Telerobotics Dr Emily Collins
    16:40 – 17.50 Roadmap Discussion: Challenges and Future of Telerobotics  
    17:50 – 18.00 End – Announcements Dr Ioannis D. Zoulias
  • Speakers

    Prof Katherine Kuchenbecker


    “Haptic Feedback of Teleoperated Tool Vibrations”


    Katherine J. Kuchenbecker directs the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. She earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 2006, did postdoctoral research at the Johns Hopkins University, and was an engineering professor at the University of Pennsylvania before she moved to the Max Planck Society in 2017. Her research centers on haptic interfaces, which enable a user to touch virtual and distant objects as though they were real and within reach, as well as haptic sensing systems, which allow robots to physically interact with objects and people. She delivered a TEDYouth talk on haptics in 2012 and has been honored with a 2009 NSF CAREER Award, the 2012 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Academic Early Career Award, a 2014 Penn Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and various best paper and best demonstration awards. She co-chaired the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics from 2015 to 2017 and co-chaired the IEEE Haptics Symposium in 2016 and 2018.

    Prof Jee-Hwan Ryu


    “Beyond the Stability of Telerobotics: Methods to Relieve Operator’s Workload”


    Dr. Jee-Hwan Ryu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Inha University, South Korea, in 1995, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from KAIST, South Korea, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. From 2002 to 2003, he worked as a post-doc researcher in the department of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, and at the similar time, he was also affiliated with the institute of robotics and mechatronics in DLR as a visiting scientist. He joined KAIST in 2019 as an associate professor. Prior to that, he was a professor in the department of mechanical engineering at KOREATECH (2005-2019), and a research professor in the department of electrical engineering at KAIST (2003-2005). His research interests include haptics, telerobotics, exoskeletons, and autonomous vehicles. He has received several awards including IEEE Most Active Technical Committee Award as a Co-chair of TC Haptics in 2015, Best poster award in 2010 IEEE Haptic Symposium. He has been served as an Associate Editor in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, and since 2017, he has been serving as an Associate Editor-in-chief in World Haptics Conference. He was involved in many international conference organizations, and especially, he has been served as a general chair of AsiaHaptics2018.

    Dr Mario Di Castro


    “Robotic Solutions for CERN Accelerator Harsh Environments”


    Mario Di Castro received the M.Sc. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy, and the PhD degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain. From 2007 until 2011, he works at DESY in charge of advanced mechatronics solutions for synchrotron beamlines and industrial controls. Since 2011, he works at CERN and since February 2018, he leads the Measurements, Robotics and Operation section in the Survey, Mechatronics and Measurements group. The section is responsible for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of control systems based on different platforms (PLC,PXI,VME) for all the equipment under the group’s responsibility, mainly movable devices characterized by few um positioning accuracy (e.g. scrapers, collimators, shielding and target) in hard radioactive environment. Important section activities are the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of robotic systems in hazardous environments for the whole CERN accelerators. His research interests are mainly focused on automatic controls, mechatronics, motion control in harsh environment and robotics.

    Prof Young Soo Park


    “3D reconstruction, Augmented Reality, and Telerobotic Operation”


    Program Leader, Robotics and Remote Systems, Argonne National Laboratory

    Young Soo Park leads the Robotics and Remote Systems (R&RS) Program in Argonne National Laboratory, USA. The program aims at applying the traditional R&RS and emerging technologies for development of new robotics and automation technologies for next-generation energy and manufacturing processes. He is also a senior fellow of the UChicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering (CASE).

    Young Soo has over 25 years of experience in the development of robotics and remote systems technologies for applications mainly in nuclear as well as in other industrial and healthcare areas. He has developed broad expertise in design and development of software and hardware related to robotics, simulation, I&C, and AI technologies. He serves as a subject matter expert on robotics for the DOE-EM, and an executive officer of the ANS R&RS division.

    Recently, he has worked on the development of new telerobotics operation technology for nuclear facility decommissioning, where enhanced robustness and dexterous manipulation performance is achieved by integrating 3D sensing/reconstruction, augmented-reality, human-robot interface, and robust robot manipulator design. His particular future interest is in the enhancement of human-robot interface/interaction for co-robotic manufacturing processes and human-assistive devices.

    Dr Thomas Hulin


    “Control Concepts for VR-Based Haptic Telemanipulation”


    Thomas Hulin received the Dipl.-Ing. degree from the Technical University of Munich, in 2003, and the Dr.-Ing. degree from the Leibniz University of Hannover, in 2017. In 2003, he also joined the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). His research interests include haptic devices, physical human-robot interaction, optimal control, tele- and space robotics, mobile robots, robot visualization, virtual reality, and skill transfer. He serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

    Dr Emily Collins


    “Challenges of Improving Reactor Telerobotics”


    Emily C. Collins is a Research Associate at the University of Liverpool in the UK. Her research interests include Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), biomimetics and brain-based robotics, animal- and robot-assisted therapy, and AI ethics. Her research focus spans social, to hazardous environment industrial robotics. She is currently employed on the RAIN (Robots and AI in Nuclear) Project, developing theory and experimental work which highlights the importance of HRI to acceptability and effectiveness of industrial robotics and autonomy. She also supervises the University’s Computer Science Department Home Robot Lab, where she explores robotics for social and healthcare applications.

    Robert Skilton


    “Current deployments and developments of telemanipulator robotic systems for nuclear fusion research”


    Robert Skilton is Head of Cybernetics and Lead Technologist at RACE, the UK National Centre for Remote Applications in Challenging Environments, where he leads a team specialising in control systems, autonomy, and perception for robotic maintenance and inspection in hazardous environments. Robert graduated with an MSc in Cybernetics in 2011, and is currently studying for a PhD in Autonomous Robotics and Machine Learning at the Surrey Technology for Autonomous systems and Robotics (STAR) Lab. Robert is a Chartered Engineer, brings experience in developing robotic systems for hazardous environments and has developed numerous robotic and software platforms for use in nuclear fusion environments, has experience from a wide range of roles on industrial engineering and R&D projects including in telerobotics, and is currently leading various related activities including the Robotics and AI in Nuclear (RAIN) work on teleoperation in legacy nuclear gloveboxes.

    Dr Jeremy Fishel


    “Incorporating Touch for Intuitive and Dexterous Teleoperation”


    Jeremy Fishel is a co-founder of SynTouch, where he led technology development in its first decade to create biomimetic tactile sensors and their applications. He received his PhD from the University of Southern California (’12) for his work on fluid-based tactile vibration sensing and Bayesian decision making, which formed the foundation of SynTouch’s tactile characterization products. He has been recognized by Popular Mechanics as one of the 2013 Innovators of the year and accepted as a delegate of the Academy of Achievement under the personal recommendation of General David Petraeus. Under his technical leadership, SynTouch has been recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and an RBR50 company by the Robotics Business Review. Jeremy now works to pioneer new applications of robotic dexterity and perception using the sense of touch and recently worked with a team of world-class tech companies to create the world’s first high-fidelity tactile telerobot capable of dexterous in-hand manipulation.

  • Organisers

    Ioannis D. Zoulias – RACE UKAEA

    United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
    Culham Science Centre (RACE – B1)
    OX14 3DB, UK

    Emily C. Collins – University of Liverpool

    Department of Computer Science
    Room G22, Ashton Building
    University of Liverpool
    L69 3BX, UK

    William S. Harwin – University of Reading

    Biomedical Engineering, School of Biological Sciences
    Polly Vacher Building, University of Reading
    RG6 6AY, UK
  • Support

    IEEE TC Haptics

    IEEE TC Human-Robot Interaction & Coordination



    University of Liverpool

    University of Reading