received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science(CS) from the Federal University of Pará (UFPa), Brazil, in 1996 and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in CS from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil, in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He is a CNPq Productivity Fellow (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) for his contribution to Brazilian Scientific Progress. Edson is Professor at UFRGS, since 2005, and Head of ϕ-Robotics Research Group. UFRGS is one of the most important universities in Latin America. In particular, in the Informatics Institute, the Undergraduate Programs are first-ranked, while the Graduated Programs are among the top-five in Brazil.

Edson is an IEEE Senior Member and Member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society(IEEE RAS) and IEEE Standards Association(IEEE SA). Over the past years, he has worked in different international initiatives related to Humanitarian Activities, Artificial Intelligence, Standardisation, Robotics and Ethics. In these groups, Edson has served in various roles as vice-president, chair, vice-chair and member, i.e, as

  1. Member, UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation;

  2. Associate Vice President for Thought Leadership & Outreach, IEEE RAS Industry Activities Board;

  3. Chair, IEEE RAS/SA P7007 - Ontological Standard for Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Systems Working Group;

  4. Vice-chair, IEEE RAS Standing Committee for Standards Activities;

  5. Vice-chair, IEEE RAS Ontologies for Robotics and Automation Working Group (ORA WG);

  6. Member, The CXI - Global Council on Extended Intelligence;

  7. Academic Committee Member, Zhejiang University Robotics Institute;

  8. Fellow, EP3 Foundation;

  9. Member, European AI Alliance;

  10. Member, Affective Computing Committee; Economics and Humanitarian Issues; and  How to Imbue Ethics/Values into Autonomous and Intelligent Systems Committees in The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems;

  11. Member, IEEE SA P7001-Transparency of Autonomous Systems;

  12. Member, IEEE RAS Robot Task Representation Working Group;

  13. Member, IEEE RAS Autonomous Robotics Working Group;

  14. Member, IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology

  15. Advisory Committee Member, IEEE RAS Standing Committee for Standards Activities;

  16. Founding Chair, IEEE South Brazil RAS Chapter.

In 2018, The UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres invited me to be member of the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Ms. Melinda Gates (USA) and Mr. Jack Ma (China). I’m deeply honored for being member of this Panel! I’m the third person (left-right) in the second row in the photo below.

In 2016, IEEE launched officially the document "Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision For Prioritizing Wellbeing With Artificial Intelligence And Autonomous Systems" which aims to provide a set of insights and recommendations about the ethical aspects involved in the development of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. I’m very proud for being part of this team. If you want to know about this document and also about the initiative, please visit the link

In 2015, IEEE ORA WG published the very first IEEE RAS standard, called IEEE 1872-2015 Ontologies for Robotics and Automation, and was the recipient of the IEEE-SA Emerging Technology Award. Due to the relevance of this achievement, Edson received the IEEE SA Plaque of Appreciation and IEEE RAS Certificate of Appreciation for being the vice-chair of the IEEE ORA WG.



This standard was cited broadly including in the “The National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan” (pag. 32) elaborated by the US White House, in 2016.


“One example of an AI-relevant standard that has been developed is P1872-2015 (Standard Ontologies for Robotics and Automation), developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). This standard provides a systematic way of representing knowledge and a common set of terms and definitions. These allow for unambiguous knowledge transfer among humans, robots, and other artificial systems, as well as provide a foundational basis for the application of AI technologies to robotics.”

Among Edson’s achievements, he co-organized the book “Robótica Móvel” together with Roseli Romero (ICMC/USP), Fernando Osório (ICMC/USP) and Denis Wolff (ICMC/USP) that has won the Jabuti Award in the category Engenharias, Tecnologias e Informática. This award is the most important literary Award in Brazil.


In addition, Edson was guest editor of special issue "Ubiquitous Robotics" in Robotics and Autonomous Systems Journal/Elsevier; guest editor of special issue "Knowledge Driven Robotics and Manufacturing" for the Elsevier Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing Journal; guest editor of special issue “Elderly Care Robotics – Technology and Ethics” for Springer Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems; co-chair of the Workshop on “Standardized Knowledge Representations and Ontologies for Robotics and Automation” at IEEE/RSJ IROS 2014, co-chair of the Workshop on "Robotics & Automation Technologies for Humanitarian Applications: Where we are & Where we can be" at IEEE ICRA 2015, co-chair of the Workshop on “Elderly Care Robotics – Technology and Ethics” at IEEE ICRA 2018, co-chair of the Workshop on “Collaboratively Working towards Ontology-based Standards for Robotics and Automation” at IEEE/RSJ IROS 2018 and co-organizer of IEEE-RAS Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge at IEEE ICRA since 2014.

Furthermore, he has several publications in high-ranked journals and conferences and also has been serving as member of program committee and reviewer boards in several conferences and journals. Edson is also reviewer for international funding agencies.

If you want to get in touch, please do not hesitate. My contact is

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Instituto de Informática

Departamento de Informática Teórica
Bento Gonçalves 9500 Bloco IV
Agronomia – Porto Alegre
91501-970, RS – Brasil

Telefone: +55 51 3308 7127


Dr. Edson Prestes