TALK TITLE: The impact of diversity in Societies of Robots


Proliferation of robots in and outside industry is making the concept of societies of robots no longer confined to science fiction but a tangible reality. Interconnected robots capable of collaborative efforts, are laying the foundation of these societies, marking a new frontier across various sectors including manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and environmental monitoring and exploration. Diversity of robots in terms of heterogeneity in mobility, sensing capabilities, and functionalities, is enabling the accomplishment of a wide spectrum of complex tasks that would be impractical for any single robot, no matter how advanced. Flexibility and reconfigurability to new tasks or scenarios are imperative for the effective operation of such systems. Moreover, diversity may also arise from the coexistence of robots from different companies, which are not inherently programmed to collaborate, or from the presence of human operators alongside robots. The coexistence of these entities poses novel challenges in ensuring the efficient operation, safety and security of such societies.

Lucia Pallottino is Full Professor at the University of Pisa.  She is the Director of the Research Center “E. Piaggio”  of the University of Pisa since January 2023. She received the “Laurea” degree in Mathematics in 1998 and the Doctoral degree in 2002. She has been Visiting Scholar at M.I.T. (2000-2001) and Visiting Researcher at UCLA, (2004). She has been Assistant Professor (2007-2015) and Associate Professor (2015-2023) at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Pisa. She is a Co-founder of  Proxima Robotics srl and X-star Motion srl. She has been Chair of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Italian Chapter (I-RAS) (Jan. 2015- Dec. 2018). She is Senior Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (since 2020), Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems (Since 2021). She has been principal investigator and Scientific collaborator in several EU projects. Her main research interests within Robotics are in motion planning and control, optimal control, coordination of multi–robot systems, distributed algorithms.