[robotics-worldwide] [meetings]CFP: KRUS/USKR Workshop due on July 24

Daniel Lee ddlee at seas.upenn.edu
Tue Jul 21 16:44:59 PDT 2015

Call for Participation for the Korea-US/US-Korea Workshop on
“Toward the Next Generation of Robotic Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief: Fundamental Enabling Technologies”
Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2015, Jeju Island, Korea

As robotic technologies continue to advance, a high level of expectation arises that robots serve as pivotal facilitators toward next generation systems for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. In the near future, robots with superior adaptability, intelligence and autonomy are expected to team up with human relief workers to prevent and relieve potential consequences from both natural and man-made disasters. Rapidly deployable yet highly effective robotic systems may become available to support a broader scope of relief activities in response to, but not limited to, such disasters as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and tsunamis, storms, nuclear contaminations, wild and urban fires, bio-chemical emergencies, structural collapses, ship wrecks, oil spills, droughts and famines, mining disasters, epidemics, mine explosions, et. al. It is desirable that these robotic missions be designed to assist starting from detection of early warning signs to intervention and recovery once the event has transpired. These systems are critically needed as first responders in harsh, dangerous and unreachable environments in addition to promoting the safety and quality of service of human relief workers.
Past attempts at utilizing robots to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief for major disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster have not been as successful as anticipated in achieving their objectives. One fundamental reason behind such disappointment is due to the large gap between what current robotic technologies can offer and the harsh demands of disaster environments. In particular, robots deployed at the disaster sites often exhibit brittleness, exposing deficiencies in robustness and adaptability in their performance as well as in user acceptability. In order to overcome these deficiencies and enable successful robotic missions in the near future, it is imperative to identify existing gaps and shortcomings in robotic systems and promote fundamental breakthroughs in key technological areas to bridge those gaps.
To this end, brief white-papers are solicited from concerned researchers in the US and South Korea to identify fundamental enabling technologies needed to overcome deficiencies and brittleness of current robotic systems. Authors of selected white-papers will be invited to an organizational workshop for presentations and open discussions. In collaboration with workshop participants, we intend to produce a short integrative report summarizing current issues and proposed research approaches, including a prioritized list of fundamental enabling technologies necessary for further development. The report and list of priorities will form the basis for developing a jointly funded program for US-Korea/Korea-US collaborative research projects sponsored by DoD/US and MOTIE/Korea, starting 2016~2017.
Topics of Interest
The research topics of interest for the white-papers include, but not limited to:
-        Surveillance and reconnaissance for disaster prevention and early detection
-        Perception and modeling for improved situational awareness
-        Search and rescue support for post-disaster and emergency relief operations
-        Sliding autonomy for operator control and human-robot interaction
-        Rapid delivery of life-saving supplies and equipment to victims
-        Evacuation assistance from remote locations
Focus on Fundamental Research
Since the workshop aims at identifying critical technological breakthroughs needed to bridge existing gaps betweencurrent systems and the demanding realities at disaster sites, we emphasize that the proposed approaches should address key fundamental issues; examples of potential research themes may include but are not limited to the following:
-        In-situ adaptability to wide environmental variations in terms of morphology, mobility, perception, manipulation, decision-making, and interaction with relief workers, including self-repair and reconfiguration.
-        Expanded capacity of intelligence and autonomy to be shared with operators, including shared perception and understanding as well as collaborative teamwork with human operators.
-        Advances in perception, information management, reasoning and understanding, as well as in the dexterity of mobility and manipulation for integrated contextual decision-making and decision-support.
-        Ensuring on-site robustness and adaptability in terms of tools, sensor suites, methodologies and platforms with enhanced rapidity, responsiveness, efficiency and ease of use.
-        Scalable teaming of autonomous systems and human workers with shared mission intent and execution.
Guidelines for White-Paper Proposal
White-papers should be at most two pages in length, printed on 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper and written in English clearly stating the objective of the proposed investigation, research issues that need to be solved and the proposed approaches to solving these issues. An additional page can be used to introduce the authors, their experience and background, along with their relevant publications. White papers should be submitted to Prof. Daniel Lee at the University of Pennsylvania, ddlee at seas.upenn.edu from the US side and to Prof. Sukhan Lee at Sungkyunkwan University, lsh1 at skku.edu from the Korean side. 
Important Dates
-        July 24: White-paper proposal submission deadline
-        August 15: Notification of acceptance
-        September 15: Registration
Workshop Organizers
Daniel Lee, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Sukhan Lee, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea
For more information,
visit the website, http://rita2014info.wix.com/korea-us-workshop.

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