Oussama Khatib

Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University

Oussama Khatib

Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University

Biography

Oussama Khatib received his PhD from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Robotics Laboratory at Stanford University. His research focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human-friendly robot design. He is a Fellow of IEEE. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) series and the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics. Professor Khatib is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in robotics and Automation, the IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation, the IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award, the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development, the Rudolf Kalman Award and the IEEE Technical Field Award.

Lecture: The Age of Human Robot Collaboration: Deep Sea Exploration

The promise of oceanic discovery has intrigued scientists and explorers, whether to study underwater ecology and climate change, or to uncover natural resources and historic secrets buried deep at archaeological sites. This quest to explore the oceans requires skilled human access, yet much of it is inaccessible to human divers. Accessing these depths is imperative since factors such as pollution and deep-sea trawling threaten ecology and archaeological sites. These needs demand a system that deploys human-level expertise at the depths – a robotic avatar could go where humans cannot, and yet embody human intelligence and intentions through immersive interfaces. The discussion focuses on the development of Ocean One, a bimanual humanoid robotic diver that brings intuitive haptic physical interaction to oceanic environments. The robot was deployed in an expedition in the Mediterranean to Louis XIV’s flagship Lune, lying off the coast of Toulon at ninety-one meters. This expedition demonstrated synergistic collaboration between a robot and a human, providing means for accomplishing challenging manipulation tasks in inhospitable environments. Ocean One’s demonstrated-ability to distance humans physically from dangerous and unreachable spaces while connecting their skills, intuition, and experience to the task promises to fundamentally alter remote work. Tasks such as coral-reef monitoring, underwater pipeline maintenance, and offshore & marine operations will greatly benefit from the robot capabilities. Robotic avatars will search for and acquire materials, build infrastructure, and perform disaster prevention and recovery operations – be it deep in oceans and mines, at mountain tops, or in space.