International Club of Berne


  • Wednesday, 19th September 2018 at 6pm - 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, 17th October 2018 at 6pm - 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, 21st November 2018 at 6pm - 7:30pm

Location: Uni Berne main Building, Hochschulestr. 4, Aula

This event is in the past.

Fall series of talks by the Collegium Generale of the University of Berne
on the theme Robots. Each Wednesday from 18:15 to 19:15 at the Aula of the main building of the university, Hochschulestr. 4

Robots, digitization, artificial intelligence: Technical developments set a new stage for human-machine interaction and present societies with unknown challenges. While new inventions already permeate production, professions and our everyday lives, technology supporters and sceptics alike are discussing the changes on all levels of society. How will coming generations of robots interact with humans? What will future operation rooms look like? Will robots replace us at work?

The interdisciplinary lecture series offers an opportunity to engage critical research positions and arguments. Established scholars will cover the field from technical innovations and challenges to legal, sociological and political questions, including the historical origins of machine learning.

Three lectures are in English:

September 19, 2018 
Industrial and service robots: State of the art and future trends  
Dr. Arturo Baroncelli, International Federation of Robotics

October 17, 2018
Machine learning and natural language processing: Predicting judicial decisions
Dr. Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis, School of Law, 
The University of Sheffield

November 21, 2018
Robots and caregiving in Japan: Treating a society in traum 
Prof. Dr. Jennifer Robertson 
Departments of Anthropology and the History of Arts, University of Michigan

Please see our German website for the complete program.">



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Displaying 1 - 10 of 11 comments
Graham wrote
at 6:29pm on Wednesday, 21st November 2018
The presenetation tonight 21 November is cancelled. Nothing on.
Graham wrote
at 5:14pm on Tuesday, 6th November 2018
Collegium Generale Talks on Robotics
When Wednesday, 21 November, from 18:00
Where Main Building, University of Berne, Hochschulestrasse 4, Aula
Contact Graham Tritt
Deadline Please register by the Monday before
Collegium Generale talks on the theme of robotics. The theme of the English session on Wednesday, 21 November is Robots and Care-Giving in Japan.
See vorlesungsreihen/index_ger.html for more details on all the talks. The last presentation is on 11 December.
Graham wrote
at 1:57pm on Tuesday, 25th September 2018
In Burgdorf

Institute for Rehabilitation and Performance Technology

We use methods and technologies coming from competitive sports to improve the rehabilitation process of people after accidents or illnesses.

Our core competencies are

Cardiopulmonary and neurological rehabilitation after strokes or spinal injuries
Feedback systems, automation and control of training equipment

We develop our procedures and systems in collaboration with Swiss rehabilita
Graham wrote
at 1:57pm on Tuesday, 25th September 2018
Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical technology is one of the most promising fields of research, and sources of economic opportunities of the 21st century. Thanks to increasing life expectancy, its global development and growth potential is far above average. In Switzerland, medical technology is a particularly well established industry sector that has reached very high standards. Swiss companies are among the global leaders in many key business areas in the field. Start-ups and enterprises which occupy market niches have the chance to reap extraordinary rewards.


Biomedical Engineering Day May 4 2018

The event is an efficient platform in Switzerland for networking of Master and PhD graduates and Swiss and international medical technology companies.
One highlight of the day was the successful live surgery by Marco Caversaccio, Department of ENT, Head & Neck Surgery, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)

2017: One highlight of the day was the successful live knee surgery by Kai Ziebarth, Department of Paediatric Surgery, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital). Illustrative explanations in the auditorium were given by Steffen Berger, from the same department

2016: One highlight of the day was the successful live hand surgery by Carsten Surke, Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Inselspital Bern. Illustrative explanations in the auditorium were given by Bettina Juon Personeni, from the same department.

Graham wrote
at 1:53pm on Tuesday, 25th September 2018
Development at Insel hospital in Berne

Robotic Cochlea Implantation, Inselspital and ARTORG Center

A team of surgeons and engineers of Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern, have developed a high-precision surgical robot for cochlear implantation. On 15 March 2017 they report on their first successful Robotic Cochlear Implantation (RCI) in Science Robotics.

Graham wrote
at 1:25pm on Tuesday, 25th September 2018
Programme at EPFL in Lausanne
This program provides education on the theory, technology and practice of intelligent robots, such as mobile robots, wearable robots, robotic manipulators, autonomous and brain-interfaced robots. In addition to classes spanning from electromechanical systems to advanced artificial intelligence, the program offers a large set of hands-on activities where students learn by designing, prototyping and validating robotic systems.

Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree in microengineering. Holders of a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or any related field with an interdisciplinary background (mastering at least two of the three following fields: computer science, electronics, and mechanical engineering) may also be accepted.


Tribot: A Multi-Gait Foldable Origami Robot

We focus on scenarios where robots take the role of assistants, trainers or collaborators in order to achieve physical manipulation tasks. We use machine-learning algorithms to model and observe human behaviors, develop robot implementations and replicate the task in a human-like manner or detect human intention.
We develop approaches and applications that:

learn a task from human demonstrations and facilitate the execution in changing contexts
assist in the execution of a task by learning, encoding and transferring knowledge to humans through training
collaborate to execute a task with a human in order to recognize human intentions during handovers
enable human-in-the-loop control and adaptive grasping
humans and robots work in a shared space by observation of functional reaching motions
robots communicate functional behavior when reacting to uncertainty and resolve conflict over a shared resource
facilitate developments in haptic interaction

Shared Control Through EMG

The range of motion that someone can do while wearing a prosthetic device is constrained due to lack of control and functionality. We are working to develop control interfaces that can decode the intention of the user by its muscular activity (EMG).
We develop approaches and applications that:
- describe the dynamic behavior of the hand and the fingers during reaching-to-grasp motions
- extract valuable information from the muscles to decode the intention of the user
- combine dynamical systems with the user’s intention to provide a natural human-like behavior to the device
- achieve results in a shared control scheme between the user and wearable robotic device
- apply our results to prosthetic devices for the upper limbs as well as tele operated robotic systems


Feel free to use pictures and movies without prior permission, provided they are credited as follows: Biorobotics Laboratory, EPFL.
Graham wrote
at 1:35pm on Monday, 24th September 2018
An informative one hour youtube video (in German): Faszination Robotik

Really good robots from Boston Dynamics

Honda's Asimo robot

Amazing robots

Graham wrote
at 11:47pm on Tuesday, 18th September 2018
Swarms of robots

Taming the swarm - Collective Artificial Intelligence | Radhika Nagpal | TEDxBermuda

Swarm robotics -- from local rules to global behaviors | Magnus Egerstedt | TEDxEmory 2014

Taming the swarm - Collective Artificial Intelligence | Radhika Nagpal | TEDxBermuda
Graham wrote
at 11:21pm on Tuesday, 18th September 2018
Robot warriors: technology and the regulation of war
A TEDx talk from Professor Noam Lubell | TEDxUniversityofEssex

what we're likely to see with time is an incremental shift from human control of machines to human supervision of machines to a supervision that slowly probably will become looser and looser and so there are real risks in that regard ...

in terms of the legal side of things the laws of war two of the most fundamental principles in the laws of war are the principle of distinction and the principle of proportionality ...

From the transcript

the illegal and ethical sometimes are intertwined so we know that human beings don't abide by the laws of war always not on a regular basis and we know and go back to the Nuremberg tribunals we know that some human beings can be as scary as any killer robot and sometimes far more human beings commit war crimes. Look at almost any war around us today and often these crimes are committed because of emotions such as fear anger hatred stress well robots it wouldn't be affected by these emotions they wouldn't have compassion either but some argue maybe that's a good trade-off you know they wouldn't they wouldn't act out of anger or fear

Can be handy in all sorts of ways there's discussion of creating a humanoid form robot to do fire fighting; we might have drones and robots delivering aid.

If you think back to the inspiration for the Red Cross well that came from the 19th century Battle of Solferino and the concern for thousands that were left dying and wounded after the battle well perhaps robots might play an important part in alleviating some of that suffering they could be out there performing emergency medical procedures and evacuating people with ambulance drones and taking them to safety

The science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said the saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom

Remember that technology itself isn't good or evil technology is just part of the human endeavor and the way we use technology on the battlefield is simply going to reflect human nature so what we need to do is to appeal to the better side of our nature in order to ensure that any new technology introduced into warfare is done with a view to minimizing harm and casualties and destruction and in order to reduce the suffering of war
Graham wrote
at 10:25pm on Tuesday, 18th September 2018
Meet Spot, the robot dog that can run, hop and open doors.

A TED talk

Who's coming? See all

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By Graham on 14th January

Friday 17 Basel Museum Night

Saturday 18  all day - Tour to la Chaux de Fonds

Saturday 18 from 18:00 Singing Spiritual Songs with Stefan

Saturday 18 from 19:00 Wine  - Wine Tasting - The Southern Hemisphere

Monday 20 at 6:30pm - Burns Night at the Pickwick  - Sorry the pub is full, and also on 27 January. Next year I must remember to try to book 2 months in advance. Reserve by 16 January for the Burns Supper of the Swiss British Society (CHF 50) which is on Saturday 1 February.

Instead, on Monday 20, attend the Light Festival of Murten. Meet at 6 pm at the Berntor gate of the town (30 minutes by train from Berne) and at 6:30 pm for an Apero on a boat in the lake. For details see

Tuesday 21 at 7:30pm - Art Museum Tour contact Gary

Thursday 23 at 10:00 am at the Theater am Käfigturm, a performance of the French play M.Ibraham et les Fleurs du Coran. Then at 3:00 pm and 7:00pm - Theatre: "Free Mandela"

Wednesday 29 at 18:00 pm,  Sophie Book Group discusses the book "Becoming" by Michelle Obama. Open to all members;  contact Graham of you are interested.

See page 6 and 7 of the Newsletter about joining the different activities which we organise throughWhatsApp.


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