Professor Minna Lanz: Dr. Minna Lanz received her doctoral degree (D.Sc) on the field of mechanical engineering in 2010 and works as a full professor in Mechanical Engineering at Tampere University focusing on Production Systems and Technologies. Her research interests are in Manufacturing ICT solutions, Semantic modelling of manufacturing systems, and in industrial robotics, especially in Human-Robot collaboration. Aside of the research work, her interests have been in public private partnerships, financial instruments for SMEs and collaboration in EC-funded projects. She is a member of Finnish Robotics Association, EFFRA, ManuFuture, Vanguard Initiative and euRobotics, and actively contributes to Visions and Strategic Research and Innovation roadmaps originating from these networks.
Yasuhisa Hirata is a Professor in the Department of Robotics at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. He received the B.E., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Tohoku University in 1998, 2000, and 2004, respectively. He has been conducting research and development on non-driving robots with high safety and wearable devices with vibration devices, aiming to develop robots that support the user to perform independent activities. He is also conducting research and development of multi-robot cooperative systems that can be applied to a wide range of fields from human assistance to environmental exploration. He is currently working on the introduction of human-assistive/human function-enhancing robots, especially in the fields of nursing care and healthcare as the project manager of the Moonshot R&D program in Japan.
He is also serving as an AdCom member of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), an associate vice-president for Technical Activity Board of IEEE RAS, and Co-chairs of IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics.