Oussama Khatib: 2017 Plenary Session


Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Location: McCaw Hall, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Robotic Avatars: The New Frontier of Oceanic Discovery"



The promise of oceanic discovery has intrigued scientists and explorers, whether to study underwater ecology and climate change, or to uncover natural resources and historic secrets buried deep at archaeological sites. This quest to explore the oceans requires skilled human access, yet much of it cannot be reached by human divers. To meet the challenge of accessing oceanic depths, in collaboration with KAUST's Red Sea Research Center and MEKA Robotics, we developed Ocean One-a bimanual compliant humanoid robot that affords immediate and intuitive haptic interaction in oceanic environments and can go where humans cannot. In April 2016, Ocean One descended ninety-one meters to Louis XIV's flagship, La Lune, retrieving a priceless artifact and becoming the first robot avatar to embody a human's presence at the seabed.


Oussama Khatib received his PhD from Sup'Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His research focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human-friendly robot design. He is a Fellow of IEEE. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR) series and the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics. Professor Khatib is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation, the IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation, the IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award, and the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development.