[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] 3rd PhD School on AI and Robotics

Alessandro Saffiotti asaffio at aass.oru.se
Sat Sep 24 00:44:31 PDT 2016

 Third Orebro Winter School on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

               Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
                      December 12-16, 2016


The fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics were strongly
connected in the early days of AI, but have since diverged.  Today,
and with few exceptions, they are regarded as separate fields, with
separate communities and scientific traditions.  Typical graduate
student curricula concentrate on AI or on robotics, but rarely on
both.  Students in one area are seldom aware of the concepts, methods,
and achievements in the other one.  This separation is often
exacerbated by the barriers among traditional academic disciplines.

Despite this separation, many now feel that the two fields ought to be
brought together towards the development of fully integrated intelligent
robots.  The 3rd Winter School on AI and Robotics provides a concrete
step to fill this educational gap, and to create the next generation of
researchers who will realize integrated intelligent robots.  These
researchers should be familiar with the methods in the two fields, and
should be able to work across their traditional boundaries.  They should
combine theoretical insights from both areas with practical
understanding of physical robotic systems.

This School will provide graduate students in AI and in Robotics a
unique training and human experience.  Students will be exposed to
technologies at the forefront of research in AI and in Robotics, and
will apply some of these through exercises on real robots.  They will
have the opportunity to discuss their research work with top level
scholars as well as other students, and to extend their networks.


The School will run for one week, Monday to Friday, December 12-16,
and will offer a mixture of traditional advanced lectures and
innovative features.  The latter include:

o Two full-day sessions on specific topics, complemented by hands-on
  exercises on real robots.

o One day devoted to applications of integrated AI and Robotics,
  including industrial perspectives and major EU projects.

o An introduction session where students will have an opportunity to
  present their experience and research topic to everyone.

Students will be assigned preparatory work to be done before the
school.  This will ensure that all students are sufficiently familiar
with basic tools (e.g., ROS, the Robot Operating System) and theories
needed to fully leverage the lectures and the exercises.  Assignments
will be made in groups that mix students from different backgrounds.

Ample room will be provided during the School for group discussions,
interactions between students and teachers, and social activities.

TOPICS (preliminary)

o Constraint-Based Reasoning for Robots
  (full day session with hands-on exercises)
  - Dr Federico Pecora, University of Orebro, Sweden
  - Masoumeh Mansouri, University of Orebro, Sweden

o 3D Semantic Perception - From Point Clouds to Semantic Maps
  (full day session with hands-on exercises)
   - Dr Thomas Wiemann, Osnabruck University, Germany
   - Martin Gunther, DFKI Robotics Innovation Center, Germany

o Robot Control Architectures
  - Prof Davide Brugali, University of Bergamo, Italy

o Artificial Cognition and Robotics
  - Prof David Vernon, University of Skovde, Sweden

o Robots and Humans
  - Prof Daniele Nardi, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Italy

o Benchmarking and Evaluation of Intelligent Robotic Systems
  - Prof Pedro Lima, Institut Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal
  - Dr Fabien Lagriffoul, University of Orebro, Sweden

o AI and Robotics from an Industrial Perspective
  - Dr Georg von Wichert (Siemens, Germany)

o Case Studies of EU Projects in AI and Robotics
  - Dr Nick Hawes (University of Birmingham, UK)


PhD students from any institution in any part of the world can apply
to the School.  Applications by motivated early-stage postdocs are
also welcome.  Applicants are not expected to have any specific
previous experience in the above topics, but they are expected to have
a strong background in robotics or in artificial intelligence, along
with the curiosity and drive in exploring the integration between the
two.  Applications by women and minorities are strongly encouraged.

The total number of participants is limited to 30.  To apply for
admission, send the following material to the Chair of the school:

1) a full CV, specifying the start date of the PhD
2) a 1/2 page description of the PhD thesis topic
3) a recommendation letter by the PhD advisor
4) a transcript of records of the BSc and MSc courses
5) a motivation letter: what do you expect to gain from the school,
   what experience you will bring to the school, not to exceed 1 page 

Documents should be in PDF format and packed as a single ZIP or TAR
archive.  Applications must be received by October 10, 2016, strict.
Late applications will not be processed.  Admission decisions will be
mailed on October 20.  Quality and motivation of the applicant will be
the main selection criteria; balance across fields, genders, and
geographical areas may be used to break ties.

There is no registration fee.  Admitted students will be offered free
admission to courses, course material, coffee breaks, lunches,
receptions and a social dinner.  Budget accommodation (about 300 EUR
for the full week) will be organized by the school, but it will be
payed by the students.


This School is supported by Orebro University, Sweden, through a
special strategic grant.


o Chair:
  - Alessandro Saffiotti, University of Orebro, Sweden

o Advisory Committee: 
  - TbD

o Local organization:
  - Federico Pecora, University of Orebro, Sweden
  - Jeanette Andersson, University of Orebro, Sweden


- Oct 10, 2016: Deadline for applying to the school (strict)
- Oct 20, 2016: Admission decisions
- Dec 11, 2016: Students arrive
- Dec 17, 2016: Students leave




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