Collective Robotic Construction at ICRA

May 2022: In addition to improving construction as we know it, CRC may enable novel types of structures and construction in settings that have been deemed too difficult for human labor or traditional automation techniques. This workshop will bring together roboticists who work on algorithms and hardware, architects and civil engineers who advance our understanding of designing and building with these new construction systems, and industry/funding agencies who represent current technological needs. Topics will span safety, industrial and sustainable construction, and future applications such as construction in disaster scenarios and extraterrestrial construction, all with a particular focus on what can be achieved from having many robots work together.

Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots at ICRA

May 2022: Modular self-reconfigurable robots (MSRRs) consist of groups of individual robots that can mechanically connect together to move and interact with the environment together as a single entity. These systems are envisioned to be nearly as capable as traditional robots, with the added benefit of adaptability and fault tolerance. However, the abilities of current MSRRs are far-removed for those predicted capabilities. The goal of this workshop is to gather researchers to have an open discussion on the state of MSRRs today. We will discuss both advances in hardware design and the algorithms for controlling these systems. The day will feature invited talks with a diverse set of expert speakers from within the MSRR community. Interspersed between invited talks and discussions there will be a poster session as well as a “show and tell” where we will invite participants to bring MSRR systems (even a single module, or just a unique component of a module), to facilitate small-group discussions of these systems.


Multi-Scale Instrumentation of Biological Swarms

June 2021: Engineers draw inspiration from biological swarms when designing multi-agent systems, from software to robotics. Advances in our understanding of natural swarms are therefore essential to technological advancement. Biological swarms are challenging to study for many of the reasons that robotic swarms are challenging to design. They are complex systems with nonlinear interactions among individual agents which sense, signal and actuate locally while distributed in cluttered environments. Empirical investigations of biological swarms and the environments that they operate in often require measurement tools with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to observe the experience and behavior of individuals and the collective simultaneously. Recent focus on multi-scale empirical investigations of biological swarms has led many research teams to develop custom technologies and analysis pipelines (e.g., computer vision software, sensor arrays, automated experiments) that are tailored for their specific study systems. This special session on multi-scale instrumentation of biological swarms will promote interactions among these groups which are facing similar challenges.

Agricultural Robotics Around the World

Oct 2021: Agricultural robotics is rapidly developing and sparking strong interest from roboticists in research and industry alike. Compared to factory automation, agricultural operations are significantly more complex and present a diverse set of challenges for robots: from the autonomous field operation, to compatibility with end users that vary widely in operational scales, technological background, and risk adversity. To effectively contribute in this area, academic research needs to be highly interdisciplinary, it does not lend itself well to isolated lab tests, and it requires more than the usual attention to the final ecosystem and end consumer for which it is intended. We have invited three leading experts on agricultural robotics from Europe, Australia, and the U.S. to address questions pertaining to the future of agricultural robotics.


Collective Embodied Intelligence Workshop

July 2018: Half-day workshop in collaboration with Prof. Napp from University at Buffalo, at the Graduate course for Social Evolution and Behavior, held at the Rockefeller University Field Center. The workshop introduces simple, bio-inspired, reactive control and physics to produce complex emergent behaviors in robot collectives. Students will get to mechanically program a collective of robots to comply with a user-specified goal.

Swarms: From Biology to Robotics and Back at ICRA

May 2018: Workshop bringing together roboticists and biologists interested in swarm behavior. Topics include swarm robotics and multi-robot systems, animal collectives, self-organization, self-assembly, self-repair, modular reconfigurable systems, programmable matter, smart materials, amorphous computing, social systems and mixed animal-robot societies, human-swarm interaction, and distributed evolutionary and collaborative systems.

Distributed, Collective Computation in Biological and Artificial Systems

March 2018: Janelia workshop focused on how distributed computation occurs in neural networks, between cells and social insects, robot collectives, and neural nets. Co-organized with Prof. Iain Couzin, MPI, and Prof. Shaul Druckmann, Janelia. (Conference Book)

Multi-Robot Mini Symposium

March 2018: This Multi-Robot Mini Symposium is organized by Kirstin Petersen in conjunction with the Cornell Robotics Seminar and will feature a series of brief talks by students and professors related to recent work on Multi-Robot/Swarm Robotics research. The goal is to identify and inspire new ideas among the multi-robot community at Cornell. Please find Speaker list here.


Assembly and Coordination across the Scales

June 2016: Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems funded workshop, covering multi-unit systems and their control spanning bacteria and cell biology, chemistry, social insects, and robotics. Co-organized with MPI Group Leaders Alex Sprowitz and Hakan Ceylan.

Swarmbot Assemblages at Smart Geometry

April 2016: Workshop held at the Smart Geometry Conference in Sweden, concerning construction of emergent structures in 2D by physically intelligent robots. This workshop was primarily for architects. Co-organized with Petra Jenning, FOJAB arkitekter, Sweden. Expert: Prof. Nils Napp, University at Buffalo.


North East Robotics Colloquium (NERC) 2013

October 2013: 2nd annual Northeast Robotics Colloquium at Harvard University with more than 200 participants. Co-organizers: Karthik Danthu, University at Buffalo, and Richard Moore, SINTEF ICT, Yigit Menguc, Oculus, and Daniel Vogt, Harvard.