Friday, May 10

14:00 - 14:10 Welcome

Session I:
14:10 - 14:30 Ron Arkin (GA Tech)
14:30 - 14:50 Joey Durham (Kiva Systems)

Session II:
14:50 - 15:10 Jorge Soares (EPFL)
15:10 - 15:30 Edwin Olson (UMich)

15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break

Session III:
16:00 - 16:20 Matt Turpin/Vijay Kumar (UPenn)
16:20 - 16:40 Lorenzo Sabattini (U of Modena & Reggio Emilia)
16:40 - 17:00 Giuseppe Casalino (U of Genova)

17:00 - 18:15 Interactive Session

Crossing the Reality Gap – From Single to Multi- to Many Robot Systems

Date: Friday, May 10, 2013
Venue: ICRA 2013, Karlsruhe, Germany

Advances in embedded processor and sensor technology in the last thirty years have accelerated interest in many robot systems and distributed sensor networks for applications such as exploration and mapping of unknown environments, large scale environmental monitoring and surveillance, and search and rescue.  The advances that have made individual robots more practical have enabled the research and development of teams of robots, where capabilities are expressed by the team rather than by a super-capable individual. This is especially relevant in complex tasks or missions where it is difficult to provide robots with specific instructions a priori due to incomplete knowledge of the environment or where mission criteria require capabilities that are varied in both quantity and difficulty, such as interplanetary exploration and search and rescue operations.

Despite the many worldwide R&D efforts focused on many robot systems, there are few examples of successful full-scale deployments of these systems in real-world application environments.  The goal of this workshop is to bring together leading experts in many-robot systems from academia, government research labs, and industry to “cross the reality gap”.  The objectives are to identify and discuss solutions towards moving many-robot systems out of the research laboratories and into the real world.

This half-day workshop will bring together experts in many-robot systems (including multi-robot teams, swarms, mobile sensor and communication networks, other networked mobile robots) to investigate the gap between theory (including research prototyping and demonstrations) and real world applications of many-robot systems.  We will seek to identify “killer apps” along with key technical issues hampering the deployment of many robot systems, and discuss solutions towards moving these systems out of the laboratories and into real-world application environments.  We refer to this process as "Crossing the Reality Gap".

This is the second “Crossing the Reality Gap” workshop held at ICRA.  The first workshop held at ICRA 2012 and was organized by the same organizers.  For ICRA 2013, we have included significant industry participation to help balance the various perspectives and further the discussions.

List of Topics
  • Architectures for many-robot systems
  • Biology and nature-inspired solutions
  • Collective decision-making
  • Communication reliability
  • Distributed multi-agent control
  • Field applications
  • Heterogeneous vs. homogeneous platforms
  • Human/robot interactions
  • Mobile sensor swarms
  • Planning with physical (e.g. communication or mobility) constraints
  • Robot-network interface
  • Robustness and reliability in planning and control
  • Robustness to hardware/system failure
  • Robust distributed navigation
  • Scalability
  • Situational awareness
  • Stability in unknown/uncertain environments
Workshop Organizers

Dr. Frank Ehlers
Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Ships and Naval Weapons
Naval Technology and Research (WTD 71)
Email: frankehlers _at_ bwb _dot_ org

Dr. Lorenzo Sabattini
Assistant Professor
DISMI - University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Email: lorenzo _dot_ sabattini _at_ unimore _dot_ it

M. Ani Hsieh
Assistant Professor
Drexel University
Email: mhsieh1 _at_ drexel _dot_ edu

Volkan Isler
Associate Professor
University of Minnesota
Email: isler _at_ cs _dot_ umn _dot edu

Donald Sofge
Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence
Naval Research Laboratory
Email: donald.sofge _at_ nrl _dot_ navy _dot_ mil