Keynote Speech

Keynote Speech 1:

Driverless Car Technologies

Manukid Parnichkun

Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Abstract: Driverless car was widely known for the first time from DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004 which was a competition of driverless cars in the desert area. The competition was evolved to DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007 which was a competition in an urban area. Since then researches and developments of driverless cars have been conducted extensively for commercialization purposes for example; driverless cars by Google, an electrical car with driver assisting functions by Tesla. Today most of the car manufacturers research and develop driverless cars actively. In Thailand, the Thai Robotics Society started its activity on driverless cars since 2005. Thailand Intelligent Vehicle Challenge was organized by the society during 2007-2009. The competition became more challenged with the platform of the bicycle in the BicyRobo Thailand Championship organized during 2010-2012.

This talk will present the key devices and control algorithms behind driverless car technologies. Technologies used by Google cars and Tesla will be firstly presented and compared. In the latter part of the talk, the control algorithms used for speed control, heading control, waypoints tracking, and obstacles avoidance of driverless cars, unmanned bicycle, and autonomous forklift developed at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) will be presented.

Biography: Manukid Parnichkun is currently a professor at the Mechatronics program, Asian Institute of Technology. He received B.Eng. from Mechanical Engineering, Chulalongkorn University in 1991, M.Eng. and Ph.D. from Precision Machinery Engineering, the University of Tokyo in 1993 and 1996 respectively. He joined the Asian Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in 1996. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, and professor in 2016. He supervised and graduated 21 doctoral students and 172 master students. He was the founding committee of the Thai Robotics Society (TRS) and later became editor-in-chief of the society journal. He was elected to be the president of the Thai Robotics Society during 2003-2005. He organized and chaired several conferences and robot competitions. His research interests are Mechatronics, Robotics, Control, and Measurement.

Keynote Speech 2:

Exploring Lunar Caves using Highly Mobile Robotics

Ben Parslew

The University of Manchester, UK

Abstract: Lunar pit craters are a mysterious topographical feature on the Moon, believed to be openings to underground lava tubes. These pits have steep walls and can be tens or hundreds of meters in diameter, making them extremely challenging to explore. However, understanding the formation of lunar lava tubes has a high geological significance, warranting the risk of descending into these subsurface tunnels. A viable route to investigating pit craters is to deploy highly mobile robotic devices that can negotiate complex topography and conduct remote scientific sampling missions.

This presentation discusses the development of lunar mobile robotics, along with the specific challenges associated with lunar subsurface missions – high-temperature variation, unknown surface debris, and strict system mass budgets.  An overview will be given of the current state-of-the-art in this field, as well as ongoing work on lunar hopping robotics conducted at The University of Manchester. This includes the development of computational and experimental models of the lunar terradynamics, and also the design of a hopping robotic platform that will explore lunar pit craters in the future.

Biography: Ben Parslew is a senior lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester, and an Adjunct Professor at the International School of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University. His background is in aerodynamics, biomechanics, and bioinspired robotics. He has a particular interest in the locomotion of animals, including hopping, swimming, and flying.

Ben obtained his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from UMIST in 2003, and Master’s in Fluid Dynamics from The University of Manchester in 2005. Ben completed a Ph.D. in Animal Flight Modelling in 2010 and was then awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship in 2011 to continue this work at Manchester. Ben was later employed as a research associate funded by BAE Systems and then went on to become a lecturer at Manchester in 2013, teaching courses in Modelling and Simulation and UAV Design. He was recently appointed as an Adjunct Professor in Aerospace Engineering at Chulalongkorn University, where he teaches courses on Experimental Flight Mechanics and Biomimetics.