Topic 1: Socio-technical systems

Keynote Address

Krishna P. Gummadi (Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Saarbrücken, Germany)

Krishna Gummadi is a tenured faculty member and head of the Networked Systems research group at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS). He also holds an honorary professorship at the University of Saarland. He received his Ph.D. (2005) and B.Tech. (2000) degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, respectively.

Krishna’s research interests are in the measurement, analysis, design, and evaluation of complex Internet-scale systems. His current projects focus on understanding and building social computing systems. Specifically, they tackle the challenges associated with (i) assessing the credibility of information shared by anonymous online crowds, (ii) understanding and controlling privacy risks for users sharing data on online forums, (iii) understanding, predicting and influencing human behaviors on social media sites (e.g., viral information diffusion), and (iv) enhancing fairness and transparency of machine (data-driven) decision making in social computing systems.

Krishna’s work on online social networks, Internet access networks, and peer-to-peer systems has been widely cited and his papers have received numerous awards, including SIGCOMM Test of Time, IW3C2 WWW Best Paper Honorable Mention, and Best Papers at NIPS ML & Law Symposium, ACM COSN, ACM/Usenix SOUPS, AAAI ICWSM, Usenix OSDI, ACM SIGCOMM IMC, ACM SIGCOMM CCR, and SPIE MMCN. He has also co-chaired AAAI’s ICWSM 2016, IW3C2 WWW 2015, ACM COSN 2014, and ACM IMC 2013 conferences. He received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2017 to investigate “Foundations for Fair Social Computing”.

Invited Talks

Sunil Mani (Centre for Development Studies Thiruvananthapuram)

Professor Sunil Mani is the Director of Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram. Formerly, he was a member of the faculty and head of graduate studies at the United Nations University-Institute for New Technologies (now known as UNU-MERIT) at Maastricht in the Netherlands

He obtained his M. Phil and Ph.D. in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has done postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford on a fellowship from the Ford Foundation, New York. He has held Visiting Professorships at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Tokyo, Japan), Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), University of Toulouse Jean Jaures (Toulouse, France) and at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. He is also currently serving as a member of the international advisory steering committee to Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) of the Human Sciences Research Council of Republic of South Africa and the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy office, Thailand. Further, he serves on the editorial boards of two international journals, Research Policy (Elsevier) and International Journal of Technology and Globalization (Inderscience).

Dr. Mani has published extensively in his area of specialisation in the form of 8 books, and several articles in refereed international and national journals and chapters in books. His latest (2017) book is with Franco Malerba and Pamela Adams, Rise to Market Leadership, New Leading Firms from Emerging Countries, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, Mass, USA: Edward Elgar.

Arnaud Reynaud (Toulouse School of Economics, France)

Arnaud Reynaud is a senior researcher at INRA (French Institute for Research in Agriculture), member of the Toulouse School of Economics in France. He is acting as the deputy head of the Toulouse School of Economics –Research unit. He is an economist with a strong specialization in water management. He has worked on dynamic models for water allocation across heterogeneous agents and has conducted some researches on the regulation of the water industry (efficiency of delegation contracts, water pricing). He has also realized some global assessments of the macro-economic impact of water policies in Europe for the European Commission. His recent researches deal with assessing the impacts of using new technologies (smart water meters) in agriculture.

Arnaud Reynaud has published 50+ articles in scientific journals. He was awarded in 2006 the Quality of Research Discovery Award by the American Association of Agricultural Economics.


Damon Wischik (University of Cambridge, UK)

Damon Wischik is a lecturer in the Computer Science department at Cambridge University, and a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. He specializes in data science and machine learning. He spent five years as chief data scientist at Urban Engines, a startup which worked on urban analytics and behaviour nudging. Before that, he was a researcher in probability theory, computer networking, and statistics, in maths at Cambridge University and in computer science at University College London.

Topic 2: Drones and Autonomous Systems

Keynote Address

C.V. Jawahar (IIIT Hyderabad)

C. V. Jawahar is the Amazon Chair Professor at IIIT Hyderabad, India. At IIIT Hyderabad, Jawahar leads a group focusing on AI, computer vision, and machine learning.  In the recent years, he has been looking into  the perception and learning problems that overlap with vision and language. He is interested in designing AI systems, and applications with special focus on Indian setting, specially in areas like road safety, assistive technologies,
healthcare, education, cultural heritage and entertainment. He is also passionate about the scalable models for teaching and research. Jawahar has more than 50 publications in top tier conferences in computer vision, robotics and document image processing. He is a fellow of IAPR and INAE. He has served as a chair for previous editions of ACCV, WACV, IJCAI, AAAI, ICVGIP, ICDAR, CVPR and ICCV. Presently, he is an area editor of CVIU and an associate editor of IEEE PAMI.

Invited Talks

K. Madhava Krishna (International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad)

K. Madhava Krishna is a Professor at IIIT Hyderabad and been directing the robotics research there for the last 14 years. During his stewardship, the Robotics Research Center gained international visibility and has had the good fortune to be ranked second in Asia and within top thirty in the world in robotics research according to This can be attributed directly to the students who have been the main contributors for its growth. The Center has been funded by several research projects with industries, government labs and ministries.

P.B. Sujit (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi)

P.B. Sujit is an Associate Professor at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi, India. He received the bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University, India, in 1998, Master’s degree from Visveswaraya Technological University, India, in 2002, and Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, in 2006. Earlier, he was a Research Scientist at Universidade do Porto, Portugal and Post-Doctoral Fellow in Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

His research interests are in unmanned aerial vehicles, underwater vehicles, multi-robot systems, guidance and control, and human-robot interaction.


C.V. Jawahar (IIIT Hyderabad)

C. V. Jawahar is the Amazon Chair Professor at IIIT Hyderabad, India. At IIIT Hyderabad, Jawahar leads a group focusing on AI, computer vision, and machine learning.  In the recent years, he has been looking into  the perception and learning problems that overlap with vision and language. He is interested in designing AI systems, and applications with special focus on Indian setting, specially in areas like road safety, assistive technologies,
healthcare, education, cultural heritage and entertainment. He is also passionate about the scalable models for teaching and research. Jawahar has more than 50 publications in top tier conferences in computer vision, robotics and document image processing. He is a fellow of IAPR and INAE. He has served as a chair for previous editions of ACCV, WACV, IJCAI, AAAI, ICVGIP, ICDAR, CVPR and ICCV. Presently, he is an area editor of CVIU and an associate editor of IEEE PAMI.

Topic 3: Robotics

Keynote Address

Jaydev P. Desai (Georgia Tech)

Dr. Jaydev P. Desai is currently a Professor and BME Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. He is also the Director of the Georgia Center for Medical Robotics (GCMR) and the Associate Director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM).

He completed his undergraduate studies from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, in 1993. He received his M.A. in Mathematics in 1997, M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics in 1995 and 1998 respectively, all from the University of Pennsylvania. He was also a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

He is a recipient of several NIH R01 grants, NSF CAREER award, and was also the lead inventor on the “Outstanding Invention in Physical Science Category” at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was formerly employed. He is also the recipient of the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. He has been an invited speaker at the National Academy of Sciences “Distinctive Voices” seminar series and was also invited to attend the National Academy of Engineering’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.

He has over 175 publications, is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medical Robotics Research, and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Medical Robotics.

His research interests are primarily in the area of image-guided surgical robotics, rehabilitation robotics, cancer diagnosis at the micro-scale, and endovascular robotics. He is a Fellow of IEEE, ASME and AIMBE.

Invited Talks
Laxmidhar Behera

Laxmidhar Behera (IIT Kanpur)

Dr Laxmidhar Behera is working as Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professor at IIT Kanpur having research and teaching experience of more than 24 years. He has received the BSc (engineering) and MSc (engineering) degrees from NIT Rourkela in 1988 and 1990, respectively. He received the PhD degree from IIT Delhi in 1996. He pursued the postdoctoral studies in the German National Research Center for Information Technology, GMD, Sank Augustin, Germany, during 2000-2001. Previously, he has worked as an assistant professor at BITS Pilani during 1995- 1999 and as a reader at Intelligent Systems Research Center (ISRC), University of Ulster, United Kingdom during 2007-2009. He has also worked as a visiting researcher/professor at FHG, Germany, and ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. His research work lies in the convergence of machine learning, control theory, robotic vision and heterogeneous robotic platforms. He has received more than INR 170 million research grants to support his research activities. He has established industrial collaboration with TCS, Renault Nissan, BEL, Bangalore and ADNOC, Abu Dhabi while making significant technological development in the areas such robotics based ware-house automation, vision and drone guided driver assistance system, and drone guided pipeline inspection systems. He has published more than 240 papers in Journals and Conference Proceedings. He has supervised 16 PhD thesis to completion. He is a Fellow of INAE and Senior Member of IEEE. His other research interests include intelligent control, semantic signal/music processing, neural networks, control of cyber-physical systems and cognitive modelling.

Cohan sujay

Cohan Sujay Carlos (Aiaioo Labs) / Vaishnavi Parab (IIT Roorkee)

Cohan Sujay Carlos is the CEO of Mechanical Chef, a startup that is developing one of the very first cooking robots for homes in the world.  His research interests include machine learning and natural language processing.  Since 2012, Cohan and his colleagues have been investigating intelligent machines to assist with (or automate) cooking.  In 2017, they demonstrated a robot called the Mechanical Chef that could cook a full Indian meal autonomously (a meal assembled on the spot from freshly cut vegetables and a battery of spices and other ingredients) by using hardware, electronics and software coordinated by physical models of cooking processes.


Vaishnavi Parab is an undergraduate from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, pursuing her Bachelors in Chemical Engineering. Her areas of interest include Modeling of Chemical Engineering Systems and Sustainable Development. Currently she is working as an intern at Mechanical Chef with a prime focus on building analytical models for batch cooking. These models take into account scaling and time variations due to factors like altitude, humidity etc, making the automated cooking more adaptive.


Asokan Thondiyath (IIT Madras)

T. Asokan is a Professor in the Department of Engineering Design at IIT Madras. He completed his B.Tech. and M.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Calicut University. Dr Asokan received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras in the year 2000. His area of specialization was electro-hydraulic controls for robotic applications.

He then spent six years as a researcher at the Robotics Research Center, NTU Singapore working in the area of mechatronic systems and robotics. He was instrumental in developing the Remotely Operated Underwater vehicle and a 7-axis underwater manipulator at NTU Singapore. Prior to this, he spent three years in DRDO as a Scientist.

He joined IIT Madras as Assistant Professor in the year 2006 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and Professor in 2014. He was awarded the Stanford-India biodesign fellowship by the Stanford University, USA in 2009 and has completed a post doctoral fellowship in medical device development at the Stanford University.

Dr. Asokan is a visiting Fellow of the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is currently the national secretary of The Robotics Society. He is a member of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Sectional Committee on Industrial and Production Automation Systems and Robotics (PGD 18) and the Indian representative in the Joint Working Group (JWG9) of the International Standards Organisation’s (ISO) sectional Committee on Robots and Robotic Devices(ISO/TC184/SC2). His areas of teaching and research are Robotics, Product design, and Engineering System design. Dr Asokan has published more than 100 papers in International Journals and conferences and has filed 14 patents in India and Singapore.

Raghu Krishnapuram (Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems, IISc)

Raghu received his B.Tech. degree from IIT Bombay in 1978, and his M.S. degree from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, in 1984. After graduating with a PhD in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1987, he worked initially at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and later at Colorado School of Mines, Golden until the year 2000. Most recently, Raghu was Head, R&D and IP Cell, as well as Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, at Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore.

Raghu spent 16 years in industry R&D. From 2000 to 2013, he held various leadership positions at IBM Research India. During the last 4 years of his tenure at IBM Research India, he served as Associate Director, where he led projects in the area of “Knowledge, Information, and Smarter Planet Solutions”, with a particular focus on emerging markets. He also served as a relationship manager for IBM’s services divisions such as IBM Global Process Services and IBM Business Services during this time. During 2014-15, Raghu worked at IBM T J Watson Center, Yorktown Heights, New York, where he was a technical leader for cognitive computing research. He was also Program Manager, Financial Services, Xerox Research Centre India, during 2015-16.

Raghu has published about 170 papers in journals and conferences, many with a very high citation count. He has filed over 40 patent disclosures at the US Patent Office. He has been recognized as a Master Inventor by IBM and has served on the Technology Council of the IBM Academy of Technology. Raghu is also a Fellow of IEEE and the Indian National Academy of Engineers (INAE).

His research encompasses many aspects of machine learning, computer vision, text analytics, artificial intelligence, and data mining.


Industry Session

Vinod Pathangay (Wipro Limited)

Vinod Pathangay is a Distinguished Member Technical Staff – Senior member at the CTO Office of Wipro Ltd. He currently leads the effort on computer vision and drone based solutions for various use-cases.  In Wipro, he was involved in the algorithm development for handheld ECG device as a part of the AssureHealth program for health monitoring and also investigated the use of ECG signal as a biometric. Before joining Wipro, he has worked in labs at Honeywell, Nokia, HP and Philips Research. 

Vinod has MS and PhD degrees from IIT Madras. He has authored 15 peer-reviewed publications and filed 25 US patents. He is a member of IEEE and active reviewer for multiple conferences. 


Balamuralidhar P. (Tata Consultancy Services)

Dr. Balamuralidhar is Principal Scientist and Head of TCS Research & Innovation Lab, Bangalore. He has obtained a B.Tech. from Kerala University and an M.Tech. from IIT Kanpur. His PhD is from Aalborg University, Denmark in the area of Cognitive Wireless Networks. Major areas of current research include different aspects of cyber physical systems, sensor informatics & Internet of Things, and robotics & computer vision.

Dr. Balamuralidhar has over 30 years of research and development experience. He has over 120 publications in various international journals and conferences and over 40 patents granted. His previous research careers are with SAMEER Bombay, and Sasken Communications Bangalore. He has co-authored a book titled “IoT-Technical Challenges and Solutions” as well as several book chapters and was a guest editor of an international journal on ICT.

Dr. Balamuralidhar is recipient of two Tata Innovista awards and the Serial Innovator award from Tata group. He has delivered several keynote addresses and invited talks in reputed conferences and symposiums. He is a contributing member of High Level Task Force on 5G Application Layer Standards. He is also a senior member of IEEE.

Shanthanu Chakravarthy (Mimyk)

Shanthanu is a co-founder at Mimyk, a deep tech spin-off from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. Shanthanu and his team at Mimyk are developing technologies to empower surgical teams and create safe surgeries for everyone. He is a Mechanical Engineer by training and has a Ph.D. from IISc and M.S degree from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Shanthanu’s interests are in medical devices, haptics, robotics, and virtual reality-based simulators.

Srinivasan Iyengar

Srinivasan Iyengar (Microsoft Research)

Srinivasan Iyengar is a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, India. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests span several areas of computer systems, including cyber-physical systems, distributed systems, and embedded systems. His current research focuses on designing data-driven cyber-physical systems, with a particular emphasis in domains such as smart cities, smart buildings, and infrastructure.

Saurabh Chandra (Ati Motors)

Saurabh is a technology entrepreneur based in Bangalore. He co-founded Ati Motors in 2017, making a fully autonomous electric cargo vehicle for industrial environments. He also serves on the board of a Bangalore based think tank, the Takshashila Institution, and is an advisor to multiple startups in Bangalore.

Before this, in 2005 he co-founded Neev Technologies, an outsourced product development company. It was acquired by the media giant Publicis in 2013, and he served as the CEO for the same as an independent unit in the group for three years. Earlier he started his career in various product startups in Bangalore.

He graduated as a Mechanical engineer from IIT (BHU) Varanasi in 2001.

Ajay Gurjar

Ajay Gurjar (Yaskawa)

Ajay Gurjar is currently Deputy COO at Yaskawa Robotics, India. He has 25 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, Business Development, Channel Management and Client Relationship Management. His work spans across sectors  such as automotive and its Tier-1 & Tier-2, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceuticals as well as food & beverage industries