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• Plenary Talk I Leading Edge of Cybernics: Robot Suit HAL
• Name
Yoshiyuki Sankai
• Affiliation Univ. of Tsukuba
• Abstract Robot Suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) is one of the realization/accomplishments of the Cybernoid Project. Cybernoids are the enhanced human-machine-information hybrid systems based on Cybernics technologies. Cybernics is a new academic research field which fused Information Technology (IT), cranial nerve science, behavioral science, robotics, system integration technology, physiology, psychology, MEMS-Technology, neuroscience, bio-system theory and so on, focusing on Cybernetics, Mechatronics, and Informatics. HAL is called as Robot suit or Bionic suit, and is the world first system to integrate Human-Machine-Information. Robot Suit HAL-3 and 4 for the lower-body were developed in order to support human's daily activities such as walking, standing up, sitting down, climbing up/down stairs, or heavy work. Now, we have developed the state-of-the-art Robot Suit HAL-5. HAL-5 has the lower part to assist the activities of legs and has the upper part to assist the arms. It's really cool! Two types of control systems interact to help the user stand, walk, climb stairs and hold heavy load, and to enhance the capabilities of human. (Leg press:180kg weights, Holding very easily:40kg load)
1) Bio-Cybernic Control System: When a user tries to move his/her limbs, sensors attached on the surface of the skin of the legs/arms detect faint bio-electrical signals transmitted from the brain to muscle. The signals are processed and analyzed by the computers to obtain user's intention. The computer calculates the suitable assistive power and the power units generate the suitable power based on these signals.
2) Robotic Autonomous Control : Furthermore, if the user has some troubles in the spinal cord or in the brain, we can't use the bio-electrical signals. In this case, this robotic autonomous control system is effective. The system activates itself automatically once the user starts moving. We finished to confirm the effectiveness of HAL for the normal persons who wish to assist their physical motion such as walking, standing up, sitting down, climbing up/down stairs, and so on. HAL has hidden potential to create various application fields and to become a huge business. The international patents (PCT) of Robot Suit HAL were selected as one of the excellent patents by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.
• Plenary Talk II Wireless Communications - Spectrum Challenges in Today’s Environment
• Name
Charles W. Einolf
• Affiliation President of IEEE-IES
• Abstract Wired networks for communications have been around since before the 1970`s. These networks provided interconnection between computers, process control systems, sensors, and actuators to enhance productivity in the factory and business environments. Unfortunately, wired networks lack configuration flexibility and represent substantial costs for installation and maintenance.Recent advances in semiconductor devices for RF communications with intelligent routing algorithms and network software promise to eliminate the hard-wired networks and substantially reduce costs.The ease with which wireless networks can be implemented is significant when compared with hard-wired techniques. Wireless networks for communications and data transfer are rapidly becoming an important tool for the engineer managing communications in today`s office and factory environments.However, there are other factors that must be considered in the deployment of a wireless communication system. In the factory environment, system complexity and reliability must be considered and evaluated. The engineer must decide whether standard-based approaches or proprietary network protocols will provide the operational stability and maintainability required for the application. New tools must be available to diagnose problems and monitor the performance of the network. Wireless networks introduce a new dimension - the RF spectrum. The engineer must now determine if radio interference will be a factor - both in terms of being interfered by an outside source and being an interferer to other radio services. The RF spectrum is a regulated resource and may not always be available. The impact of licensed versus unlicensed devices needs to be considered. In addition, a wireless network operating as a secondary service does not have the same rights as a primary service operating in the same band. This presentation will look at various wireless technologies and address the RF spectrum issues. In particular, the problem of interference resulting from wireless devices operating in narrow band, broadband, and ultra wideband configurations is considered.
• Plenary Talk III Sensors and sensorsystems for in vivo monitoring
• Name
Robert Puers
• Affiliation Catholic Univ. of Leuven
• Abstract Sensors and the related interface electronics have become available in small size and low power. This offers many new opportunities in the medical field to explore the body in places where nobody has ever been before. This paper will cover two topics : at first how sensors and the electronics can be miniaturized and tailored to suit the medical needs. It is demonstrated which sensors can be applied succesfully, and which ones can not. In a second part, the development and fabrication of fully functional implantable devices will be discussed. Application areas in the field of orthopeadics, gastroenterology, urology and cardiovascular systems are shown. Crucial for all these devices are the miniaturisation, and low power interface circuits, along with low power telemetry and inductive powering. Finally, part of the paper will cover aspects of biocompatible packaging, and some reflections on the (staggering) economic breakthrough of these devices will be presented.

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