AI meets Robotics... in Europe! ERF Logo
  A workshop at the European Robotics Forum 2013
  Lyon, France, March 19

Post-Event Summary

In Brief

The workshop "AI meets Robotics... in Europe!" took place at the European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2013 in Lyon, France, on March 19, 2013. The main objective of the workshop was to foster the creation of a community that bridges the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. This event continued the work started with the foundational event held last year in Örebro, Sweden, but this time emphasis was put on the European context.

The Workshop

The workshop was allocated a 2 hour slot. This time was used mainly for short presentations (teaser style) so as to provide a broader view and more networking opportunities, leaving the technical details for offline discussions.

The presentations were clustered into three groups as follows. (See program.)

  1. Highlights from EU projects. Nine EU projects were presented, which all have a strong component of integrating AI and Robotics. Many commonalities and potentials for synergies among projects became appearent. Projects used a variety of AI techniques, ranging from planning (SAPHARI, ARCAS, RACE, GeRT, CogX) to ontologies and knowledge representation (STRANDS, RACE, Rosetta) and to cooperation (SAPHARI, ARCAS). Several scientific issues were recurrent in several projects, and they seem to represent focal issues in the application of AI techniques to a robotic system. These issues include the following ones:
  2. Benchmarking and Innovation.
  3. The EU perspective. Cecile Huet, from the EC, noted that her unit has decided to put Cognition and Robotics together since FP5, and emphasized that interdisciplinarity is the key to major scientific steps. She noted that H2020 is likely to continue this trend with a priority on "Cognitive systems and unconventional robotics". She emphasized the importance for this community to contribute to the new Strategic Research Agenda, SRA2020. She mentioned a few success stories of the past years, e.g., the iCub, as well as some points that still need to be improved. Two of these are: how to measure success and progress, and how to transfer results from and among projects.

The workshop was attended by almost 70 people from industry and academia. The comments collected after the workshop were very positive, and many pushed to continue the activities in this direction. The event therefore qualifies as a great success.

Next Steps

There was a clear urge to discuss many issues, but time was very limited. It was therefore suggested to continue the discussion on the "ai-robotics" Wiki space (ai-robotics.wikispaces.com) and/or throught the "ai-robotics" mailing list (ai-robotics@googlegroups.com).

It has also been suggested to propose a Topic Group on "AI and Robotics" within the euRobotics ASBL. Steps in this direction are being taken.

Please contact Alessandro Saffiotti if you wish to register to the above Wiki space and/or mailing list, or if you wish to be part of the Topic Group proposal.

 

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Last updated on April 10, 2013