Special Sesssion

1. Special Session: Digitalisation for Smart Devices and Systems

This special session will cover different methods for application and investigation of smart materials, e.g. piezoelectric, magnetostrictive and shape-memory materials, relevant to general areas of Automation and Computing. Topics of this special issue will include but not limited to

  • Position, force or vibration control with actuators or structures made of smart materials,
  • Computational modelling and/or optimisation for energy harvesters, structures, actuators and sensors made of smart materials,
  • Design, fabrication and investigation of devices and sensors made of smart materials,
  • Self-sensing smart actuators,
  • Use of smart materials in automated machining,
  • Soft computing in identification and control of smart actuators, sensors and structures.

Session chair:

Dr Morteza Mohammadzaheri, Birmingham City University

Session co-chairs:

Dr Mojtaba Ghodsi, University of Portsmouth

Dr Payam Soltani, Birmingham City University

2. Special Session: Human-Robot Interaction: Safety, Multimodal Interfaces, and Interaction Scenarios in Industrial Environments.

The proposed special session aims to explore Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in industrial environments. This session is motivated by the following challenges: a) Interaction between non-expert operators in Robotics and robots to deal with customizable, flexible, complex, and heavy-duty tasks, and b) Challenges associated with fenceless coexistence with robots, for example, discomfort or safety consideration to operators, especially in cases where close HRI occurs.

The special session is expecting the following topics, approaches, and ideas, including a) safe HRI scenarios, including safety-related industrial standards, collaborative operating modes, robot control strategies, and providing guidance for solving safe collaborative problems in highly uncertain and dynamic environments, b) multimodal interfaces, which can be the key to enabling operators and robots to communicate in bi-directional ways via sensory inputs (e.g., voice-based interaction, body/hand gestures, eye gaze), c) sensor data fusion, which provides a more accurate and comprehensive representation of the operating environment (e.g., Digital Twins) for enhancing the situation awareness and safety in HRI.

Therefore, the contributions of this workshop are to present feasible solutions to guarantee safety and establish trustworthy working environments for effective HRI in real-world industrial settings. This special session aims to bring together researchers and industrial partners at the intersection of HRI, Multimodal Analysis, and Cooperative Robots to establish a collaborative platform for discussing current efforts in safety-related HRI in manufacturing environments and conducting interdisciplinary research within this community.


Jinha Park, University of Southern Denmark 

Dr. Chen Li, Aalborg University 

Dr. Aleksandra Kaszowska, Aalborg University 

Session chair:

Prof Hongji Yang, University of Leicester

Session co-chair:

Dr. Zhuangzhuang Dai, Aston University