International Club of Berne


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

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

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.">



Displaying 9 comments
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
Graham wrote
at 8:19pm on Monday, 17th September 2018
19. September 2018 Industrial and Service Robotics: State of the Art and Future Trends
Dr. Arturo Baroncelli, International Federation of Robotics zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
26. September 2018 Die Geburt des Roboters aus dem Drama
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kotte, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, Universität Bern zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
03. Oktober 2018 Cyborgs unter uns? Aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Rehabilitationsrobotik
Prof. Dr. Roger Gassert, Labor für Rehabilitationstechnik, Institut für Robotik und intelligente Systeme, ETH Zürich zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
10. Oktober 2018 Robotik in der Chirurgie
Prof. Dr. Stefan Weber, ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, Universität Bern zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
17. Oktober 2018 Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing: Predicting Judicial Decisions
Dr. Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis, School of Law, The University of Sheffield zu den Veranstaltungsdetails

24. Oktober 2018 Warum wir uns vor Mensch-Maschinen gruseln - und andere Fragen der Robopsychologie

Prof. Dr. Martina Mara, Robopsychology Lab, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
31. Oktober 2018 Maschinenliebe - Robotik in der Kunst
Sabine Himmelsbach, Direktorin, HeK, Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel
In Zusammenarbeit mit "Tanz in Bern"

Veranstaltungsort: Dampfzentrale Bern
zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
07. November 2018 Roboter im Hörsaal - Assistenzroboter zwischen Theorie und Alltag
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Handke, Fremdsprachliche Philologien, Universität Marburg

Beginn der Vorlesung: 17.15 Uhr
zu den Veranstaltungsdetails

14. November 2018 Arbeit 4.0 - Die Zukunft der Zusammenarbeit Mensch und Maschine
Prof. Dr. Sabine Köszegi, Institut für Managementwissenschaften, Technische Universität Wien zu den Veranstaltungsdetails

21. November 2018 Robots and Caregiving in Japan: Treating a Society in Trauma
Prof. Dr. Jennifer Robertson, Departments of Anthropology and the History of Art, University of Michigan zu den Veranstaltungsdetails
28. November 2018 Wenn wir uns Roboter denken, denken wir sie uns als idealische höhere Menschen?
Prof. Dr. Martino Mona, Institut für Strafrecht und Kriminologie, Universität Bern zu den Veranstaltungsdetails

05. Dezember 2018 Soziale Robotik: Komplexe Verschaltungen von Gesellschaftlichem und Techn(olog)ischem
Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen, Wissenschaftssoziologie, Technische Universität München zu den Veranstaltungsdetails

12. Dezember 2018 Drohnen, Smart Shuttles und Lieferroboter - Transdisziplinäre Forschung für die Hauptstadtregion
Prof. Dr. Edy Portmann, Informatikdepartment, Universität Freiburg zu den Veranstaltungsdetails


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Swiss Castle Day 7 October

By Graham on 4th October

Café Français    Tuesday, 9 October, 19:00

Ladies’ Lunch 
   Thursday, 11 October, 12:30

English Tea-Time
    Thursday, 11 October, 17:00

Germany trip     a weekend early in October

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!
    When    Friday, 12 October, 18:30

Movie Night
    Sunday 15 October

Wine Tasting
    Saturday, 20 October, 19:00

Walk & Talk
    Sunday, 21 October, from 14:00

Café Italiano
    Tuesday, 23 October, from 19:00

Sophie Book Group
    Wednesday, 24 October, 19:15

Club Meeting
on Storytelling    Tuesday, 30 October, 19:00

Other (non-club) events
Swiss Castle Day Sunday 7 October
Piano World Classics     Friday, 19 October (NL page 19)
Talks on Robotics    Wednesday, 17 October 18:00
Dancing    regularly - see the event page
Hikes and walks occasionally - see Meetup


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International Club of Berne

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