On Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1st2018, Prof. Katherine Kuchenbecker visited ETH Zurich and gave a lecture on “Telerobotic Touch” as part of the Distinguished Seminar in Robotics, Systems and Control series. Katherine is director of the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, and member of the review panel of the NCCR Robotics.
In her talk, Katherine highlighted the importance of touch in dexterous manipulation, and presented how haptic displays can be used to augment surgical training and teleoperated surgery. Around 80 people attended the talk at ETH Zurich, which was – for the first time – also streamed live. Thirteen members of the NCCR Robotics followed the talk in a seminar room at EPFL, with additional members streaming live on their laptops in other locations. NCCR Robotics strives to offer the streaming service more frequently for talks at EPFL and ETH Zurich in the future, to further strengthen the link between the two robotics communities based in Lausanne and Zürich.
Katherine is also a member of the Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems, a joint research center of ETH Zurich and the Max Planck society, where she supervises Alexis Block who will soon spend one year with Otmar Hilliges and Roger Gassert at ETH Zurich. Alexis has developed HuggieBot, and is investigating how to teach robots to give good hugs – another exciting application of (tele)robotic touch.