Robots Are People Too

Robots are people, too

Miha Turšič (NL/SI), Madeline Gannon (US), Francesco Rea (IT), Miquel Cantero (ES), Maria Eugenia (Xenia) Beltrán (ES)

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Exploring collaborative robotics through art

Robots are working with and alongside humans in manufacturing and other disciplines. In order to explore the boundaries of such collaborations, artists are working with robots and even incorporate them into their lives and daily routines. During the event, Waag showcases collaborative robotics as they are getting developed through the VOJEXT project. The audience is taken on a journey through different labs to discover the way in which different researchers explore and evolve collaborative robotics.

Maria Eugenia (Xenia) Beltrán : Xenia Beltrán is Senior R&D Project Manager and Head of Big Data in LifeSTech at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) as well as VOJEXT Project Coordinator. Xenia is an Information Systems Engineering and holds an MBA in International Management and PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Xenia has +15 years of experience as Senior Project & Innovation Manager, coordinating large EU co-funded projects, implementing + 35 innovative pilots & demonstrators with emerging technologies in the areas of Behavioural Analysis, Big Data and Analytics, IoT, Language Technology based projects, Health & Wellbeing, Manufacturing, Robotics, Materials and e-Commerce. Also, she actively participates in technological platforms, innovation hubs, IIT oriented associations and other current projects PharmaLedger, WeldGalaxy, ODIN, APRIL & FAITH. Previously to UPM, Xenia worked in consultancy, software development and large manufacturing companies.

Madeline Gannon: Dr. Gannon is a multidisciplinary designer forging new futures for human-robot relations. Her work blends art and technology to create better ways to live with machines. She is on a mission to make robotics and other advanced technologies open, accessible, and interesting to diverse audiences, which has earned her the nickname, “The Robot Whisperer”. She is a World Economic Forum Cultural Leader and a Council Member on the Global Council for IoT, Robotics, & Smart Cities. She also holds a Research Fellowship at the Carnegie Mellon Studio for Creative Inquiry, and leads the research studio, ATONATON. Dr. Gannon holds a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters of Architecture from Florida International University.

Francesco Rea: Principal Investigator. Received his bachelor degree at University of Bergamo (Italy) in Computer Science, his master degree in Robotics and Automation at the University of Salford (UK) and PhD in Robotics from the University of Genova (Italy) in 2013. He is currently working as Researcher at the RBCS Department of IIT. His research covers science from cognitive models in humans to robotics and aims at fostering effective interaction between humans and humanoid robot.

Miquel Cantero: Roboticist and researcher Miquel Cantero has an expertise in robot hardware and mobile robots with ROS based developments. Since 2014, he has been part of the Robotnik Automation team: a leading company in European service robotics based in Valencia. Having attended the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Aalto School of Electrical Engineering, Finland, Miquel holds a Master of Engineering in Industrial Engineering.

Miha Turšič: Miha Turšič is concept and project developer within the Make programme of Waag. He works on international collaborative research and innovation projects involving art-science, open source hardware, digital fabrication, material research, ecology and space culture. He is closely involved with the planet B lab’s environmental efforts, and he is the founder of Open Space Lab within Waag.


“Robots are people, too” is organised by: Waag – Technology and Society ‘Robots are people, too’ is part of the VOJEXT project which is coordinated by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ES) and has received funding from the European Commission under the H2020-DT-ICT-03-2020 call, Grant Agreement number 952197. Waag coordinates STARTS: Science +Technology + Arts.