The AAAI 2011 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

In this article we report on the exhibits and challenges shown at the AAAI 2011 Robotics Program in San Francisco. The event included a broad demonstration of innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. Through these multiyear challenge events, our goal has been to focus the research community's energy toward common platforms and common problems to work toward the greater goal of embodied AI. The program has a long tradition of demonstrating innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. In both the workshop and exhibition portions of the event, we strive to have the robotics program be a venue that pushes the science of embodied AI forward. Over the past few years, a central point of the event has been the discussion of common robot platforms and software, with the primary goal of focusing the research community's energy toward common "challenge" tasks. On the day before the exhibition the participants convened a workshop of 18 short talks. Each track's exhibitors presented a summary of their exhibit. In addition, four guest speakers provided a broader context for all of the exhibitors' efforts. The first guest speaker was the National Science Foundation's Sven Koenig, who highlighted several federal programs that support projects in embodied intelligence. Koenig also provided insights into some of these program's specific priorities, such as international collaborations and educational engagement. Guest speakers from Willow Garage and Bosch presented cutting-edge work with the PR2, Willow's mobile two-arm manipulator platform. Bosch detailed its Remote Lab, which provides researchers anywhere with full access to the sensing and mobile manipulation capabilities of a PR2. Willow Garage featured some of its most recent work, in which point clouds (Anderson et al. 2011) are parsed not only to build generic three-dimensional scene models but also task-specific structures such as cabinet and drawer handles. Those structures, in turn, seed the automatic creation of task sequences for object retrieval in unconstrained human environments. Nataniel Dukan of Nao Robotics presented the workshop's final guest talk, a broad overview of humanoid robotics's current resources, along with a compelling vision for where those technologies will be in the next three to five years. Without providing specifics of Aldebaran's unannounced plans, Dukan hinted that the actuation and sensing needed for com-


Report on the AAAI 2010 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

In this article we give a summary of three components of the exhibition: the Small-Scale Manipulation Challenge: Robotic Chess; the Learning by Demonstration Challenge; and the Education Track. We also describe the participating teams, highlight the research questions they tackled, and briefly describe the systems they demonstrated. The program has a long tradition of demonstrating innovative research at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. In both the workshop and exhibition portions of the event, we strive to have the robotics program be a venue that pushes the science of embodied AI forward. Over the past few years, a central point of the event has been the discussion of common robot platforms and software, with the primary goal of focusing the research community's energy toward common "challenge" tasks.


Report on the AAAI 2010 Robot Exhibition

AI Magazine

The 19th robotics program at the annual AAAI conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2010. In this article we give a summary of three components of the exhibition: small scale manipulation challenge: robotic chess; the learning by demonstration challenge, and the education track. In each section we detail the challenge task. We also describe the participating teams, highlight the research questions they tackled and briefly describe the systems they demonstrated.


Small Scale Manipulation with the Calliope Robot

AAAI Conferences

Calliope is an open source mobile robot designed in the Tekkotsu Lab at Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with RoPro Design, Inc. The Calliope5SP model features an iRobot Create base, an ASUS netbook, a 5-degree of freedom arm with a gripper with two independently controllable fingers, and a Sony PlayStation Eye camera and Robotis AX-S1 IR rangefinder on a pan/tilt mount. We use chess as a test of Calliope’s abilities. Since Calliope is a mobile platform we consider how problems in vision and localization directly impact the performance of manipulation. Calliope’s arm is too short to reach across the entire chessboard. The robot must therefore navigate to a location that provides the best position to access the pieces it wants to move. The robot proved capable of performing small-scale manipulation tasks that require careful positioning.


The 17th Annual AAAI Robot Exhibition and Manipulation and Mobility Workshop

AI Magazine

The workshop focused on possible solutions to both technical and organizational challenges to mobility and manipulation research. This article presents the highlights of that discussion along with the content of the accompanying exhibits. Fortunately, these applications can be successful through simple repetitive behaviors or remote human operation. However, useful autonomy needed for operation in general situations requires advanced mobility and manipulation. Opening doors, retrieving specific items, and maneuvering in cluttered environments are required for useful deployment in anything but the most controlled environment. The mobile manipulation skills necessary to perform tasks in arbitrary environments may not result from current approaches to robotics and AI. Moving toward true robot autonomy may require new paradigms, hardware, and ways of thinking. The goal of the AAAI 2008 Workshop on Mobility and Manipulation was not only to demonstrate current research successes to the AAAI community but also to road-map future mobility and manipulation challenges that create synergies between artificial intelligence and robotics. The half-day workshop included both a session on the exhibits and a panel discussion. The panel consisted of five prominent researchers who led a discussion of future directions for mobility and manipulation research.