Workshop Programs

1. Aspiring Robotics Principal Investigators’ Workshop (by invitation only)

Dates/Times: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 (2:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and Wednesday, May 3, 2023 (1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Room Location: Potomac I & II

Organizers: Jordan Berg (NSF), Juan Wachs (NSF), and Ralph Wachter (NSF)

Abstract: The goal is to help people with research interests in robotics who have not previously been funded by NSF as part of the FRR Program PIs understand what the NSF (and importantly, the panels convened by NSF) will expect to see in a successful FRR proposal.




2. Fundamental Challenges in Robotics - Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Kick-off to 2024 Robotics Roadmap

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 (3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Room Location: Regency Ballroom

Organizers: Henrik I. Christensen (UCSD), Holly Yanco (University of Massachusetts Lowell)

Abstract: Based on input from the robotics community, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) has edited and released a "mid-cycle" update to the 2020 Robotics Roadmap. In this workshop, we will kick off the 2024 Robotics Roadmap process by brainstorming answers to the following questions: What are the large problems that need to be solved over the 5, 10 and 15 years to transform the field of robotics? How should our community start to approach these challenges?



3. Disability, Accessibility, and Assistive Applications in Robotics Research

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 (3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Room Location: Washington A

Organizer: Elaine Short (Tufts), Reuben Aronson (Tufts)

Abstract: Assistive, socially assistive, and other disability-related applications are popular in robotics for their social impact and exciting technical problems, but there is room for significant innovation in how we incorporate the perspectives of people with disabilities in this work, especially outside of traditional models that position disabled people solely as clients or consumers of technology developed by presumed-nondisabled technical experts. This workshop will begin with a short tutorial on disability studies and activism over the last 30-40 years, followed by discussions on how to connect between disability-related research and outreach activities. Overall, the goal of this workshop is to build cross-disciplinary connections between researchers who conduct disability-related research and disability-related DEI work and incubate new ideas for improving accessibility of robotics careers while advancing the state-of-the-art in assistive technology research.

4. “Hacking the Metaphor”: An Approach to Ethical Technology Exploration

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 (1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Room Location: Regency Ballroom

Organizers: Meg Leta Jones (Georgetown University), Daniella DiPaola (MIT Media Lab)

Abstract: Metaphors are powerful tools that can dictate the way that we design, deploy, and govern technologies. This workshop builds on the concept of Metaphor Hacking, a playful process that encourages technology creators to expand and challenge their own metaphorical framing of technology. Participants will practice a 5-step process in small groups to "hack" their own robot-related metaphors.

5. Learning for Task and Motion Planning

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 (3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Room Location: Washington B

Organizers: Tucker Hermans (University of Utah), Oliver Kroemer (Carnegie Mellon)

Abstract: Research in robotic manipulation increasingly focuses on longer-horizon, multi step tasks where goals are often tasked by semantics or language. This class of problems has traditionally been addressed by task and motion planning (TAMP), but the question arises as to how to best integrate recent learning-based approaches to robot perception and skill generation with traditional, model-based planning approaches to TAMP. This workshop focuses on examining how best to integrate robot learning with TAMP examining all different aspects of how to leverage the best of existing TAMP algorithms with recent advances in machine learning.

6. Mobilizing a Consortium for Autonomous Robotic Platforms to Strengthen Wildland-Fire Ecosystem Resiliency

Dates/Times: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 (3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and Wednesday, May 3, 2023 (1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Room location: Potomac II & IV

Organizers: Mrinal Kumar and Roger Williams (The Ohio State University)

Abstract: This workshop aims to develop an action plan for mobilizing a consortium on autonomous robotic platforms to strengthen our wildland fire resiliency. The consortium will create opportunity for the academe, industry, and governmental entities for collaborative work on wildland fire related practice and research on related areas which are of national importance. These include, but are not limited to wildland fire response resiliency, prescribed burning planning, assessment of post-fire ecosystem and the wildland-urban interface, and fire related atmospheric(smoke) impact and other climate science. Broadly, the consortium will provide situational resources for parties working in these areas. It will serve the following purposes: A venue for timely information sharing so that interested but geographically separated parties can collaboratively participate in burn events. Teams can multiply efforts by bringing to bear their specialized equipment (such as hyperspectral imagers) for multi-modal monitoring of the various stages of a wildfire’s life cycle. This way existing partnerships can be strengthened, and new ones can be formed. A platform for sharing software, hardware, and data resources to improve wildfire modeling, detection, and prediction efforts. There is special emphasis on data generated-by and related to autonomous robotic platforms to forge a path towards their certification for use in fire events. Create opportunities for collaborative and inter-disciplinary scholarly work by providing financial support for graduate and post-doctoral fellowships, travel grants, and experiential learning. Interfaces to local wildfire responders and access to real-time and archival data collected from such events. During the workshop, we will garner participant feedback to solidify the above goals and form additional goals. A task force will be formed to implement the action plan for the proposed consortium.

Program Format: (MORE DETAILED PROGRAM link here

  • Day 1: Tuesday, May 2, 3:00 – 5:00 pm: 90 minutes of stakeholder presentations, followed by 30 minutes of panel discussions
  • Day 2: Wednesday, May 3, 2:00 – 3:30 pm: Panel discussion to develop action plan for proposed consortium
  • The workshop will be in-person with a Zoom option. Zoom link will be available at a later date.