Keynote Speakers



Bernardine Dias
Diyunu Consulting, LLC


M. Bernardine Dias, Ph.D., is a roboticist committed to technology innovation that serves disadvantaged people. Dias has decades of experience in a range of robotics research projects, with over a decade of dedicated experience in applying robotics and automation technology to address challenges faced by underserved communities. Her most recent undertaking is the founding and leadership of Diyunu Consulting, LLC that seeks to create innovative technology solutions that progress the world. Dias also served as an Associate Research Professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University for over a decade, where she developed international recognition as a lead researcher on a range of topics including assistive technology, educational technology, technology for underserved communities, and autonomous team coordination. At Carnegie Mellon, Dias was primarily affiliated with the Field Robotics Center, where she founded and directed the TechBridgeWorld research group that explored innovative technology solutions in partnership with underserved communities around the globe, and trained over a hundred students to be leaders in TechBridgeWorld’s methodology of compassionate engineering.

Dias has received several honors and awards including the Anita Borg Early Career Award and the Louis Braille Touch of Genius prize for innovation. She actively encourages women in science and technology, and was also a founding member of, and graduate faculty advisor to the women@SCS group at Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her B.A. from Hamilton College, Clinton NY, with a dual concentration in Physics and Computer Science and a minor in Women’s Studies in 1998, followed by a M.S. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.


Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
University of Michigan


Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prof. Jenkins earned his B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics at Alma College (1996), M.S. in Computer Science at Georgia Tech (1998), and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (2003). He previously served on the faculty of Brown University in Computer Science (2004-15). His research addresses problems in interactive robotics and human-robot interaction, primarily focused on mobile manipulation, robot perception, and robot learning from demonstration. He is a founder of the Robot Web Tools open-source robotics organization. Prof. Jenkins' work has been recognized by a Sloan Research Fellow, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and Young Investigator awards from the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation. Prof. Jenkins is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief for the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction


Katherine J. Kuchenbecker
Max Planck Institute


Katherine J. Kuchenbecker directs the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. She was previously an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania, where she held the Class of 1940 Bicentennial Endowed Term Chair and a secondary appointment in Computer and Information Science. Kuchenbecker earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 2006 and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University. Her research centers on haptic interfaces, which enable a user to touch virtual and distant objects as though they were real and within reach, as well as haptic sensing systems, which allow robots to physically interact with objects and people. She delivered a TEDYouth talk on haptics in 2012, and she has received several honors including a 2009 NSF CAREER Award, the 2012 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Academic Early Career Award, a 2014 Penn Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, as well as various best paper and best demonstration awards.


Jun Ho Oh
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


Prof. Jun Ho Oh received his B.S. and M.S. degree from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea in 1977 and 1979, and a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering in the field of automatic control at U.C. Berkeley in 1985. He is now a distinguished professor of mechanical engineering and the director of Humanoid robot research center (Hubo Lab) at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He has performed many industry and government research projects in motion control, sensors, microprocessor applications, and robotics. He is especially interested in mechatronics and system integration. In the last ten years, he completed unique humanoid robot series KHR-1, KHR-2, Hubo, Hubo 2, DRC- Hubo and DRC-Hubo+ and developed Albert Hubo and Hubo FX-1. He is currently working on improving the performance of humanoid robots for faster and more stable walking, robust robot system integration and lightweight design.