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Workshop on

Robot Competitions: What did we learn?

September 28, 2015 at IROS 2015
Room: Saal 7 MoWS Morning -22

(download leaflet)

:: Welcome

This workshop intends to be a forum that will run half-day before starting the IROS 2015 Competitions and provide a review of the major current approach to robotic competitions, sharing common practices and explore possible new approaches on the design and execution of such competitions.


08:30 - 08:40: Participants reception and Welcome Session (slides)

08:40 - 10:30: Organizing a Competition — Benefits, Lessons and Errors

  • 08:40 - “RoboCup: Insights on Its Success and Challenges”, Manuela Veloso, CMU, USA (slides)
  • 09:00 - “RoCKIn: the Journey So Far and the Upcoming Final Competition”, Pedro U. Lima, Instituto Superior Técnico, U. Lisboa, Portugal (slides)
  • 09:20 - “Lessons learned from EuRoC - European Robotics Challenges”, Rainer Bischoff, KUKA Roboter, Germany (slides)
  • 09:40 - “Lessons learned - First Thoughts from euRathlon 2015”, Alan Winfield, UWE Bristol, UK (slides)

10:00 - 10:30: Coffee Break

10:30 - 12:00 : New Initiatives on International Robotic Challenges

  • 10:30 - “CYBATHLON: Championship for Athletes with Disabilities”, R. Riener, ETHZ, Switzerland (slides)
  • 11:00 - “MBZIRC: The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge”, Lakmal Seneviratne, Khalifa University, UAE (slides)
  • 11:30 - "Future Challenges: Designing ICT Prizes for Europe", Emanuele Ruffaldi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy

12:00 - 12:45: Panel Discussion (debate on Impact (cost/benefit) of Robot Competition and Challenge Initiatives) – with all speakers (slides)

12:45: Workshop Closure

The workshop will address the following questions:

  • What is the impact of robot competitions on Robotics research?
  • Is there evidence that robot competitions accelerate robot technology an innovation?
  • Are robot competitions useful tools to train early-career roboticists?
  • Are robot competitions successful in bringing younger people to the field of Engineering and Robotics?
  • Are robot competitions a good tool in promoting robotics to lay people / the public? Can more be done to improve on the current state?

The workshop will cover topics of interest that include:

  • Robotic Competitions Towards Research Excellence;
  • Robotic Competitions Towards Technology Innovation;
  • Robotic Competitions and Education;
  • Robotic Competitions and Training Early-Career Roboticists;
  • Robotic Competitions as Hub for Economical Development.

:: Abstract

This workshop aims to bring together experts active in areas of applied robotics to review past robot competitions and to find out what can be learnt from such competitions and to what extent these competitions underpin and further robot research. As an outcome, the workshop will attempt to create guidelines for future robot competitions and how those can be improved so that tangible results useful for future research and technological development can be extracted. The workshop will explore the synergies that will arise from robotic competitions for education, for the advance of modern robots and robotic technologies and/or to promote practical applications, such as rehabilitation, medical robotics, care of the elderly, search and rescue, factories of the future, etc.

Presentations and round table discussions will focus on obstacles and challenges and the future direction of robot competitions. The workshop will also act as a platform for wider discussions and aims at establishing guidelines/recommendations for future robot competitions.

:: Speakers

  • Manuela Veloso, CMU, USA
  • Pedro U. Lima, Instituto Superior Técnico, U. Lisboa, Portugal
  • Rainer Bischoff, KUKA Roboter, Germany
  • Alan Winfield, UWE Bristol, UK
  • R. Riener, ETHZ, Switzerland
  • Lakmal Seneviratne, Khalifa University, UAE
  • Emanuele Ruffaldi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy

:: Organisers

  • Jorge Dias, Institute for Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra & Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi (Contact person: jorge@deec.uc.pt / jorge.dias@kustar.ac.ae)
  • Kaspar Althoefer, Centre for Robotics Research (CoRe), Kings College of London, Strand Campus. k.althoefer@kcl.ac.uk
  • Pedro Lima, Institute for Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Técnico – U. Lisboa, Lisbon. pal@isr.ist.utl.pt