[robotics-worldwide] Self-Reconfigurable Robots Workshop at IROS-2007.

Wei-Min Shen shen at ISI.EDU
Sat Jul 21 16:25:41 PDT 2007

Dear Robotics Researchers,

At the IROS-2007 conference in San Diego USA, there will be a  
workshop dedicated to the research and discussion of self- 
reconfigurable robots. Since this is a new and exciting research  
field, the committee would like to extend our warmest invitation to  
you to present or attend the workshop. The deadline for a short paper  
(4 pages) is August 15, 2007. Please email your paper to shen at isi.edu  
for submission. Thanks!

Best regards,

The Organizing Committee:
Wei-Min Shen, USC/ISI, shen at isi.edu
Hod Lipson, Cornell,  Hod.Lipson at cornell.edu
Kasper Stoy, Demark, kaspers at mmmi.sdu.dk
Mark Yim, UPenn, yim at grasp.cis.upenn.edu


1. Workshop Title:  Self-Reconfigurable Robots/Systems and Applications

2. Abstract:

Self-reconfigurable modular robots are metamorphic systems that can  
autonomously change their logical or physical configurations (such as  
shapes, sizes, or formations), as well as their locomotion and  
manipulation, based on the mission and the environment in hand.  
Because of their modularity, versatility, self-healing ability and  
low cost reproducibility, such robots provide a flexible approach for  
achieving complex tasks in unstructured and dynamic environments.  
They are well suited for applications such as search and rescue,  
reconnaissance, self-assembly, inspections in hazardous environments,  
and exploration in space and ocean. They also pose fundamental  
research challenges for robotics and other major branches of computer  
science, mechatronics and control theory.

The challenges are due to the dynamic topology of the network of  
modules, the limited resource (power, size, torque, precisions, etc.)  
of individual modules, the difficulties in global synchronization,  
the preclusion of centralized decision makers, and the unreliability  
of communication among modules. This workshop will present the recent  
progress in the research community for these challenging tasks and  
their real-world applications in space and other related fields. We  
will present and discuss the latest hardware progress, distributed  
control software, plug-and-play mechatronics, topology-triggered  
behaviors, and theories of self-reconfiguration. The outcome of the  
workshop will be a set of papers and a list of new hardware/software  
challenges for the future of this exciting research area.

3. Motivation and objectives

To bring together all active researchers in this exciting research  
area of robotics. Since the topic is somewhat specialized, a workshop  
would be ideal for this purpose. The objective will be to exchanging  
the newest results in this field, and produce a set of papers and a  
list of new hardware/software challenges for future self- 
reconfigurable robots. Recently, there are many emerging groups in  
both Asia and Europe are conducting new research in the area, this  
international conference would be a good opportunities to bring the  
community together.

Research in self-reconfiguration and related topics have been active  
in academic for many years now, and it is only recently that the  
results of these research are beginning to be used and applied to  
serious real-world applications such as sustainable space  
exploration, homeland security, and others. This workshop comes at  
the right time because many researchers are seeing the values of the  
field, and many companies are beginning to investigate their  
resources, and because more and more people are believe that this is  
the future of large systems to be constructed reliably and economically.

4. List of tentative topics

--- The latest hardware progress
--- The latest behaviors of self-reconfigurable robots
--- Distributed control software
--- Plug-and-play mechatronics
--- Topology-triggered behaviors
--- Theories of self-reconfiguration
--- New challenges for future self-reconfigurable robots

5. Potential audience

University researchers, industrial, space exploration, theoretical  
people in computer science. In general, all researchers who are  
interested in modular robots, embedded systems, distributed control,  
sensor networks, robot swarms, coupling mechanisms, space robots,  
underwater robots, and mechatronics.

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