01 October

Last week I was at the International Conference on Robots and Systems (IROS 2008) in Nice, France. This is one the the two huge annual conferences on robotics research. This one places particular emphasis on complete systems and it has an especially large representation from Japan and Asia, being sponsored by the Robotics Society of Japan (RSJ) as well as the IEEE.

As I get older, I end up spending a larger fraction of my conference attendance time having discussions in the hallways and making plans, instead of merely attending the technical sessions. Despite that, I heard a variety of talks spanning both areas I work in like SLAM and underwater robotics, as well as topics like the Design of Humanoid Robots that I only track via conference presentations.

One of our own presentations was an overview of the Aqua robot project, and how we are moving to increasing levels of autonomy with the underwater vehicle. The presentation was tricky since rather than focus on a single narrow technical problem, it had to weave together a group of projects and problems that, together, allow the vehicle to operate semi-autonomously. In the same conference session on underwater robotics we also heard about a few types of autonomous surface vehicle and how they can navigate autonomously.

Dave Meger presented work he had done with Yiannis and myself as part of his Master's thesis. That dealt with using a mobile robot to help the nodes of a sensor network to estimate their own positions. In particular, as the robot explores the metric embedding of the network, and can select various path planning strategies, and these directly impact the accuracy of the localization process.

Acropolis Conference Center in Nice, France
Acropolis Conference Center in Nice, France

Shadow Hand, IROS, Nice, France
Shadow Hand, IROS, Nice, France

By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
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