Gaining Knowledge of Advanced Technology for Humanity

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The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the largest technical professional association in the world today.  Its 400,000 members comprise engineers, scientists, information technology professionals, software developers, medical doctors, physicists and allied professionals from 160 countries.  It is large, well established and takes its leadership as a global institution with its worldwide network seriously, organizing over 300 conferences every year.

Last week, from 19-21 February, at the IEEE Summer School on the Gold Coast campus, Dr. Jun Jo (Senior Lecturer at Griffith University) welcomed and introduced various speakers to students, researchers and professionals in the ICT and Engineering fields.

From left: Dr. Clarence N.W. Tan, Dr. Jong-Hwan Kim, Dr. Jun Jo and Mr. Bruce Satchwell; 19th of February 23, 2014

From left: Dr. Clarence N.W. Tan, Dr. Jong-Hwan Kim, Dr. Jun Jo and Mr. Bruce Satchwell; 19th of February 23, 2014

The event was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about advanced technology through various topics presented by highly knowledgeable speakers:

Dr. Jong-Hwan Kim – IEEE Fellow, KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) who has served over 100 international conferences as General Chair, Honorary Chair, Advisory Board Member, Program Chair, Program Committee Member, and delivered over 150 Invited Talks and Speeches.

Professor Michael Blumenstein, School of ICT at Griffith University and a member of the Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems.

Associate Professor Alan Liew, School of ICT at Griffith University.

Dr. Paulo V. K. Borges – Senior Research Scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Dr. Farid Kendoul – Research Scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Dr. Clarence N. W. Tan – an Adjunct Professor at Bond University and Griffith University, the founder and Executive Chairman of Bond Wireless, an  Entrepreneur in Residence Fellow and the Australian and Malaysian Ambassador for Singularity University, a think tank based in NASA Ames Research Park in Silicon Valley.

Mr. Bruce Satchwell -CEO of Alive Technologies Pty. Ltd. (Applications include the management of atrial fibrillation and heart failure, cardiac rehabilitation and fitness monitoring).

Dr. Jong-Hwan Kim is the “Father of Robot Football”, a pioneer in investigating the origin of artificial species and was the first to implement a genetic robot in a PDA phone in a networked environment. He put forward Intelligence Operating Architecture (iOA) for intelligence technology (Int) or as he put it “for robots that think”; for robots that can perceive, reason, plan and act.

Dr. Kim explained how iOA can generate robot intelligence by employing key functions of the human brain. He introduced six aspects of robot intelligence:  collective (collaboration of multiple robots), cognitive (reasoning and generation of complex contexts), human-robot interaction, ambience awareness (data and information gathering), planning behavior (selected behavior) and genetic (an artificial genome that can be passed on to other robots).  He eloquently expressed his view that by employing all these six aspects of intelligence, the “Intelligence Super-Agent” (iSA) can be build.  He reminded us about the evolution of 5 generations of robots: Industrial Robot, Service Robot, Ubiquitous Robot, Genetic Robot and Bio Robot to manifest of how far we have come since the first robot named ‘Unimate’ was built in 1954. He also inspired us with his related research outcomes and his personal strong belief that building thinking robot is possible through the development of iSA.

Advanced Technology IEEE

“Technology will reach as far as our imagination allows.” – Jong-Hwan Kim.

If you are interested in the latest developments in robot intelligence, you are welcome to purchase the softcover book –Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications 2 by Dr. Jong-Hwan Kim, Matson, E., Myung, H., and Xu, P. (Eds.).

Dr. Clarence N.W. Tan showed us the extraordinary progress of AI technology and its impact on society and effects of technology on our everyday lives from exponential growth of information to 3D printing development. He started with the great achievements of Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis – the founders of Singularity University and his time studying at Singularity University, moving energetically from the history of technology to the latest developments in robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, AI, computing, engineering, medicine and social media projects.

You can listen to Dr. Clarence N.W. Tan on YouTube or you can read the interview with Dr. Clarence N. W. Tan – Shaping The World of Tomorrow

Dr. Clarence Tan

Bruce Satchwell, CEO of Alive Technologies introduced us to a low-cost, clinical-grade mobile heart monitor that fits over the back of an iPhone. Bruce began working on the ECG device in 2005, even before the iPhone was launched and later became one of the co-founders of AliveCor (San Francisco-based company) which now selling the ECG monitors for $199.00. It was inspiring to hear about non-invasive methods of testing and its implication on society and to understand the challenges in population screening and monitoring for cardiac abnormalities. The only disappointing fact was that this amazing device that measures your heart beat and can warn a cardiologist about an impending heart attack wasn’t commercially realised in Australia.

clinical-grade mobile heart monitor

Research Scientist

Dr. Farid Kendoul – Research Scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).



Research Scientist from Autonomous Systems Laboratory at CSIRO, Farid Kendoul talked about Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) of Unmanned Rotorcraft Systems UAS).  He revealed that the increased interest in fully or semi-autonomous craft and particularly in Rotorcraft (rotary-wing aircraft) is logical since it can perform low-altitude flights, fly very slowly and hover and  land or take off anywhere.  It has enormous potential for civil applications to perform dangerous, dull or dirty jobs such as manage crisis in disaster zones, observe suspected criminals,  watch over road traffic, inspect infrastructure, monitor coasts and borders,  watch crop or track life stock.

Rotorcraft Classes

Five classes of Rotorcraft UAS (RUAS)

Farid Kendoul dwelled on five different classes of Rotorcraft UAS (RUAS): optionally-piloted autonomous helicopters, autonomous or semi-autonomous, robotic helicopters with optionally-integrated autopilot, man-portable craft that can fly outdoors and in indoor environments which weigh from hundreds of grams to a few kilograms and micro air vehicles (MAVs) which are lighter than 100 grams. Farid introduced to us the most exiting flying robot (weight only 450 grams), named SmartBird which was developed by a team at Festo, a German technology company.

He clarified the overall structure of guidance, navigation and control systems that are employed on board Rotorcraft UAS which are rarely defined and create some confusion. Also, Farid Kendoul explained how to increase GNC capabilities of Automatic Flight Control system (AFCS).  He believes that fully automated thinking machines that can achieve complex mission are not far from reality.

You are welcome to buy the book –Autonomous Flying Robots: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Micro Aerial Vehicles (Farid Kendoul is the co-author) which describes step by step the development of small or miniature unmanned aerial vehicles.

RUAV and RUAS Navigation

Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC)

Senior Research Scientist, Paulo V. K Borges is from Autonomous System Laboratory at CSIRO and he has been a member of the IEEE since 2003. His current research topic is visual-based robot localization and pedestrian tracking.  He spoke about challenges and alternatives of Computer Vision in Adverse Light conditions.  Possible solutions to overcome these challenges were provided based on the results of Dr. Paulo research of video event detection, pattern recognition, image processing and video tracking in robotics and some industrial applications. He described the advantages of using video cameras: the price is generally cheaper, they do not interfere with other technologies and they work in GPS denied environments. However, he stated that there are some issues of using video cameras relating to exposure, lenses glare and camera calibration (intrinsic and extrinsic).

He explained how feature detection and description for place recognition in robot navigation works for field robots, introducing a method that can cope with sharp shadows. The technology was tested by industry but is not yet commercialised.

Methods of Mapping

Vision-Based Topological Mapping

[There is a video example of Vision-Based Topological Mapping where the nodes in the topological map are at the location of scene changes (in the form of depth discontinuities and large appearance changes in the scene)].

Watch the video which illustrates the method: Vision-based Localization Using an Edge Map Extracted from 3D Laser Range Data” or you can read publications and watch more videos on Dr. Paulo Borges’ professional website.

Dr. Farid Kendoul, Dr. Jun Jo and Dr. Dr. Paulo V. K. Borges

From the left: Dr. Farid Kendoul, Dr. Jun Jo and Dr. Dr. Paulo V. K. Borges; 20th of February, 2014

Acquiring knowledge through experience takes time and particularly highly specialized knowledge but you can gain a considerable amount of knowledge in a short period of time, participating in events such as this.  The speakers, invited by Dr. Jun Jo are trusted and credible experts in their specific fields, who encourage the development of advanced technology, strengthen innovation and stimulate inspiration.

So next time, do not miss events organised by IEEE Summer School on the Gold Coast campus. Take advantage of gaining knowledge!

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Written by Elena Ornig

Managing Director of Publishing Company "Julia Sophistique Pty Ltd". Committee member of Australian Computer Association GC Chapter. Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Member of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland. Member of the IT Forum Gold Coast. Sponsor of the Helensvale Writers' Group, Gold Coast. Committee member of the Gold Coast Writers Association Honored VIP Member of STANFORD WHO'S WHO in America. Publisher, writer and blogger.


One comment
  1. Well written Elena, and it was a great seminar to be in and meeting these dignitaries was special. They hold so much knowledge and experience in their fields and they are strong believer of “nothing is impossible”. So well done to you for taking time to write this, you have done a great job :)

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