Plenary Speakers

In alphabetic order of first name


WHO representative 

Topic: Assistive Technology and the World Health Assembly Resolution

Mr. Chapal Khasnabis graduated in 1979 from the All India Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, specialized in Prosthetics and Orthopaedics. Prior to joining WHO, he worked at the National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped. Mr. Khasnabis is currently Chairman of the Indian Society of Prosthetics/Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Professionals. He has worked for many international NGOs in countries including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Vietnam, Guyana and Sierra Leone, and also for WHO. Mr. Khasnabis is a technical officer of the Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) of the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability (VIP). His responsibilities include the development of community rehabilitation and assistive devices (especially prosthetics and orthoses).

Prof. Hermano Igo Krebs

Topic: Rehabilitation Robotics: The MIT Experience

Dr. Hermano Igo Krebs joined MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department in 1997 where he is a Principal Research Scientist and Lecturer. He also holds an affiliate position as an Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, and as a Visiting Professor at Fujita Health University​, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, at University of Newcastle, Institute of Neuroscience, and at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Osaka University. He is one of the founders and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Interactive Motion Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company commercializing robot technology for rehabilitation. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. Dr. Krebs was nominated by two of IEEE societies: IEEE-EMBS (Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society) and IEEE-RAS (Robotics and Automation Society) to this distinguished engineering status “for contributions to rehabilitation robotics and the understanding of neuro-rehabilitation.”  Dr. Krebs has published and presented extensively on rehabilitation robotics, particularly applied to stroke. His work goes beyond Stroke and has been extended to Cerebral Palsy for which he received “The 2009 Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson Technology and Rehabilitation Award,” from the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation (CPIRF). In 2015, he received the prestigious IEEE-INABA Technical Award for Innovation leading to Production “for contributions to medical technology innovation and translation into commercial applications for Rehabilitation Robotics.” His goal is to revolutionize the way rehabilitation medicine is practiced today by applying robotics and information technology to assist, enhance, and quantify rehabilitation.

Prof. Robert Riener, Dr.-Ing.

Professor at ETH and University of Zurich

Topic: About Cyborgs and the Cybathlon

Robert Riener studied Mechanical Engineering at TU München, Germany, and University of Maryland, USA. He received a Dr.-Ing. degree in Engineering from the TU München in 1997. After postdoctoral work from 1998-1999 at the Centro di Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, he returned to TU München, where he completed his Habilitation in the field of Biomechatronics in 2003. In 2003 he became assistant professor at ETH Zurich and Spinal Cord Injury Center of the University Hospital Balgrist (“double-professorship”); since 2010 he has been full professor for Sensory-Motor Systems, ETH Zurich. Since 2012, Riener is member of the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, which he is chairing as head since 2016. Riener has published more than 400 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles, 20 books and book chapters and filed 22 patents. He has received 18 personal distinctions and awards including the Swiss Technology Award in 2006, the IEEE TNSRE Best Paper Award 2010, and the euRobotics Technology Transfer Awards 2011 and 2012. Riener’s research focuses on the investigation of the sensory-motor interactions between humans and machines. This includes the development of user-cooperative robotic devices and virtual reality technologies applied to neurorehabilitation. Riener is the initiator and organizer of the Cybathlon, for which he received the European Excellence Award.

Prof. Yubo FAN

Changjiang Scholar

Topic: Biomechanical research on rehabilitation and its application ​​

President of the 7th and 8th session of the council for Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering

Director of National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids

Dean of School of Biological Science and Medical Engineer, BUAA  

Prof. Carlos Balaguer

Topic: Towards Personalized Robotic Rehabilitation

Carlos Balaguer received his Ph.D. in Automation from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), Spain in 1983. From 1983-1994 he was with the Department of Systems Engineering and Automation of the UPM as Associated Professor. Since 1996, he has been a Full Professor of the Robotics Lab at the University Carlos III of Madrid. He has been Director of the Department of Systems Engineering and Automation (2006-2007) and the vice-Rector for Research of the university in the period of 2007-2015.

Prof. Balaguer´s research has included, but not limited, humanoids robotics, robots' design and development, robot control, path & task planning, force-torque control, assistive and service robots, rehabilitation and medical robots, climbing robots, robotics and automation in construction, human-robot interaction.

Keynote Speakers

In alphabetic order of first name

Prof. Alois C. Knoll 

Alois C. Knoll received the diploma (M.Sc.) degree in Electrical/Communications Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1985 and his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in computer science from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, in 1988. He served on the faculty of the computer science department of TU Berlin until 1993, when he qualified for teaching computer science at a university (habilitation). He then joined the Technical Faculty of the University of Bielefeld, where he was a full professor and the director of the research group Technical Informatics until 2001. Between May 2001 and April 2004 he was a member of the board of directors of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems. At AIS he was head of the research group "Robotics Construction Kits", dedicated to research and development in the area of educational robotics. Since autumn 2001 he has been a professor of Computer Science at the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universität München. He is also on the board of directors of the Central Institute of Medical Technology at TUM (IMETUM-Garching); between April 2004 and March 2006 he was Executive Director of the Institute of Computer Science at TUM. His research interests include cognitive, medical and sensor-based robotics, multi-agent systems, data fusion, adaptive systems and multimedia information retrieval. In these fields he has published over 200 technical papers and guest-edited international journals. He has participated (and has coordinated) several large scale national collaborative research projects (funded by the EU, the DFG, the DAAD, the state of North-RhineWestphalia). He initiated and was the program chairman of the First IEEE/RAS Conference on Humanoid Robots (IEEE-RAS/RSJ Humanoids2000), he was general chair of IEEE Humanoids2003 and general chair of Robotik 2004, the largest German conference on robotics, and he served on several other organising committees. Prof. Knoll is a member of the German Society for Computer Science (Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI)) and the IEEE.  

Prof. Amir Shapiro

Amir Shapiro received the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, in 1997, 2000, and 2004 respectively. Currently he is an Associate Professor and director of the robotics laboratory at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. On 2005-2006 he was a post doctoral fellow at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. His interests include locomotion of multi-limbed mechanisms in unstructured complex environments, motion planning algorithms for multi-limbed robots, robot grasping-design, control, and stability analysis, climbing robots, snake like robots, multi-robot on-line motion planning, and agriculture robotics.

Prof. Dezhen Song

Dr.  Dezhen Song is a Full Professor with Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, TX, USA. Song received his Ph.D. in 2004 from University of California, Berkeley, MS and BS from Zhejiang University in 1998 and 1995, respectively. Song's primary research area is networked/cloud robots, visual navigation, distributed sensing, computer vision, surveillance, and stochastic modeling. Dr. Song has published 1 monograph, 10 book chapters, and over 90 papers in selective peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Dr. Song received the Kayamori Best Paper Award of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (with J. Yi and S. Ding). He received NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2007. Song co-chaired IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Technical Committee on Networked Robots from 2007 to 2009. From 2008 to 2012, Song was an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics. From 2010 to 2014, Song was an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. Song is currently a Senior Editor for the new flagship journal: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). Since 2012, Song serves as a member of Multimedia Editorial Board for Springer Handbook of Robotics, the bestselling and the most authoritative book in robotics.

Prof. Etienne Burdet

Dr. Etienne Burdet (MS Mathematics, MS Physics, PhD, ETH-Zurich) is a Professor in Human Robotics at Imperial College London and a visiting Professor at Université Paris 6. He uses an integrative approach of neuroscience and robotics to investigate human motor control, and to design efficient assistive devices and training systems for neuro-rehabilitation, which are tested in clinical trials. In the last 3 years, he has attracted funding for over 2M£, and published over 25 papers in top robotics, neuroscience and rehabilitation technology journals. According to Scopus (, 1/6/2015), his papers have been cited over 2300 times, with an h-index of 23. Recent awards include the 2011 best paper award of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, the 2010 best paper award at the Asean Oceanian congress of physical and rehabilitative medicine, and the 2009 Apple Research & Technology Support award. Dr. Burdet is a PI in the recent EU-FP7 projects HUMOUR, VIACTORS, ITN CONTEST and BALANCE, and leader of the Modeling Work Group of the European COST Action network on Rehabilitation Robotics. Alumni of his group (with over 15 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers) have taken positions at leading universities and research institute such as ETHZ (Switzerland), NUS (Singapore), Northwestern U (USA), Weizmann I (Israel), ATR International (Japan), A*STAR (Singapore), and high-tech companies worldwide.

Prof. Georg Rauter

Georg Rauter has studied Mechatronics in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Technology Graz (Austria) and Mathematical and Mechanical Modeling at the Polytechnic Institute MATMECA in Bordeaux (France). For his PhD in robotics, he joined the Sensory-Motor Systems Lab (SMS-Lab) of Prof. Robert Riener at ETH Zurich in 2008. After his PhD in 2013, he went to University of Southern California (USA) to join Prof. David Z. D’Argenio for model-based statistical analysis of clinical data. Thereafter, he continued his Postdoc at the SMS-Lab of ETH Zurich (Prof. Robert Riener) and at the Spinal Cord Injury Center of “The Balgrist”, University of Zurich (Prof. Dr. med. Armin Curt and Dr. Marc Bolliger) in the field of rehabilitation robotics. In May 2016, Georg Rauter founded the Bio-Inspired RObots for MEDicine Laboratory (BIROMED-Lab) as an Assistant Professor for Medical Robotics and Mechatronics at the Departement of Biomedical Engineering of University of Basel. His areas of research are robots for human motor learning and rehabilitation, mathematical and mechanical modeling, control, and medical robotics.

Prof. Haoyong Yu

Dr. Yu Haoyong is an Associate Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Singapore. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and his PhD degree from Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT). He was the Principal Member of Technical Staff in DSO National Laboratories of Singapore before he joined NUS 2010. He is a Principal Investigator of the Singapore Institute of Neurotechnology (SiNAPSE) and the Advanced Robotic Center of NUS (ARC) of NUS. His current research interests include biomedical robotics and devices, rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology, biologically inspired robotics, intelligent control and machine learning.

Prof. Hongliang Ren

Hongliang Ren is currently an assistant professor and leading a research group on medical mechatronics in the Biomedical Engineering Department of National University of Singapore (NUS). He is an affiliated Principal Investigator for the Singapore Institute of Neurotechnology (SINAPSE), NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute, and Advanced Robotics Center at National University of Singapore (NUS). Dr. Ren received his Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering (Specialized in Biomedical Engineering) from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 2008.  Prior to joining NUS, he worked as a Research Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University, Children's Hospital Boston & Harvard Medical School, and Children's National Medical Center, USA. His main areas of interest include Biorobotics & Intelligent Control, Medical Mechatronics, Computer-Integrated Surgery, and Multisensor Data Fusion in Surgical Robotics. Dr. Ren is IEEE Senior member and currently serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Automation Science & Engineering (T-ASE) and Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing (MBEC) and the recipient of IAMBE Early Career Award 2018.

Prof. Jinggang Yi

Professor Jingang Yi received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Zhejiang University in 1993, the M.Eng. degree in precision instruments from Tsinghua University in 1996, and the M.A. degree in mathematics and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001 and 2002, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor in mechanical engineering and a Graduate Faculty member in electrical and computer engineering at Rutgers University. His research interests include human-robot interactions and assistive robotics, autonomous robotic and vehicle systems, dynamic systems and control, mechatronics, automation science and engineering, with applications to biomedical, transportation and civil infrastructure systems. Prof. Yi is a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a Senior Member of IEEE. He has received several awards, including the 2017 Rutgers Chancellor’s Scholars, 2014 ASCE Charles Pankow Award for Innovation, the 2013 Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, and the 2010 NSF CAREER Award. He has coauthored several best papers, including the 2015 Best New Application Paper in IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering and the best papers at the IEEE/ASME AIM, ASME DSCC, and IEEE ICRA. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, IFAC journals Control Engineering Practice and Mechatronics, the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, and International Journal of Intelligent Robotics and Applications.

Prof. Ming Liu

Ming Liu received the B.A. degree in Automation at Tongji University in 2005. He stayed one year in Erlangen-Nünberg University and Fraunhofer Institute IISB, Germany, as visiting scholar. He graduated as a PhD student from the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering of ETH Zürich in 2013, supervised by Prof. Roland Siegwart.


He is a founding member of Shanghai SWing Automation Ltd. Co. He is also involved in several NSF projects, and National 863-Hi-Tech-Plan projects in China. He is PI of 20+ projects including projects funded by RGC, NSFC, ITC, SZSTI, etc. He published 70+ papers in major international journals and conferences. He won the second place of EMAV’09 (European Micro Aerial Vehicle Competition). He got two awards from IARC'14 (International Aerial Robotics Contest). He won the Best Student Paper Award as first author for MFI 2012 (IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Information Integration), the Best Paper Award in Information for ICIA 2013 (IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation) as first author and Best Paper Award Finalists as co-author, the Best RoboCup Baper Award for IROS 2013 (IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems). He wont the Best Student Paper Award of IEEE ICAR 2017, the Best Paper Award in Automation for ICIA 2017. He won twice the innoviation contest Chunhui Cup Winning Award in 2012 and 2013. He won the Wu Wenjun AI Innovation Award in 2016. He was the general chair of International Conference on Computer Vision Systems (ICVS) 2017; the program chair of IEEE International Conference on Real-time Computing and Robotics (IEEE-RCAR) 2016; the program chair of International Robotic Alliance Conference 2017.

Prof. Oussama Khatib

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. He is a Fellow of IEEE, Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) series, and the Springer Handbook of Robotics. Professor Khatib is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He is recipient of the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award, the George Saridis Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award, the Rudolf Kalman Award, and the IEEE Technical Field Award. In 2018, Professor Khatib was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Prof. Shaoping Bai

Dr. Shaoping Bai received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Production Engineering from The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2001, MEng degree from Tsinghua University and B.S. degree from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1993 and 1988, respectively. He is an Associate Professor at the department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark. His research interests include medical and assistive robots, parallel manipulators, walking robots, dynamics and design. He is one of the founders of Centre for Robotics Research (CRR), AAU. He was the coordinator of the CRR for the year 2010-2012. Dr. Bai leads several national and international research projects in exoskeletons, including EU AAL project AXO-SUIT and IFD Grand Solutions project EXO-AIDER, among others. Dr. Bai is an Associate Editor of ASME J. of Mechanisms and Robotics.

Prof. Shigang Yue

Shigang Yue is a Professor of Computer Science (since 07/2012) in the Lincoln School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom. He received his PhD and MSc degrees from Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) in 1996 and 1993, and his BEng degree from Qingdao Technological University (1988). He worked in BJUT as a Lecturer (1996-1998) and an Associate Professor (1998-1999). He was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow (2000, 2001) working with Prof. Henrich in the Faculty of Computer Science, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Before joining the University of Lincoln as a Senior Lecturer (2007) and promoted to Reader (2010), he held research positions in the University of Cambridge, Newcastle University and the University College London(UCL) respectively. His research interests are mainly within the field of artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics, brains, and neuroscience. He is particularly interested in biological visual neural systems, evolution of neural subsystems and its applications in collision detection for vehicles, interactive systems and robotics. He has pioneered the area of using further organisations of directional selective neural networks for collision detection. He also has research interest in medical image analysis established in Cambridge. He has published more than 60 journal and conference papers in computer vision, artificial life, neural systems, neural evolution, vehicle collision detection, robotic navigation, robotic manipulation skills and dynamic simulations, many of them are in top tier high impact journals. He has chaired international conferences, he is also a reviewer for several reputable international journals and committee member of several international conferences. He is the coordinator for several EU FP7 projects.

Prof. Torsten Kroeger

Torsten is a Full Professor of Computer Science, Director of Intelligent Process Control and Robotics Laboratory (IPR), and Co-Chair of the Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics (IAR) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He is also a Visiting Scientist at Stanford University and the founder of Reflexxes. From 2014 to 2017, he was a Staff Roboticist and the Head of the Robotics Software Division at Google. His research interests are real-time motion planning, transfer learning, and deterministic distributed real-time systems enabling sage human-robot collaboration. He received the Early Career Award and the Distinguished Service Award of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Prof. Toshio Fukuda

Toshio Fukuda received the B.A. degree from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, in 1971, and the M.S and Dr. Eng. from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 1973 and 1977, respectively.

In 1977, he joined the National Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. In 1982, he joined the Science University of Tokyo, Japan, and then joined Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan, in 1989. He was Director of Center for Micro-Nano Mechatronics and Professor of Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering at Nagoya University, where he was mainly involved in the research fields of intelligent robotic and mechatronic system, cellular robotic system, and micro- and nano-robotic system. He was the Russell Springer Chaired Professor at UC Berkeley, Distinguished Professor, Seoul National University, and many other universities. Currently, He is Professor Emeritus Nagoya University, Professor Meijo University, Professor Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT).

Prof. Wei Tech Ang

Prof Ang is an Associate Professor with the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering since Nov 2004. He received the Ph.D. degree in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004, and the M.Eng. and B.Eng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 1999 and 1997 respectively. Dr Ang leads a multidisciplinary team focuses on robotic technology in biomedical applications. He is the PI of several projects funded by A*STAR SERC, A*STAR BMRC, NMRC, MOE, NTU & the French Embassy. 

Prof. Yu Sun

Dr. Yu Sun is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida. He founded the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Robotic Hands, Grasping, and Co-Chair the IEEE-RAS Member Service Committee and the IEEE-RAS Competition Committee.  He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

Dr. Yu Sun received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah in 2007, and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Dalian University of Technology in 1997 and 2000 respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Associate in the School of Computing at the University of Utah from May 2008 to May 2009 and a Postdoctoral Associate at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL), Cambridge, MA from Dec. 2007 to May 2008.

His research interests include intelligent systems, robotics, cyber-physical systems, computer vision, virtual reality, and medical applications. He has edited two books, published about 80 technical papers and book chapters, and holds nine US patents and four provisional patents. His research works have been reported on the Discovery Science Channel, Bay News 9, Univision (Spanish), and other media.

Prof. Yuan-Ting Zhang

Yuan-Ting Zhang is currently the Director of Joint Research Center for Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Department of Electronic Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong, China. He serves concurrently the Director of the Key Lab for Health Informatics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (HICAS) at SIAT, Shenzhen, China. He is the founder and the first Director of the SIAT Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Dr. Zhang was previously the Vice-President of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) in 2000. He served as the Technical Program Chair and the General Conference Chair of the 20th and 27th IEEE-EMBS Annual International Conferences in 1998 and 2005, respectively. He also served as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, and the Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, and an Award Committee Member for IEEE Medal on Innovations in Healthcare Technology. Dr. Zhang serves currently on the Fellow Membership Committee of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award Panel, the Chair of IFMBE Working Group on Health Informatics, the Chair of Working Group for the IEEE International Standard on Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices, and as the Editor-in-Chief of Book Series on Biomedical and Health Informatics.