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Symbiotic robot-worker relations

Join David Abbink as he argues that robots and humans should work in partnership, not as a substitute for each other

David Abbink and a robot colleague
David Abbink

Event description

A new generation of cognitive robots, powered by artificial intelligence, will soon enter our society. In this talk, David Abbink will argue that cognitive robots can provide great benefits to individuals and society, improving quality of life, offering new work that is meaningful and productive – and that embraces diversity rather than standardisation of human experience. 

He’ll showcase how humans use robotic tools and how force feedback can improve performance. David will then describe how these lessons show the optimal way humans can use robots but still feel in control before highlighting a huge array of applications, from robotic arms to highly automated driving. David will conclude with a recognition that engineering can only tell us so much, and an interdisciplinary approach is needed to maximise the potential of these new, thinking, robots.

This event is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


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About the speaker

David A. Abbink 1977) received his MSc. degree (2002) and PhD degree (2006) in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology. As full Professor he leads the group of Human-Robot Interaction in the department of Cognitive Robotics at Delft University of Technology. His research interests include neuroscience, haptic assistance, human factors, human-robot interaction, shared control, cybernetics and shaping the future of robot-assisted work.

His PhD thesis on haptic assistance for car-following was awarded the best Dutch Ph.D. dissertation in movement sciences (2006), and contributed to the market release of Nissan’s Distance Control Assist system. David received two prestigious personal grants: VENI (’10-‘14) and VIDI (’15-’20). He was co-PI on the H-Haptics programme (’11-’17), where 16 PhD students and 3 postdocs collaborated on designing human-centered haptic shared control for tele-robotics, across various application domain. His research on human-automation interaction has received funding from major industry partners such as Nissan, Renault, Boeing. He is founding member of AiTech, that aims to design for appropriate moral responsibility over systems with autonomous capabilities. He is founding member and scientific director of the FRAIM centre for robot-worker relations, starting fall 2021. David is a member of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and an IEEE senior member. He served as associate editor for IEEE Transaction on Human-Machine Systems, and IEEE Transactions on Haptics. David was voted best teacher of his department for seven consecutive years, best teacher of his faculty twice, and received an international open courseware award for his course “The Human Controller”. He has always worked 4 days a week, to ensure enough time for the other pleasures in life, such as drumming in rock bands, cooking, reading, traveling and being a dad.



The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

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