IEEE World Haptics 2017

Special Session: Lessons learned

J. Edward Colgate, Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evaston, IL, USA

“Haptics brings together a tremendously diverse set of disciplines, scientific cultures, and perspectives. The promise and the challenge of a haptics conference is to break down the barriers that naturally exist and facilitate the free exchange of ideas. Beer helps.”

BIO: J. Edward Colgate is the Breed University Design Professor and a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Colgate’s principal research interest is haptic interface. He is the co-inventor of a class of collaborative robots known as “cobots” and a suite of technologies for bringing programmable haptic feedback to touch surfaces. He served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics and is a Fellow of the IEEE and the National Academy of Inventors.

Vincent Hayward, Professor

Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

“Keep it simple.”

BIO: Vincent Hayward is professor at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, on leave presently. Before, he was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University, Montréal, Canada, where he became a full Professor in 2006 and was the Director of the McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines from 2001 to 2004. Vincent Hayward is an elected Fellow of the IEEE. Since January 2017, he is a Professor of Tactile Perception and Technology at the School of Advanced Studies of the University of London, supported by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship. Over the past decade Vincent Hayward developed a computational theory of tactile perception that is grounded in the physics of mechanical interactions. During his stay at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, Hayward will relate this theory to the cognitive and metacognitive functions of the brain.

Hiroo Iwata, Professor

Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan

“Haptics empowers people. Fabricate it first, then we can find issues.”

BIO: Hiroo Iwata is a professor in the Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems of the University of Tsukuba. He has been conducting research projects on virtual reality.  His research interests include haptic interface, locomotion interface and spatially immersive display. He exhibited his work at the Emerging Technologies venue of the SIGGRAPH every year from 1994 to 2007. He was the general chair of the World Haptics Conference 2007 as well as Asia Haptics 2014. He has been leading PhD. Program in Empowerment Informatics at the University of Tsukuba since 2013. He is a president of the Virtual Reality Society of Japan in 2016 and 2017.

Karon MacLean, Professor

Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

“Much of what we do in haptics (industry or academia) is design. The first rule of design is “fail fast” — immediately grapple high-risk elements of your idea. Yet this is in many ways antithetical to how we’re taught to work in academic research. The challenge is not failure; it’s setting up conditions so those “fails” are informative and actionable, and then actually understanding what they tell us.”

BIO: Karon MacLean is Professor in Computer Science at UBC, with degrees in Biology and Mechanical Engineering (BSc, Stanford; M.Sc. / Ph.D, MIT) and industry experience in robotics and interaction design. She leads UBC’s Designing for People interdisciplinary research cluster and CREATE graduate training program, and is Special Advisor, Knowledge Mobilization to the Faculty of Science. Her research interests are in the design of situated haptic and multimodal interfaces, and affective, therapeutic human-robotic interaction. Charles A. McDowell Award, 2008; Assoc Editor of IEEE Transactions on Haptics; chair of the 2010 and 2012 IEEE Haptics Symposia.

Jérôme Perret

CEO France/Germany, Haption, Aachen, Germany

“Whenever your system doesn’t work, remember to check the basics!”

BIO: Jerome Perret (49) holds a PhD in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. He co-founded the company Haption SA in France in 2001, and created the German subsidiary Haption GmbH in 2013. He’s an active Executive Committee member of the EuroVR association ( and of the Eurohaptics Society.