[robotics-worldwide] CFP: IROS 2011 Workshop on Reconfigurable Modular Robotics

Robert Fitch rfitch at acfr.usyd.edu.au
Sun Jun 19 19:46:58 PDT 2011

A friendly reminder: submissions due 24 June.



IROS 2011 Workshop on Reconfigurable Modular Robotics:
Challenges of Mechatronic and Bio-Chemo Hybrid Systems

Full-day workshop
Sunday, September 25, 2011

Extended abstract submission deadline: 24 June 2011
Notification of acceptance: 1 July 2011
Submission of final papers: 8 July 2011


Modular robotics pursues the goals of versatility, robustness, and low
cost achieved by employing a modular architecture where robots are
assembled from a basic set of constituent modules. The modular robotics
community comes together annually to share new developments and discuss
the future research directions of the field. This year’s meeting is
planned as a full-day workshop at IROS11. We intend to extend the scope
of this year’s workshop to reflect recent research trends and include
new topics in soft/bio/chemo-hybrid systems, in addition to the more
conventional topics in self-reconfiguring robots. Keynote presentations
will reflect this scope with invited speakers from both “classic”
mechatronic and material science backgrounds.

Presentations will also be chosen from submitted papers. The outcome of
the workshop will be a set of extended abstracts in a citable digital
archive. Please submit your papers via email to the organizers:
{serge.kernbach at ipvs.uni-stuttgart.de, rfitch at acfr.usyd.edu.au}. Papers
should be 4-6 pages in conference format. The best contributions from
the workshop will also be invited to submit their extended papers into a
special journal issue on reconfigurable robotics.


Modularity and reconfiguration are key concepts that enable nature as
well as engineers to construct large systems reliably 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. The cost of
the entire system can be reduced because individual modules can be
mass-produced. Further, current developments in bio-, chemo- and
material science- inspired communities are enabled using new principles
of multicellular and layered self-assembly and properties of materials.
These developments are leading to new application domains of
reconfigurable systems and new challenges for the robotics community.

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 exclusion of centralized decision makers,
the unreliability of communication among modules, minimalistic sensing
and actuation capabilities of robots. 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.

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, coupling mechanisms, mechatronics, robot swarms,
artificial chemistry, minimal cells, multi-cellular systems, or
applications such as space, underwater, fluidic or other complex and
difficult environments.


* Hardware: novel mechanics and electronics
* Sensing and perception in modular systems
* Behaviors for modular robots
* Distributed control and programming
* Plug-and-play mechatronics
* Different multi-cellular systems
* Self-assembly on macro- and micro-scales
* Artificial embryogenesis, morphing, structural self-organization
* Molecular, chemical, and material science-inspired works towards
reconfigurable systems
* New challenges for future modular robots


Serge Kernbach (University of Stuttgart)
Robert Fitch (ACFR, University of Sydney)


Wei-Min Shen (USC ISI)
Kasper Stoy (University of Southern Denmark)
Radhika Nagpal (Harvard University)


Dr. Robert Fitch
Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), J04
The University of Sydney  2006  NSW, AUSTRALIA
Email: rfitch at acfr.usyd.edu.au
Phone: +61 (0)2 9036 9194

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