[robotics-worldwide] ICRA 2009 Workshop, "Stochasticity in Robotics and Biological Systems"

Harry H. Asada asada at MIT.EDU
Wed Feb 25 20:19:10 PST 2009


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IEEE ICRA 2009 Workshop

*Stochasticity in Robotics and Biological Systems*

*May 12, 2009*

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You are invited to participate in this full-day workshop, which will be 
held during the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and 
Automation (ICRA) in Kobe, Japan, on May 12, 2009 .

Organizer: H. Harry Asada

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

asada at mit.edu <mailto:asada at mit.edu>

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Workshop Web Site:

http://web.mit.edu/asada/www/icra2009/icra_stochasticWS.html


*Speakers:*

Vijay Kumar University of Pennsylvania

Yoshihiko Nakamura University of Tokyo

Daniela Rus M.I.T.

Metin Sitti Carnegie Mellon Univ.

Auke Ijspeert Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne

Franz Hover M.I.T.

George Pappas University of Pennsylvania

H. Harry Asada M.I.T.

*Abstract:*

The workshop, “Stochasticity in Robotics and Biological Systems”, is a 
unique workshop; while addressing diverse topics of robotics we focus on 
an underpinning discipline and theory across many branches of robotics. 
Stochasticity has been a central issue in diverse robotics problems; 
Modeling of uncertain environment, estimation of state and parameters 
from noisy data, and decision making based on partial or incomplete 
information are all critical issues in SLAM, swarm robots, task 
planning, machine learning, neuro-robotics, and human intension 
understanding. Stochasticity is also a crucial aspect in biological 
systems where the multitude of cells and molecules interact 
stochastically. Yet, collective behaviors of those agents are well 
regulated and even robust and versatile. Recent progress in systems 
biology has revealed that the stochastic nature of cell behaviors and 
random molecular dynamics are the key to the understanding of their 
collective behaviors and regulatory mechanisms. Researchers of swarm 
robotics and others are learning from biological systems new stochastic 
regulatory mechanisms and protocols. Thus stochasticity is heavily 
involved in diverse fields of robotics and biological systems. The 
objective of this workshop is to bring together leaders in these 
isolated research areas, address fundamental issues across the diverse 
topics, and establish a scientific and disciplinary foundation of 
robotics. We think that considering fundamental issues beyond specific 
problems in hand is an important exercise, which will facilitate 
interdisciplinary studies and will lead to discoveries and breakthroughs 
for the future.

*Motivation and Objectives:*

Stochasticity has been playing a central role in many branches of 
robotics research. Not only basic signal processing, communication, 
filtering, and control, but also advanced localization, identification, 
and planning as well as learning and optimization are all heavily 
involved in stochasticity. Understanding of the stochastic nature of 
robotic systems and its strategic use are integral part in developing 
effective systems. The robotics community has been exploring advanced 
use of stochasticity for system architecture, algorithm development, and 
communication and control design. Stochasticity is one of the key 
disciplines that underpin robotics.

Biological systems are essentially noisy systems, built upon 
thermodynamic random processes. Yet, a biological system is a highly 
regulated system that is robust and sustainable as well as flexible and 
adaptable. Although individual cell behaviors are stochastic, once 
assembled, populations of the cells exhibit a particular morphological 
structure and develop high-level functionality. There must be effective 
architecture and regulatory mechanisms exploiting stochasticity that 
today’s engineered systems have not yet utilized. It will be an exciting 
scientific adventure as well as an ambitious engineering challenge to 
explore a biological approach to treating and utilizing stochasticity 
and apply it to robotics and general engineered systems.

The objectives of this workshop are to bring together researchers from 
diverse fields of robotics and biological systems, display the state of 
the art, explore emerging new theory and methodologies, and chart new 
directions of robotics. Stochasticity can be used effectively for better 
estimating, exploring, and optimizing the system as well as for 
strategically organizing and constructing robotic systems. In 
traditional engineered systems, randomness has been treated as an 
unwanted property that should be filtered out. In contrast, the goal of 
emerging new directions is to seek ways of exploiting and utilizing 
stochasticity, as observed in biological systems. The overarching aim of 
this workshop is to put in perspective the diverse research activities 
in the broad cross-disciplinary areas of robotics, cell biology, 
neuroscience, and control, and explore new methodologies and 
applications, which will be enabled by addressing stochasticity from a 
broad system viewpoint.

*List of Topics:*

Specific topics of invited talks will include:

- SLAM and integrated model building, data acquisition, and decision 
processes

- Complex system identification, including human behavior and intension 
estimation

- Swarm robot control and emergent behaviors of multi-robot systems

- Machine learning, stochastic approximation, and stochastic planning 
and optimization

- Neural system modeling, signal processing, and inference.

- Emergent behaviors of cell populations and systems biology

- Bacteria behavior modeling and control

- Self-assembly and chemical kinetics in micro/nano systems

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