IROS '02

IROS 2002
2002 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on
Intelligent Robots and Systems

Workshops and Tutorials

Workshops & Tutorials:

September 30 and October 1, 2002
October 2-4, 2002

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Preliminary Outline of Tutorials / Workshops

Some workshop/tutorial may have a slightly different time. Please check their webpage below.

Monday, September 30Tuesday, October 1
09:00 - 10:40 Morning I
10:40 - 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 Morning II

starts at 8:30
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:20 Afternoon I
15:20 - 15:40 Coffe break
15:40 - 17:30 Afternoon II


  • T1: Towards Intelligent Robotic Manipulation
  • T2: Constructing 3D Path Planners using OxSim
  • T3: Programming Mini-humanoids robots (Hands-on)
  • T4: Evolutionary Robotics
  • T5: Boldly going where no robot has gone before...
    (Space Robotics)


  • WS2: Visual Servoing
  • WS4: Sensory-Motor Co-ordination
              in Human-Robot Interaction
  • WS6: Aerial Robotics
  • WS7: Cooperative Robotics
  • WS8: Robots as partners
  • WS9: Robots in Exhibitions

To know the registration fees for Tutorials and Worshops, please follow this link

T1: Tutorial: Towards Intelligent Robotic Manipulation


The tutorial summarizes the underlying idea about the manipulation skills that will be necessary for the emergent robot applications, both in industry (e.g. handling food advanced factories, etc.) and in less structured domains (e.g. cibersurgery, telerobotics applications in space or undersea, etc.). We think that the manipulation capability with its several meanings- plays a central role in whatever kind of creature, as in nature (animals) as in our ecosystems (artificial creatures o robots).

For this reason, the different relationships between perception and action, which are the cornerstone of whatever robot architecture, will be taken into account within the general perspective assumed about manipulation in the proposed tutorial. We propose lectures in several domains of interest for advanced manipulation: control, mechanical design, advanced sensors, hand-eye applications, and so on.

Finally, it is remarkable that this tutorial can be of interest for any researcher interested in manipulation, independently if it is dextrous manipulation, using several kinds of sensors for grasping, visual servoing in manipulation, grasping determination, or whatever domain about manipulation with interest in pure or applied research.

The tutorial covers 3 important aspects of advanced robotic manipulation: mechanical design, control and future trends: well known international researchers will give talks on their studies and perspectives in these fields.



  • Claudio Melchiorri, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Pedro J Sanz, University of Jaume I, Spain
  • Rezia Molfino, University of Genova, Italy

Tutorial web page

T2: Tutorial:


Path planning is a useful ability, and has been the subject of considerable research that has resulted in much theory and some useful computer code. However producing off-line plans for manipulator robots working in complex three-dimensional environments is still non-trivial, not least because one has to bring together geometric and kinematic models as inputs, and display the results in a meaningful way.

The OxSim toolkit is a set of publically-available C++ routines that greatly facilitates the building of such planners. OxSim consists of a central code module that includes an efficient distance computation engine, so allowing planners to be written that can largely ignore the details of the geometric models used. The toolkit also includes modules to simplify the import of geometry, to build up kinematic chains, and to export transformations to a 3D graphical display driver. The result is that a planner developer can quickly write concise planning code.

The tutorial takes a hands-on approach to using OxSim, by starting with the OxSim toolkit installed onto participants' own laptop computers, and taking the participants through to the building up of a number of planners.

Roughly half of the tutorial time will be taken up on practical exercises, for which experience of C is a necessity, and of C++ an advantage.

The web-site allows participants to install the software before arrival.
The toolkit is portable, and will run under Linux and Windows.
Participants will be provided with extensive notes, which form part of a proposed book on OxSim and planning.


  • Stephen Cameron, Oxford University Computing Laboratory
  • Joe Pitt-Francis, Oxford University Computing Laboratory

Tutorial web page

T3: Tutorial: Programming Mini-Humanoid Robots


This tutorial will last a full day and will be composed of two parts. In the first part, a two-hour lecture will introduce the basic concepts underlying the design, construction and control of humanoid robots. The lecture will present basic notions of artificial intelligence, computer vision and speech processing. Applications of these tools to facilitate human-robot interactions will be emphasized and highlighted with demos of the Robota robots, a set of highly innovative small humanoid robots.

The second part (6 hours) will be a hands-on tutorial, during which participants will program the Robota robots, using vision and speech. The goal will be to design the robot's controller and physical appearance, so as to create an entertaining robot toy. Participants will work in teams of 3, with one robot per team. Teams will be provided with C/C++ templates to access the robot's motors and sensors, to read the video stream from a QuickCam camera, and to output sentences using a commercial speech synthesizer.

At the end of the workshop, each team will demonstrate its robot. Small prices will be distributed. Films and photos of the robots will be displayed during the conference, and on the tutorial website.

Prerequisite: Participants should be knowledgeable in C or C++. Being comfortable with Visual Studio C++ is not required, but will be advantageous.


  • Dr. Aude Billard (Instructor), Computer Science Department, University of Southern California, USA
  • Elly Calleja (Teaching Assistant)

Tutorial web page

T4: Tutorial: Evolutionary Robotics


The lectures will provide an introductive tutorial on Evolutionary Robotics, that is the artificial evolution of machines that display autonomous behaviour. Special emphasis will be placed on how Evolutionary Robotics can be used to study open questions in biology, neurophysiology, and cognitive science. A short introduction to artificial evolution and neural networks will allow participants to fully understand and replicate at least 90% of the experiments. The tutorial is composed of 4 blocks, approximately one hour each.

  • Block 1: Introduction to artificial evolution and neural networks. Motivation for Evolutionary Robotics from Biology, Cognitive Science, and Engineering. Basic methodology. Example: evolution of simple navigation skills. The role of fitness functions. Incremental evolution. Evolution of vision-based navigation.
  • Block 2: The role of the environment in the evolutionary process and the emergence of spatial maps. Evolution and learning. The role of environmental change. Evolution of simple adaptive rules and a new perspective on learning.
  • Block 3: Competitive co-evolution in biology, robotics, and human-machine interaction. The case of predator-prey robots. Introducing learning in co-evolutionary systems.
  • Block 4: Evolution of Complex Robots. Evolvable Electronics: re-configurable circuits. Evolvable Morphologies: self-constructing robots.

Literature: Nolfi, S. & Floreano, D. Evolutionary Robotics. The Biology, Intelligence, and Technology of Self-Organizing Machines. MIT Press, 2001 (2nd print)


  • Dario Floreano, Autonomous Systems Laboratory (LSA), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Tutorial web page

T5: Tutorial: Boldly going where no robot has gone before...


Worlds to Explore: An Introduction to Current Capabilities and Key Challenges in Space Robotics

This tutorial will present a comprehensive overview of the field of space robotics. It will highlight the key areas of research, the advances in those areas and the remaining challenges. Robotic capabilities will be mapped to current and future NASA and ESA missions and some of the unique restrictions on weight, power, computation and communication that the space environment imposes will be discussed.

The tutorial will be broken into two application areas:

  1. in-space assembly, inspection and maintenance;
  2. planetary surface exploration.


  • David Kortenkamp, NASA Johnson Space Center/Metrica Inc.
  • Liam Pedersen, NASA Ames Research Center/QSS Inc.

WS2: Workshop on Visual Servoing


Visual servoing is a well-established robot control technique using vision in feedback control loops. Though the first systems date back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, it is not until the mid 1990s that there is a sharp increase in publications and working systems, due to the availability of fast and affordable vision processing systems.

Since the last workshops, tutorials, and invited sessions to focus on this topic in the most important robotics conferences throughout the world (ICRA 94, 96, 98; IROS97; AAAI00; ECCV00; CIRA01), there has been significant advance in the field of visual servoing driven by improvments of technology (sensor and computation) and the underlying theories of image segmentation and geometry. In particular, visual servoing specialists now are simultaneously experts in both vision and control and are ready to adress complex real-world applications.


  • Peter Corke : CSIRO Manufacturing Science and Technology, Brisbane, Australia,
  • Henrik Christiansen : Centre for Autonomous Systems in KTH, Stockholm, Sweden,
  • Greg Hager : Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA,
  • Koichi Hashimoto : University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan,
  • Seth Hutchinson : University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA,
  • Radu Horaud : INRIA Rhone-Alpes, Grenoble, France.

Organizers, Co-chairs of the Workshop

  • Nicolas Andreff, LaRAMA, Blaise Pascal University, France
  • Enric Cervera, Robotic Intelligence Lab, Jaume-I University, Spain
  • Francois Chaumette, IRISA, INRIA Rennes, France
  • Philippe Martinet, LASMEA, Blaise Pascal University, France

Workshop web page

WS4: Workshop on Sensory-Motor Co-ordination in Human-Robot Interaction


The workshop on Sensory-Motor Coordination in Human-Robot Interaction has been organized by the IEEE-RAS Technical Committee on Human Robot Interaction and Coordination, with the aim of providing a framework for discussing how sensory-motor coordination affects human-robot interaction and how the solutions to the general problem of the sensory-motor coordination can be applied in the realization of effective, acceptable and reliable human-robot interaction. Conversely, the workshop will stimulate an analysis of how the variety of problems related to human-robot interaction introduces new challenges for sensory-motor coordination development.

To this aim, the workshop gathers scientists with experiences in the development of perception capabilities and sensory-motor control in robots and scientists who focused the different aspects of human-robot interaction.

The workshop is intended to offer participants a clear view of the open issues in developing human-like sensory-motor coordination, as well as of the critical factors and key issues for realizing human-robot interaction. The meeting between experts in the different involved research areas will also provide the opportunity to formulate indications and hints for further research and developments.

The workshop addresses a wide audience, from a sector point of view, so as to reflect the multidisciplinarity of the theme; it is also intended to a wide range of researchers, from robotics experts facing new problems posed by human-robot interaction and sensory-motor coordination, to students being educated to the new challenges of robotics research.


  • Shigeki Sugano, Humanoid Robotics Institute, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Kazuhiro Kosuge, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • Cecilia Laschi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy, & Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Tetsuya Ogata, RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI), Tokyo, Japan
  • Atsuo Takanishi, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Giulio Sandini, University of Genova, Italy
  • Auke Jan Ijspeert, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • John Zelek, University of Guelph, Canada


Co-chairs of the IEEE-RAS Technical Committee on Human Robot Interaction and Coordination:

  • Cecilia Laschi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy, and Humanoids Robotics Institute, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan (JSPS Post-Doc Fellow)
  • Shigeki Sugano, Humanoid Robotics Institute, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Kazuhiro Kosuge, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Workshop web page

WS6: Workshop on Aerial Robotics


The main objective of this Workshop is to analyse the current state of aerial robotics and its applications.

Aerial robotics mainly comes from the evolution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technologies and is also related to Field Robotics Applications. UAVs are increasingly used for many civilian applications such as terrain and utilities inspection, disaster monitoring, environmental surveillance, search and rescue, law enforcement, aerial mapping, traffic surveillance, and cinematography. UAVs have improved their autonomy both in energy and information processing. Thus, many prototypes of autonomous aerial vehicles have been presented. Significant improvements have been achieved in UAV autonomous positioning and object tracking based on modern GPS, image processing, inertial sensing, range sensing, and information processing technologies.

The speakers of the workshop will consider the technologies involved in aerial robotics, and UAVs, will present prototypes and working systems, and will deal with applications.

Particularly, prototypes of autonomous helicopters and airships will be presented. Applications will include forest fire localization and monitoring, electrical lines inspection and surveillance applications.


  • Shankar Sastry, University of California Berkeley, USA.
  • Simon Lacroix, LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France.
  • Volker Remuss, TUB Berlin.
  • Klas Nordberg, Linköping University, Sweden.
  • Jaime del Cerro, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.
  • Anibal Ollero, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.
  • José Azinheira, Technical University of Lisbon.
  • Markus Schlenker, Airship Technologies, Gmbh.


  • Aníbal Ollero, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.
  • Jorge Dias, ISR, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Program Committee

  • Anibal Ollero. Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.
  • Raja Chatila. LAAS-CNRS Toulouse, France.
  • Jorge Dias. Institute of Systems and Robotics, Portugal.

Workshop web page

WS7: Workshop on Cooperative Robotics (starts at 8:30!)


The domain of cooperative robotics is acquiring a prominent importance in many key application areas. Teams of robots cooperatings among them and/or with humans can perform a variety of tasks in a faster, more reliable, and more flexible way than a single robot. The rapidly growing scientific and industrial interest in cooperative robotics makes this domain extremely important for graduate students and young researchers in the field of autonomous robotics.

This nworkshop has three primary aims. First, to expose researchers in general, and graduate students in particular, to the latest developments in the field of cooperative robotics. Second, to help young researchers and students to create an international network of contacts. Third, to consolidate the research community in this field, which is still somehow dispersed, especially in Europe.

Detailed information about the Workshop, including the final program and the on-line proceedings, is available at the Workshop home-page

Workshop web page

WS8: Workshop on Robot as Partner: An Exploration of Social Robots


The aim of this workshop is to discuss the state-of-the-art in social robots. Throughout the workshop, we will focus on the design, implementation and use of such robots for a broad range of applications ranging from health care to planetary exploration. Leading researchers from academic, commercial and government organizations will present their experiences and lessons learned from real-world systems. The workshop will culminate in a panel discussion to identify key technical challenges, likely future advances and potential fields of application.

This workshop is designed to:

  • foster technical discussion among leading researchers
  • discuss design elements required for social robots including appearance, cognition, dialogue, human modeling, interaction, and socialization
  • review common problems, challenges, and potential solutions
  • identify directions for future research and potential applications
  • educate the audience on the difficulties inherent in social robots, especially that of the human-robot interface


  • Ron Arkin - Georgia Tech (USA)
  • Kai Arras - EPFL (Switzerland)
  • Aude Billard - University of Southern California (USA)
  • Cynthia Breazeal - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)
  • Brian Duffy - Media Lab Europe (Ireland)
  • Terry Fong - Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and EPFL (Switzerland)
  • Ian Horswill - Northwestern University (USA)
  • Illah Nourbakhsh - Carnegie Mellon University (USA)
  • Tetsuo Ono - ATR (Japan)
  • Kerstin Severinson-Eklund - KTH (Sweden)
  • Sebastien Thrun - Carnegie Mellon University (USA)


  • Terry Fong, Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and EPFL (Switzerland)
  • Illah Nourbakhsh, Carnegie Mellon University (USA)

Workshop web page

WS9: Workshop on Robots in Exhibitions


Over the past years, the number of robots that have been installed in museums and exhibitions has been grown steadily. Fairs and exhibitions have emerged as an important application domain of autonomous robots as mobile and interactive assistants.

In this workshop we bring together experts from the mobile robotics community as well as end users such as exhibition makers in order to discuss recent developments, ongoing projects and visions for the future. The speakers of this workshop represent together a seven-year operation time of a total of 93 robots. We discuss exhibition projects such as Rhino, CMU's Mobot Museum Robots, Minerva, the 72-robot project at Expo 2000, the three Museum robots in Berlin or Kapros deployed in an art museum in Tsukuba, Japan. The trigger of this workshop is also the ongoing Expo.02 project in Switzerland where 10 freely navigating, fully autonomous interactive robots are deployed in a mass exhibition with 500 visitors per hour.

The workshop will further discuss the economic opportunities of exhibition robots and bring together representants of three spin-off companies emerged from this background.

We will especially focus on the following aspects:

  • long-term experiments and results
  • impact factors on the exhibition
  • robots as new media technology
  • economic aspects of exhibitions robots
  • human-robot interaction for exhibition robots
  • navigation in highly populated and dynamic environment
  • multi-robot coordination
  • hardware and safety-related issues

We invite people interested in this area to participate in this workshop.


  • Rachid ALAMI, LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • Olaf ARNDT, Exhibition Maker and Robot Artist, Berlin, Germany
  • Oliver BARTH, GenRob Ltd., Stuttgart, Germany
  • Volker GRAEFE, Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany
  • Björn JENSEN, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Fernando MATIA, Diego Rodriguez-Losada, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
  • Gerard MCKEE, The University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • Illah NOURBASKSH, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), USA
  • Andrea NIEHAUS, Director of the Deutsches Museum Bonn, Germany
  • Shoichi MAEYAMA, Osaka Electro-Communication University, Japan
  • Roland SIEGWART, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Nicola TOMATIS, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Panos TRAHANIAS, FORTH, University of Crete, Greece
  • Sjur VESTLI, MRS Automation, Switzerland


  • Kai Oliver ARRAS, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Wolfram BURGARD, Computer Science Institute, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany

Workshop web page

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