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Announce of UbiRob2010 Workshop, Ubiquitous Robotics 2010.

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UbiRob2010 Workshop - Ubiquitous Robotics 2010.

Workshop Home Page
Dates:18-19 July 2010. Co-located with The 6th International Conference on Intelligent Environments - IE'10, 19-21 July 2010, Monash University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr. Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, University of Genova (Italy). Prof. Antonio Sgorbissa, University of Genova (Italy). Prof. Renato Zaccaria, University of Genova (Italy). The organizers are with the Department of Communication, Computer and
System Sciences (DIST), Faculty of Engineering, University of Genova,
Via Opera Pia 13, 16139, Genova (Italy).

Traditionally, robots are considered autonomous, physically situated and embodied machines operating in environments that are essentially tailored for humans. This perspective poses specific assumptions over robots capabilities: sensing, perception, knowledge representation, action planning and execution must be dealt with autonomously, ensuring the necessary computational power onboard. However, the current status of research in Robotics is far from reaching a standpoint where robots can be effectively used as companions or home care assistants.
During the past few years, with the aim of overcoming current limitations of robotic platforms as well as providing a suitable and realistic way of deploying robots in real-world environments, many researchers and practitioners worldwide recognized the benefits envisaged by the so-called Ubiquitous Robotics  paradigm. Ubiquitous Robotics can be considered a completely new research field, which as a matter of fact is at the crossroad between Robotics and Ambient Intelligence.
The Ubiquitous Robotics paradigm envisages a completely new approach towards designing complete robotic autonomous systems: instead of designing embodied mobile robots able to cope with all the different scenarios that are possible in highly dynamic and uncertain environments, many networked intelligent devices can be distributed throughout the environment itself, each one able to carry out well-defined duties. For instance, think about a mobile robot specifically programmed to accomplish two restricted tasks, such as opening a door and helping someone suffering from physical injuries to get up from bed: no robot exists able to perform these two simple tasks in realistic settings. In principle, if this robot were replaced by two different “robots”, namely an “intelligent door” able to open autonomously given a priori defined conditions (i.e., someone just in front) and an “intelligent bed” able to skew itself to aid the person getting up when needed, this would be definitely more realistic and easy to deploy.The underlying idea is that information exchange, when coupled with (possibly simple) actuation capabilities, is meant to replace complex physical interaction between robots and their environment, as well as robots and humans. Furthermore, this option unavoidably leads to a dramatic shift in robotic systems design principles: even traditional mobile robots – if networked – can benefit from an improved infrastructure, making them more reliable, cheaper and dependable. In literature, the stress on Ubiquitous Robotics has been more on feasibility studies and prototyping rather than on determining general guidelines for a principled system design, development and integration. In order to carry out a comprehensive discussion about the role of robots within intelligent environments, it is mandatory to consider the fundamental requirements to qualitatively classify current systems and to help in designing new ones.

Motivation and Objectives
In spite of many publications that can be labeled as “Ubiquitous Robotics related”, the need arises for a forum where relevant issues regarding the impact of Ubiquitous Robotics over traditional sensing, perception, knowledge representation, action planning and execution can be treated in a broader perspective. In the Organizers’ opinion, the Workshop is meant at providing all the attendees with a reasoned view of what is currently pursued by researchers and practitioners worldwide, with the goal of contributing to the formation of a community specifically devoted to investigate how Ubiquitous Robotics can lead to a novel perspective in designing intelligent systems. More specifically, it is possible to identify the following two main objectives:

  • Assessing the background in Ubiquitous Robotics systems. The Workshop is meant at enforcing discussions about possible implications of Ubiquitous Robotics in topics ranging from communication models to architectural aspects in complete systems. As a consequence, it will consider contributions related to Ubiquitous Robotics design principles. Each Session will enforce useful digressions and discussions about the theory and practice the featured talk will refer to, in order to make each Session interesting per se.
  • Oriented towards current research and future challenges. Each Session will provide a closer look at what researchers are doing “here and now”. This means that, beside scholarly important related material, the audience will be stimulated through discussions to consider how the presented techniques and approaches are actually used, and how the presenters envision future achievements, something akin to a “Where do we go from here?” Section in a book.

List of topics

  • Networked Robots.
  • Ubiquitous Human-Robot Interaction.
  • Ubiquitous Robot sensing and perception.
  • Distributed Intelligence and Learning.
  • Middleware for Ubiquitous Robotics.
  • Infrastructure and Architectural aspects of Ubiquitous Robots.
  • Sensor Networks.
  • Information Fusion.

Submissions will soon be opened.