[robotics-worldwide] Modular Robotics: State of The Art, ICRA workshop call for papers

Kasper Stoy kaspers at mmmi.sdu.dk
Mon Feb 8 06:55:56 PST 2010

Modular Robots: The State of the Art

Call for Papers

The organizers invite you to submit an extended abstract (no less than 4 
pages for review) to the 2010 ICRA Workshop on Modular Robotics: State 
of the Art. In contrast to the conference we encourage submission of 
preliminary results and half-baked ideas.


Important Dates:

     * submission deadline for extended abstracts: April 4th, 2010
     * notification of abstract acceptance: April 17th, 2010
     * workshop (one day): May 3, 2010


Modularity and reconfiguration are key concepts that enable nature as 
well as engineers to construct large systems reliable and economically. 
In contrast most robots today are built monolithically, therefore, the 
goal of modular robotics is to introduce modularity into robotics and 
thereby reap the advantages of a modular design: A modular design allows 
a wide range of robots to be assembled from a basic set of modules. If 
modules break they can easily be replaced by spare modules. Finally, the 
cost of the entire system can be reduced because individual modules can 
be mass-produced.

The modular robotics community gets together once a year to share new 
developments with colleagues and workshop attendees. The workshop is 
traditionally the highlight of the year for the modular robotics 
community and this tradition has been endured for more than 9 years, 
alternated its location and occurrence between ICRA and IROS. In the 
past, the regular participants are about 40-50 people. This year, the 
workshop will take place at ICRA-2010 and will be co-located with the 
robot contingency challenge, which is open to the general robotics 
community, but is geared towards modular robots. Many key research 
groups in modular and self-reconfigurable robots will be there for the 
dual purposes of attending the workshop and the competition. This will 
give the workshop a new opportunity to focus on the latest practical 
innovations in modular robotics as well as allowing us to discuss the 
underlying theoretical developments.

This year the workshop besides contributions from researchers in modular 
robotics will be enriched through two keynote talks:

     * Philp Beesley, Associate Prof., University of Waterloo: "Hylozoic 
Ground: Work in progress on immersive responsive architecture" abstract...
     * Sangbae Kim, Assistant Prof., Biomimetic Robotics Lab, 
Massachusetts institute of Technology "Bio-inspired robot design and 
directional adhesive"

These keynote talks will give a novel perspective and inspiration for 
modular robotics and provide the background for a vigorous discussion.

Specific research challenges for modular robots include 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 extended abstracts in a citable 
digital archive.

We welcome all participants from universities, research labs, industrial 
companies, and government agencies, who are interested in either 
research such as modular robots, embedded systems, distributed control, 
sensor networks, robot swarms, coupling mechanisms, and mechatronics, or 
applications such as space, underwater, or other complex and difficult 

List of tentative topics includes:

     * Hardware: novel mechanics and electronics,
     * Behaviors for modular robots,
     * Distributed control and programming,
     * Plug-and-play mechatronics,
     * New challenges for future modular robots.


All accepted work will be published in a citable digital archive.

All submissions should be in PDF format, no less than 4 pages, and 
should include author/institution information. Submissions should be 
emailed to kaspers at mmmi.sdu.dk by April 4th, 2010. Notification of 
acceptance will be given by April 17, 2008. Questions? Email 
kaspers at mmmi.sdu.dk.

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