報告人：Prof. Yonghua Chen（Hong Kong University）
From Smart Soft Robotics to Wearable Robots and Rehabilitation
Prof. Yonghua Chen
Department of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Hong Kong
Robots have been with us for more than fifty years. However, such robots are mainly installed in segregated industrial environments performing well structured mundane jobs. In recent years, there is a strong desire to develop wearable robots and compliant devices for human mobility augmentation and rehabilitation in a fast ageing society. Soft Robots, a relatively new concept in the robotic research field, have the potential for such robotic development as they are highly compliant and adaptable to the environment, and safe to interact with humans. However, soft robots are still in their infancy, further development of soft robotics faces challenges such as: 1) inability to offer high stiffness/strength as rigid bodied robots do due to the highly deformable, less rigid materials that they are made of; 2) lack of integrated, low cost and robust sensors; 3) lack of rapid, automatic and inexpensive fabrication methods. This talk will present recent efforts of HKU in addressing the above challenges. New insight into the development of soft robots in wearable devices, exoskeletons, rehabilitation, and mobile soft robots will also be presented.
Dr. Yonghua Chen is currently an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong. Before joining University of Hong Kong, he has worked in industry (Motorola Singapore, Asia Matsushita Singapore, and Swire Hong Kong) for four years. Professor Chen has co-authored more than 250 journal and conference papers, two books, and 5 patents. Since 1997, Dr. Chen has organized more than 10 international conferences on intelligent manufacturing and robotics, thus awarded outstanding IEEE conference organizer. He has also served as editorial members for 5 international journals such as Bio-fabrication, Bio-Design and Manufacture. He is an executive committee member of the Bio-fabrication Society of China’s Mechanical Engineering Society, a Sichuan Province 1000 plan professor and a concurrent professor of Sichuan University. His research on soft robotics was ranked the 3rd best research for his work on “variable stiffness soft robotics” in 2017 by the well-known website “softroboticstoolkit.com”. He is now taking on the challenge of developing smart soft robots for health care of elderly and disabled.