The 39th edition of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia (USA) and online May 23-27. ICRA 2022 brought together the world's top researchers and companies to share ideas and advances in the fields of robotics and automation. Nearly 8,000 participants from academia and industry, including 4700 in person, from a total of 97 countries, joined the largest conference in robotics. Indeed, these figures reflect the evolution of the field in the last 34 years, with the last ICRA in Philadelphia (1988) only welcoming around 300 participants and a few exhibitors. "We were thrilled to see the robotics community respond so positively to the first in-person ICRA conference since the pandemic started," ICRA 2022 General Co-Chair George J. Pappas (University of Pennsylvania) commented.
Our research focuses on the use of Planning & Scheduling (P&S) technology for a team of robots providing daily assistance to multiple elder adults living in retirement facilities. Multi-user assistance and group-based activities require robots to plan and schedule their human-robot interaction (HRI) activities based on the specific needs, time constraints, availability and preferences of the multiple users. In this paper, we introduce and implement a novel centralized system architecture that can manage real P&S scenarios with multiple socially assistive robots, multiple users and their individual schedules, and single- and multi-person assistive activities. We describe how the main components of the proposed P&S architecture are integrated to control the robots, and to generate and monitor sequences of temporally annotated activities using off-the-shelf temporal planners. We verify that the architecture can manage realistic scenarios with three assistive robots, twenty users, and several single- and group-based activity requests during a single day.
GITAI is a robotics startup with offices in Japan and the United States that's developing tech to put humanoid telepresence robots in space to take over for astronauts. Today, GITAI is announcing a joint research agreement with JAXA (the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) to see what it takes for robots to be useful in orbit, with the goal of substantially reducing the amount of money spent sending food and air up to those demanding humans on the International Space Station. It's also worth noting that GITAI has some new hires, including folks from the famous (and somewhat mysterious) Japanese bipedal robot company SCHAFT. A quick reminder about SCHAFT: The company was founded by members of the JSK Laboratory at the University of Tokyo in order to build a robot to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials in 2013. SCHAFT won the DRC Trials by a substantial margin, scoring 27 points out of a possible 32, 7 more points than the second place team (IHMC).
The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), taking place simultaneously at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia and virtually, has just kicked off. ICRA 2022 brings together the world's top researchers and most important companies to share ideas and advances in the fields of robotics and automation. This is the first time the ICRA community is reunited after the pandemic, resulting in record breaking attendance with over 7,000 registrations and 95 countries represented. As the ICRA 2022 Co-Chair Vijay Kumar (University of Pennsylvania, USA) states, "we could not be happier to host the largest robotics conference in the world in Philadelphia, and the beginning of the re-emergence from the pandemic after a three year hiatus. Many important developments in robotics and automation have historically been first presented at ICRA, and in its 39th year, ICRA 2022 promises to take this trend one step further.
As we start looking towards more comprehensive exploration of the Moon and of Mars, the assumption is that we're working on sending humans to the surface of those worlds. It's going to be exponentially more difficult and dangerous than sending robots, but that's what exploration is all about, right? The idea is using robotic telepresence for planetary exploration. From orbit, the authors argue, a small team of humans would remote operate rovers and other robotic systems and as a result they could do more exploration while keeping the overall mission safer and cheaper. We already use telerobotics for planetary exploration--we've got robots all over the solar system sending us data and then patiently doing what we tell them to do.