Manufacturing Innovation Center at Rensselaer

ISE/CATS Seminar: "Advanced Robotics - Why Now, What Now and What Next?"

The Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department and the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) are pleased to present a seminar by Dr. Balajee Kannan, Senior Scientist, Distributed Intelligent Systems Lab, GE Global Research Center, entitled: "Advanced Robotics – Why Now, What Now and What Next?" to be held in JEC 3117 on Wednesday, April 2 at 4:00pm. Everyone is welcome!!

Advancements in robotics and autonomous systems have the potential to disrupt our markets. A recent McKinsey study indicates that the potential economic impact could be on the order of trillions of dollars. While robotics for the consumer market is fast maturing, robots and robotics for the industrial domain is still in its infancy. My talk will address three primary questions: what are the potential ways that robotics affect our industries, what are we currently doing in robotics at the research center and what do we believe are the next big steps to take. Towards advancing the state of the art in coordinated humanrobot teams operating in complex unstructured environments, we are exploring methodologies for seamless coordination and execution of tasks. I will outline some of our experiences in incorporating autonomy and robotics for distributed teams operating in real-world environments and detail methodology for robust and efficient operation. The framework has flexibility in several dimensions including customizability for different operations and fluidity of team members. Specifically, I will detail some of our recent work including an active project for automating the sterilization process at VA hospitals as well as a new DARPA project on flexible adaptive manufacturing in space. For each of the illustrative examples, I will delve into our approach to tackling the problem, the implemented system architecture, results from domain experiments, and a summary of encountered.

Balaje Kannan
Balajee Kannan

Balajee Kannan is a Senior Scientist in the Distributed Intelligent Systems Lab (DIS) at GE Global Research. Dr. Kannan¹s background is in human-robot interaction and coordination algorithms for distributed teams and his research focuses on applying intelligent robotic systems to a variety of real world problems on ground, water and in air. Over the years, he has been involved in numerous robotics projects for a variety of organizations including DARPA, Veterans Affairs, Army Research Lab, Boeing Company, QNRF etc. He is an active advocate of using technology for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and is on the advisory board for TechBridgeWorld. In the fall of 2012, he joined GE and is now part of a very unique team that is helping define robotics for GE. Prior to joining GE, Balajee spent five years at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University working on a variety of robotics problems, from using autonomous boats for disaster response to space exploration using robot teams. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.