Plenary Sessions


Advances in Automotive Electrification


Prof. Tomy Sebastian

Director of Motor Drive Systems at Halla Mechatronics

Fellow of IEEE

President of IEEE Industry Applications Society

Tomy Sebastian received the B.Sc. (Eng.) degree from Regional Engineering College Calicut (presently National Institute of Technology, Calicut), India, the M.S. degree from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, MA.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto, Canada. From 1979 to 1980, he was with the R & D Center of KELTRON, Trivandrum, India. From 1987 to 1992, he was with the Research and Applied Technology Division of Black and Decker Corporation, Towson, MD. From 1992 to 2013 and with the Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems and Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw, Michigan, where his last responsibility was as the Chief Scientist at the Innovation Center. Currently, he is the Director of Motor Drive Systems at Halla Mechatronics. He also taught several courses on Power Electronics, Motor Drives and Advances Motor Design at University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, and The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio at various times.

Dr. Sebastian has done extensive research in the area of permanent magnet motor design and control issues and applications in steering systems. He has published over 50 technical articles and holds 31 US patents.  In 2003 he was elected as a Fellow of IEEE. During 2008-2009, he served as a distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Industry Applications Society. He was inducted into the Delphi / Nexteer Innovation Hall of Fame in 2006. He is the recipient of the 2010 IEEE Industry Applications Society outstanding achievement award.  He was the General Chair for the First IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (IEEE ECCE 2009) held in San Jose, CA. He also served as Co- General Chair of the IEEE Power Electronics, Drives and Energy Systems (PEDES 2012) in Bengaluru, India. He is the President of IEEE Industry Applications Society.


Automobile segment is going through significant technology changes for the last decade. The focus was in improving fuel economy and comfort. Conventional hydraulic based systems are being replaced with electromechanical systems the automobiles. Advances in Motors, motor control and power electronics helped to fuel this transformation. Next generation vehicles will see further development in the direction of advanced comfort and safety features. These days the Autonomous vehicle is “the talk of the day”. The main objective of these systems is to improve the comfort and safety of the passengers. The presentation will discuss the impact of the developments in the motor drives on the automotive systems.


Smart Mobility : State of the Art and Challenges


Prof. Fakhreddine Karray

Center for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada

Chair of the IEEE CISC in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada


Fakhreddine Karray holds the University Research Chair Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada and directs the University’s Center for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. He received the PhD degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA in the area of systems and control. Karray’s current research interests are in the areas of intelligent systems design, big data analytics, soft computing, sensor fusion, and context aware machines with applications to intelligent transportation systems, Internet of things, cognitive robotics and natural man- machine interaction. He has authored over 400 technical articles, a textbook on soft computing and intelligent systems, nine edited textbooks and 24 textbook chapters. He is the author of 25 US patents (assigned and pending), has chaired/co-chaired 14 international conferences in his area of expertise and has served as keynote/plenary speaker on numerous occasions. He has also served as the associate editor/guest editor for more than 14 journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning, the IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, the IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine. He is the Chair of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Chapter in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada and chaired various committees of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. He received national and international awards, including the Premier Research Excellence Award and the 2014 Pattern Recognition Society Best Paper Award. Dr. Karray is the co-founder of two University of Waterloo spin-off companies, specializing in designing and commercializing products for next generation connected cars and man-machine interaction systems. He is a co-founder and past vice president of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, co-founder and past president of the Tunisian Scientific Society and is current president of the Association for Image and Machine Intelligence.


“Smart mobility” represents a corner stone and an integral part of the “smart city concept”. It deals with the design of more efficient, more intelligent, and safer transportation systems that are better suited and more adapted to latest advances ininformation and communication technologies, including 5G networks and Internet of things: IOT. It is expected that most modes of transportation will become soon connected to the cloud and to IoT infrastructure. With more than a billion vehicles on the roads today, a number expected to increase by 250% in 2050, the design of highly efficient and safer transportation systems is becoming a necessity. This is a major challenge for car manufacturers, road infrastructure planners, and transportation policy makers. For instance, it is well accepted, that building more roads and related conventional transportation infrastructure will not resolve by itself, the ever-increasing traffic congestion problems. The talk highlights newly developed technologies allowing for the design of next generation mobility systems. These enabling technologies represent the core of the smart mobility concept and have become prevalent thanks to spectacular advances made in the fields of machine intelligence, smart devices, sensor networks, big data analytics and Internet of things. They allow for the design of more intelligent vehicles, permit safer travel journeys and enable the design of more effective and smarter transportation networks, while significantly reducing traffic congestion, road fatalities and injuries, fuel consumption and pollution. The talk outlines as well recent achievements in the field and highlights challenges toward achieving short and long-term goals of building more livable and more sustainable cities of the future.



Control of Biomimetic Underwater Robots for Inspection Applications

Prof. Ahmed CHEMORI

Research Scientist at C.N.R.S (in Automatic Control & Robotics)

Member of the IFAC Technical Committee TC 4.2 on Mechatronic Systems. CNRS Researcher

LIRMM – CNRS/University of Montpellier, France

Ahmed CHEMORI received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, respectively in 2001 and 2005, both in automatic control from the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France. He has been a post-doctoral fellow with the automatic control laboratory of Grenoble in 2006. He is currently a tenured research scientist in Automatic control and Robotics at the Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics, and Microelectronics (LIRMM). His research interests include nonlinear, adaptive and predictive control and their applications in underwater vehicles, humanoid robots, exoskeletons, parallel robots, under-actuated mechanical systems and aerospace.


Biomimetic underwater robots propose alternatives for conventional propeller-driven underwater vehicles. Median and paired fin (MPF) locomotion is usually suggested as a viable alternative if high maneuverability and hovering capability is required. In fishes, such a propulsion mechanism usually means lower speeds (as opposed to body and caudal fin propulsion) but is advantageous when low speed and precision maneuverability is desired. A particular type of MPF propulsion is sea turtle like 4-fin locomotion. Attempts to copy the locomotion of those agile and versatile reptiles reach back at least a decade with Turtle 2005 and Madeline. Other examples include Finnegan, the RobotTurtle and iRobot Transiphibian. Another line of development is represented by AQUA and AQUA2 four finned amphibian robots that are unique in the way the propellers are used both for swimming and crawling in and out of water. Four finned propulsion was also realized in some prototypes by deploying a scaffold structure actively controlled by shape memory alloy (SME) wires. U-CAT is an autonomous biomimetic underwater robot developed within a European Union 7th Framework project ARROWS (Archeological Robot Systems for the World Seas). As opposed to the previous examples, four-finned design of this vehicle is motivated solely by the end-user requirements and environmental constraints of the tasks in this specifically shipwreck inspection. It should closely video-inspect underwater objects. Indeed, to fulfill the needs of shipwreck inspection for archeological applications, U-CAT has been developed at the Centre for Biorobotics (TUT) with the following five design requirements: (i) The main interest is the video footage from the interior of the shipwreck to identify objects of interest, (ii) The robot has to penetrate in confined spaces, so it must be small and maneuverable, (iii) The vehicle must be capable of silent motion in order to not disturb the bottom sediments that would make visual observations impossible, (iv) The vehicle has to be untethered as the cable would significantly constrain vehicle’s motion inside the wreck, (v) The cost of the vehicle has to be affordable for archaeologists with a limited budget. U-CAT has been specifically designed to meet these end-user requirements of underwater archaeologists. Consequently, a 4-flipper design was emerged to control the 6 DOFs.
This talk deals with control of U-CAT biomimetic underwater vehicle for inspections applications. All the proposed control solutions will be illustrated through different scenarios of real-time experiments in a swimming pool (controlled environment), as well as in open water (real operating conditions).