Robotics, AI, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Its Impact on Hong Kong and Beyond

Professor Frank Park, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University


Frank Chongwoo Park received his B.S. in electrical engineering from MIT in 1985, and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1991. From 1991 to 1995 he was assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Since 1995 he has been professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Seoul National University, where he is currently serving as department chair beginning June 2017. His research interests are in robot mechanics, planning and control, vision and image processing, machine learning, and related areas of applied mathematics. He has been an IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Lecturer, and received best paper awards for his work on visual tracking and parallel robot design. He has served on the editorial boards of the Springer Handbook of Robotics, Springer Advanced Tracts in Robotics (STAR), Robotica, and the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. He has held adjunct faculty positions at the NYU Courant Institute, the Interactive Computing Department at Georgia Tech, and the Robotics Institute at HKUST. He is a fellow of the IEEE, current editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, developer of the EDX course Robot Mechanics and Control I, II, and author (with Kevin Lynch) of Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning and Control (2017 Cambridge University Press).



Recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, combined with the steady progress in robotics achieved over the past thirty years, are now aligned to have a profound impact on the way consumer products are manufactured and assembled. Hong Kong, with its strategic location as the gateway to the Pearl River Delta, and also its advanced R&D infrastructure, now lies at a critical juncture. It is essential that Hong Kong seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish leadership in the nascent field of AI-driven robotic manufacturing, leveraging as much as possible its research infrastructure and its proximity to the world’s factory. This talk will highlight some of the recent technological advances in robotics and AI, particularly those developed at the HKUST-Robotics Institute, and offer a prescription on how to practically leverage these advances to create a new paradigm for manufacturing and assembly.