Human-Robot Teaming in Aircraft Maintenance. Credit: Lufthansa Technik AG

Seminar Series

The Wisconsin Robotics Seminar Series (WRSS) is a monthly event hosted by Prof. Bilge Mutlu from the department of computer science at UW-Madison as part of the NASA University Leadership Initiative funded project “Effective Human-Robot Teaming to Advance Aviation Manufacturing”. The presentations and discussions are aimed to highlight challenges and interesting research across a range of topics in robotics. Anyone is welcome to join!


The seminar is hosted on the first Wednesday of every month at 12pm CT for one hour. The format is a 45 minute talk followed by a 15 minute discussion.


The seminar is live-streamed on youtube. You can join our email subscription list to hear about upcoming talks and get the streaming link.


We are interested in having a wide range of speakers. If you might be interested in giving a talk, please email Mike Hagenow (mhagenow[at] and Emmanuel Senft (esenft[at] with subject ‘[Seminar Series]’.

Upcoming Talks

  • March 3, 2021: Dr. SK Gupta


Many emerging robotics applications require the use of multiple collaborating robots to operate under human supervision. To be useful in such applications, collaborative robots will need to (1) program themselves, (2) efficiently learn from the observed performance, (3) safely operate in the presence of uncertainty, (4) appropriately call for help during the execution of challenging tasks, and (5) effectively communicate with humans. This presentation will provide an overview of the advances in physics-aware artificial intelligence that are being used to enable robots to automatically make decisions to meet aforementioned requirements. First, we will present an approach for automatically generating near-optimal trajectories in real-time to enable robots to program themselves from task descriptions. Second, we will describe self-directed learning methods to equip robots with the ability to learn from observing the performance of previously-executed tasks and adapting their plans. Third, we will describe methods for robots to operate safely in the presence of uncertainty by generating contingency-aware plans. Fourth, we will discuss computational methods for endowing robots with introspective capabilities so that they can seek help from humans on challenging tasks. Finally, we will present augmented reality-based interfaces for enabling robots to elicit human guidance during the decision making process. The use of collaborative robots can significantly improve human productivity and eliminate the need for human involvement in tasks that pose risks to human safety. Assembly, composite layup, machine tending, and sanding tasks will be used as illustrative examples to show how smart collaborative robots can be used in high mix manufacturing applications.


Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta is Smith International Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Department of Computer Science in Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). He served as a program director for the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation from September 2012 to September 2014. Dr. Gupta’s interests are in the area of physics-aware decision making to facilitate and advance the state of automation. He has published more than three hundred fifty technical articles. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He serves as the editor of the ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. Dr. Gupta has received numerous honors and awards for his contributions to the scientific community. Representative examples include: the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research in 2000, Robert W. Galvin Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2001, CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2001, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2001, Invention of the Year Award at the University of Maryland in 2007, Kos Ishii-Toshiba Award from ASME in 2011, Excellence in Research Award from ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division in 2013, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee in 2014. He has also received ten best paper awards at international conferences.

  • April 7, 2021: Dr. Santosh Devasia
  • May 5, 2021: Dr. Sylvain Calinon
  • June 2, 2021: Dr. Bradley Hayes