Susumu Tachi, PhD
Professor Emeritus of The University of Tokyo
Founding President of the Virtual Reality Society of Japan, and the Founding Chairman of Telexistence Inc.
Susumu Tachi is Professor Emeritus of The University of Tokyo, where he continues his research on virtual reality, haptics and telexistence as well as activities for their dissemination and social implementation. He is the Founding President of the Virtual Reality Society of Japan, and the Founding Chairman of Telexistence Inc.
One of his earliest scientific achievements, shortly after his obtaining a Ph.D. from The University of Tokyo in 1973, was the invention of Guide Dog Robot (1976), an intelligent mobile robot system for the blind. This system was the first of its kind and came to be known as MELDOG.
In 1980, Dr. Tachi invented the concept of Telexistence, which enables a highly realistic sensation of existence in a remote place without any actual travel. Since then, he has been working on the realization of telexistence, and has completed TELESAR V (2012) and TELESAR VI (2019), avatar robot systems that enable the user to bind with an anthropomorphic robot and have a real-time sensation of being where the robot exists, and to feel the robot’s body as his or her alter ego through visual, auditory and haptic sensation.
Other achievements include Haptic Primary Colors (2007), Optical Camouflage (2003), and autostereoscopic VR displays such as TWISTER (2002), Repro3D (2010) and HaptoMIRAGE (2014).
From 1988 to 2018, he served as Chairman of the IMEKO Technical Committee on Measurement in Robotics and directed the organization of ISMCR symposia and received IMEKO Distinguished Service Award in 1997. He initiated and founded International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence (ICAT) in 1991 and International-collegiate Virtual Reality Contest (IVRC) in 1993. He received the 2007 IEEE VR Career Award, and served as General Chair of IEEE Virtual Reality Conferences.
Ivair Gontijo, PhD
Systems Engineer At NASA/JPL
Dr. Gontijo works on Mars surface operations and was responsible for all the interfaces between the SuperCam instrument and the Perseverance rover that is exploring Mars. Prior to that, he worked on the Europa Clipper mission and also on the radar used to land the Curiosity rover on Mars.
Before joining JPL, Dr. Gontijo worked for many years in the fiber optics industry and also in biotech, designing lenses for cataract surgery. He has a Ph.D. in Optoelectronics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Trung T. Pham, Ph.D.
United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, USA
Dr. Trung Pham is currently at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado, working as an academic professor, teaching in the Department of Computer & Cyber Sciences, and conducting research & development in AI & Machine Learning applications for the US Air Force Cyberworx (Center of Innovation in Cyber Security) where he was granted the US Top Secret Security Clearance. Previously he taught Control Theory, AI, and Neural Networks at the University of Houston, and was a technical specialist and staff engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center working in the area of Automation & Robotics in the Space Station Program. He also spent a stint at the University of Talca in Chile, South America as a visiting professor and director of the Center of Research in Information Technology, teaching computer sciences, and directing two nationally sponsored R&D projects on product authentication with embedded double-encryption in RFID and data mining on the IoT authentication activities. While in Chile, he also received the US State Department’s Fulbright Funding for a project on using swarm intelligence for coordinating a fleet of inexpensive drones to detect forest fire.
Dr. Pham is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE) and a Senior Member of the International Society of Automation (ISA). He is also an active member of the Technical Committee on Measurement in Robotics, and a Distinguished Speaker in the International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO).
Dr. Pham obtained his B.S.E.E. (Rice Endowment Scholarship, Texas Valedictorian Scholarship, and the Welsh Foundation Scholarship), M.S. (Office of Naval Research Fellowship), and Ph.D. (The National Aeronautic & Space Administration Fellowship) from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas; and his M.B.A. (McDonnell Douglas Scholarship) from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in Houston, Texas.