Jean-Paul Laumond "Robotics: Hephaistos reoffends"

 Incontri al Chiostro: Jean-Paul Laumond

Jean-Paul Laumond "Robotics: Hephaistos reoffends"
venerdi 29 aprile 2011 ore 14.30
Aula Magna, Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica Antonio Ruberti - Via Ariosto, 25  Roma
Robotics is today celebrating its 50th anniversary. Robotics was born out of a need to improve production systems in manufacturing industry. In the 70’s robots became supports for research in artificial intelligence. The 90’s saw major successes for Robotics in spatial exploration and in medicine. With the advent of the new millennium, robots aim at sharing our own environment. What foundations is Robotics built on? The purpose of this talk is to address this question both from the point of view of the ancient myth of Hephaïstos, and with the support of recent research results in humanoid robotics. After a brief reminder of Hephaïstos’ attempted rape of Athena, we will see how Robotics today equips Hephaïstos with modern weapons of seduction. In the quest to provide machines with action autonomy, Robotics makes use of all possible ruses. The purity of some problems is compromised by the vulgarity of the approaches. The empirical approaches imposed by the requirement of technological effectiveness (Hepthaistos) give the illusion of understanding (Athena). Nevertheless, a corpus of mathematical methods and approaches is emerging from Robotics. While its object remains centered on computational machine autonomy, the questions Robotics asks today find a strange resonance with human and life science.
To conclude, we will oppose our western mythology-based perspective to eastern animism. Such a comparison helps in better understanding the role attributed to technology by our societies.

Jean-Paul Laumond
Jean-Paul Laumond is a researcher in Robotics. He is the chair of the Gepetto research group at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse, France. He has been a member of the French Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique from 1991 to 1995. From 2005 to 2008, he has been a co-director of JRL-France, a French-Japanese laboratory on humanoid robotics. In 2001 and 2002 he created and managed Kineo CAM, a spin-off company from LAAS-CNRS devoted to develop and market motion planning technology. Kineo CAM was awarded the French Research Ministery prize for innovation and enterprise in 2000 and the third IEEE-IFR prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation in 2005. His current research deals with Human Motion studies along three perspectives: artificial motion for humanoid robots, virtual motion for digital actors and mannequins, and natural motions of human beings. He teaches Robotics at  Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He has edited three books. He has published more than 100 papers in international journals and conferences in Computer Science, Automatic Control and Robotics. He is 2006-7 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Fellow and member of the IEEE RAS AdCom
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