The 2011 AAAI Robotics Exhibition and Workshop (San Francisco, CA August 7-11, 2011) continues a focus on key research problems in manipulation and learning through challenges in: (1) humanoid robotics, (2) learning by demonstration, and (3) samll-scale manipulation (robot chess). The teams selected for each challenge define research problems and repeatable experiments in areas that drive autonomous assistance in both military and domestic needs. The workshop enhances the challenge goals by (1) creating awareness in the larger AI community of available software tools, and (2) crafts a roadmap for development platforms that are more accessible to the general computer science research community.

A significant number of hands-on exhibits complement the workshop discussions and panel. Here, research teams showcase working demonstrations that support the challenge themes of learning, teaming and manipulation. Exhibits are on display for 2 full days during the AAAI Conference, providing an excellent opportunity to engage a broad technical audience. The exhibits are open to the general public to raise awareness of the state-of-the-art in robotics. Students from local schools and summer camps visit. Access to the exhibits provides an opportunity for students and leaders to learn how robotics and AI play important roles in society.

Project Report

This grant supported student travel to the AAAI 2011 Robotics Event. 2011 marked the 20th edition of the Robotics Program at AAAI, chaired by Andrea L.Thomaz. 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 speakersprovided a broader context for all of the exhibitors' efforts. The workshop concluded with a small-group brainstorming session on the software and hardware resources thattheywould like to see -- and will seek to create -- in the near future,starting from the work that was on exhibit the following days. This year, all of the challenge events in our program were continuing events, being run forat least the second time. The small-scale manipulation challenge, chaired by David Touretzky and Mike Stilman, featured four teams competing in robotic chess. The Learning from Demonstration challenge, chaired by Sonia Chernova, featured five teams demonstrating advances in the field on acommon problem domain and platform. The Robotics Education Track, chairedby Zachary Dodds, highlighted projects and platforms that have an impact on AI curricula and education.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Richard Voyles
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American Association for Artificial Intelligence
Palo Alto
United States
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