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Event

21st - 25th May 2018

ICRA 2018

Overview


International Conference on Robotics and Automation

ICRA 2018

21-25 May, Brisbane

The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work. ICRA is coming to Australia for the first time and will be held in Brisbane from the 21st to 25th May at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Centre is proud to be a supporter of this significant event. Centre researchers are involved in key events throughout the conference, including forums, workshops, tutorials and competitions.

Committee Members

Alex Zelinsky, General Chair
Peter Corke, Program Chair
Rob Mahony, Tutorial Chair
Henrik Christensen, Government Forum Chair
Luis Mejias, Publication Chair
Jon Roberts, Competitions Chair
Thierry Peynot, Local Arrangement Chair

Forums


Social Robotics Forum

Social Robotics Forum

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Social robotics is an emerging field. As new generations of robots are developed that participate in our lives and exist in public spaces, we need to consider the impact of these technologies and how we can harness their benefits. Social robots must collaborate with people and prove themselves as capable partners. They must make good teammates, learn from us or teach us, as well as communicate with and understand us. The goal of this workshop is to explore where social robotics is heading and how we can best navigate the multi-disciplinary challenges such robots will present.

Featuring a fantastic line up of speakers including Centre Chief Operating Officer Dr Sue Keay, Associate Investigator Professor Elizabeth Croft and Research Fellow Nicole Robinson.

Click here for the full Forum program

PhD Forum

PhD Forum

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

The Ph.D. Forum will provide an opportunity for a group of Ph.D. researchers to discuss and explore their research interests and career objectives with a panel of established researchers in robotics. Partner Investigator Professor Paul Newman from Oxford University and Centre Director Distinguished Professor Peter Corke are mentors on the panel for the PhD Forum. The will work closely with forum participants in exploring trends in robotics and providing insights into their own career trajectories.

Featuring Centre Partner Investigator Professor Paul Newman and Centre Director Distinguished Professor Peter Corke.

Click here for the full PhD Forum program

Education Forum

Education Forum

Friday 25th May 2018

The 2018 ICRA Conference will include a forum devoted to Robotics in Education (Primary/Secondary). Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) is widely recognised as vital skills that all job seekers will need in the near future, and Robotics as part of the curriculum is well suited to cover all these disciplines in a thorough and engaging manner.

Register here for the Forum

Workshops


Advances in Robotic Warehouse Automation

Advances in Robotic Warehouse Automation

Monday 21st May 2018

Grasping and picking of a wide range of objects is a canonical problem for robots. Industrial applications have been around for decades, yet robotic systems suffer from high failure rates in unstructured, changing environments. Warehouse automation provides a stepping stone from industrial (structured) to more unstructured pick and place scenarios. The Amazon Robotics Challenge (formerly Picking Challenge) has highlighted some of the issues since its inception in 2015. The challenges encompass various aspects of grasping, vision and other forms of sensing, gripper and robot design (including mobile manipulators), motion planning, optimization, machine learning, software engineering, and system integration, among others. The main aim of this workshop is to gather past and future participants of these challenges and the wider robotics and automation community to discuss their robotic solutions, experience of the previous competitions and their vision on automating item picking for warehouse logistics. In addition we would like to have the broader community taking part, such as researchers who did not (yet) take part in these challenges. Attendees of the workshop would have the opportunity to see the state-of-the-art in item picking research and development and interact with the people who are passionate about solving this complex problem during the presentations, poster discussions and open forums. This workshop is co-organized by Amazon Robotics, the organizer of the Amazon Robotics Challenge.

Organised by Centre Research Fellow Dr Juxi Leitner.

Click here for the full workshop program.

Long-term Autonomy and Deployment of Intelligent Robots in the Real-world

Long-term Autonomy and Deployment of Intelligent Robots in the Real-world

Friday 25th May 2018

From driverless cars to autonomous harvesters to service robots, mobile robots are leaving the factories and entering less structured, more complex and dynamic environments. The key competence of these robots is the ability of reliable operation for long periods of time under changing and unpredictable environmental conditions. In other words, these robots need to be persistent and demonstrate a high level of robustness and fault tolerance and recovery, and above all of that, they have to be able to adapt over time to the changes in their operational environment. However, development and testing of these competences is difficult and tedious, because it goes far beyond running proof-of-concept experiments in controlled environments for a limited period of time. This makes any experience with long-term deployment of autonomous systems a valuable knowledge. In this workshop, we invite a number of renowned experts in the field who will highlight the main challenges these robots face and talk about their own experiences and the lessons they learnt during long-term deployments of their robots. We also call for papers that address the long-term autonomy problem.

This workshop is organised by Centre Research Fellow Dr Feras Dayoub and Chief Investigator Dr Niko Sunderhauf.

Click here for the full workshop program

Robotic Vision and Action in Agriculture: the future of agri-food systems and its deployment to the real-world

Robotic Vision and Action in Agriculture: the future of agri-food systems and its deployment to the real-world

Friday 25th May 2018

This half-day workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss advances in robotics applications and the intersection of these advances with agricultural practices. As such, the workshop will focus not only on recent advancements in vision systems and action but it will also explore what this means for agricultural practices and how robotics can be used to better manage and understand the crop and environment.

Agriculture robotics faces a number of unique challenges and operates at the intersection of applied robotic vision, manipulation and crop science. Robotics will provide a key role in improving productivity, increasing crop quality and even enabling individualised weed and crop treatment. All of these advancements are integral for providing food to a growing population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, requiring agricultural production to double in order to meet food demands.

This workshop is organised by Centre Research Affiliates Dr Chris McCool and Dr Chris Lehnert.

Click here for the full workshop program

Tutorials


Tutorial on Vision-based Robot Control

Tutorial on Vision-based Robot Control

Monday 21st May 2018

As for humans and most animals, vision is a crucial sense for a robot to interact within its environment. Vision-based robot motion control, also named visual servoing, is a general approach to close the perception-action loop. It has given rise to an incredible amount of research and successful applications from the creation of the fields of robotics and computer vision several decades ago. The aim of the tutorial is to provide a comprehensive state of the art on the basic concepts, methodologies, and applications, as well as to present the recent spectacular results obtained from deep learning.

Four lectures will be presented by renowned experts, including time provided for questions and discussion, the last one more related to application and implementation issues.

Centre Partner Investigator Professor Francois Chaumette and Chief Investigator Professor Robert Mahony are presenting lectures as part of this tutorial.

Click here for the full program

Competitions


Tidy Up My Room Challenge

Tidy Up My Room Challenge

Tuesday 22nd - Thursday 24th May 2018

Robust interaction in domestic settings is still a hard problem for most robots. These settings tend to be unstructured, changing and aimed at humans not robots. This makes the grasping and picking of a wide range of objects in a person’s home a canonical problem for future robotic applications. With this challenge, we aim to foster a community around solving these tasks in a holistic fashion, requiring a tight integration of perception, reasoning and actuation.

Robotics is an integration discipline and significant efforts are put in by labs worldwide every year to build robotic systems, yet it is hard to compare and validate these approaches against each other. Challenges and competitions have provided an opportunity to benchmark robotic systems on specific tasks, such as pick and place, and driving. We envision this challenge to contain multiple tasks and to increase in complexity over the years. We particularly encourage teams from previous Amazon Robotics Challenges, RoboCup@Home and ERL challenges to take part.

At the first annual “Tidy up my room” Challenge, held at ICRA 2018, teams will be asked to deploy their robots into a room setup — think IKEA showroom — and have it perform specific tasks. For example, the robot may have to locate all the objects that are out of place, such as books on the floor.

This challenge is organised by Centre Research Fellow Dr Juxi Leitner and Chief Investigator Dr Niko Sunderhauf.

For the full challenge details, click here

Invited Speakers


Matt Dunbabin, Chief Investigator, Keynote Speaker

Matt Dunbabin, Chief Investigator, Keynote Speaker

Robot vision to action in the wild - challenges and opportunities for vision in natural environments

Abstract: Robotic systems that operate in natural environments have physical and operational challenges which can make even the best vision algorithms impractical or fail drastically. This talk will explore some of these challenges and share experiences in deploying robot vision systems for underwater and on-surface object classification, target detection, visibility enhancement and visual odometry. It will also highlight some challenges and opportunities for the wider adoption and integration of robotic systems into long-term environmental monitoring and management programs.

 

Paul Newman, Centre Partner Investigator, Keynote Speaker

Paul Newman, Centre Partner Investigator, Keynote Speaker

The Road To Anywhere-Autonomy

Abstract: We expect to see driverless cars in some places, some of the time, soon. But what about driverless vehicles all the time in all the places? That seems hard but important. So in this talk I’ll provide a brisk walk through some remaining challenges and progress being made there  with an unapologetic bias towards the metric-localisation problem using sensors other than lidar – but in all weathers and some unusual places. The techniques we employ a host of techniques from machine learning, optimisation and data fusion and in places, breathe new life into techniques from 30 years ago – that makes for a powerful robotics mix.

 

Sue Keay, Chief Operating Officer

Sue Keay, Chief Operating Officer

Speaker at the Government Forum, Industry Forum & Social Robotics Forum

Sue is the Centre’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for the effective leadership, management and development of the Centre’s research, education and knowledge exchange programs. A university medallist and Jaeger scholar, Sue has more than 20 years experience in the research sector, managing and ensuring impact from multidisciplinary R&D programs and teams. She has a PhD in Earth Sciences from the Australian National University and was an ARC post-doctoral fellow at The University of Queensland, before escaping the lab and moving first to science communication and then into research management, research commercialisation and IP management. She has managed national investments in water recycling research for a Centre of Excellence funded by the Department of Environment, and was the Director of UQ Business School Commercial. Sue has worked with physical scientists, engineers, social science researchers and economists and loves the challenge of managing research across distributed sites. Sue is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chairs the IP and Commercialisation Committee for the Board of the CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction. She is currently completing her MBA with UQ Business School and mentors three female-led start-up companies.

In 2017, Sue was named as one of the first Superstars of STEM by Science & Technology Australia, announced by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO. As part of the program, these women will learn how to speak about their science and inspire others to consider a career in STEM.

See the ICRA 2018 website for the full Forum program

Henrik Christensen, Centre Advisory Board Member

Henrik Christensen, Centre Advisory Board Member

Speaker at the Industry Forum

Dr Henrik I. Christensen is a Professor of Computer Science at Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering UC San Diego. He is also the director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics. Dr Christensen does research on systems integration, human-robot interaction, mapping and robot vision. The research is performed within the Cognitive Robotics Laboratory. He has published more than 350 contributions across AI, robotics and vision. His research has a strong emphasis on ‘real problems with real solutions’.

He is actively engaged in the setup and coordination of robotics research in the US (and worldwide). Dr Christensen received the Engelberger Award 2011, the highest honour awarded by the robotics industry. He was also awarded the “Boeing Supplier of the Year 2011”. Dr Christensen is a fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). His research has been featured in major media including CNN, NY Times and BBC.

See the ICRA 2018 website for the full Forum program

Peter Corke, Centre Director

Peter Corke, Centre Director

Panellist and Mentor, ICRA 2018 PhD Forum

Professor Peter Corke is the distinguished professor of robotic vision at QUT and director of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.  He wrote the textbook Robotics, Vision & Control, authored the MATLAB toolboxes for Robotics and Machine Vision, and created the online educational resource: QUT Robot Academy. He is interested in how robots can use the sense of vision to accomplish a broad range of tasks. These might range from recognizing places or text in the world to dynamic tasks. An example of a visual dynamic task is something like hand-eye coordination, and for a robot it might be visual control of flying or driving or manipulation of objects. Why vision? Nature has invented the eye ten different times so it must be an effective sensor for doing a diverse range of tasks. Vision sensors and computing power are getting cheaper and cheaper. Now is the time to be doing vision for robotics!

See the ICRA 2018 website for the full Forum program

Paul Newman, Partner Investigator

Paul Newman, Partner Investigator

Panellist and Mentor, ICRA 2018 PhD Forum

Paul Newman is the BP Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Oxford and an EPSRC Leadership Fellow. He heads up the Oxford Robotics Institute within the Department of Engineering Science which enjoys a world leading reputation in mobile autonomy, developing machines and robots which map, navigate through and understand their environments. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Fellow of the IEEE in 2014 both with citations for outstanding contributions to robot navigation.  has a track record of delivering ambitious and complex research programmes while working with funders, stake holders, policy makers and the public. An example is the Oxford RobotCar Project which resulted in the UK’s first and only self-driving car on public roads. This was a complex and multifaceted project requiring not just technical leadership, but careful and timed engagement with legislative, industrial and legal stakeholders.  It led to the founding of Oxbotica.

See the ICRA 2018 website for the full Forum program

Papers


ICRA 2018 paper acceptances across the Centre

Garg, S., Suenderhauf, N., & Milford, M. (2018). Don’t Look Back: Robustifying Place Categorization for Viewpoint- and Condition-Invariant Place Recognition. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.05078

Latif, Y., Garg, R., Milford, M., & Reid, I. (2017). Addressing Challenging Place Recognition Tasks using Generative Adversarial Networks. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1709.08810

McCool, C. S., Beattie, J., Firn, J., Lehnert, C., Kulk, J., Bawden, O., Russell, R., & Perez, T. (2018). Efficacy of Mechanical Weeding Tools: a study into alternative weed management strategies enabled by robotics. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 1–1. http://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2018.2794619

Milan, A., Pham, T., Vijay, K., Morrison, D., Tow, A. W., Liu, L., Erskine, J., Grinover, R., Gurman, A., Hunn, T., Kelly-Boxall, N., Lee, D., McTaggart, M., Rallos, G., Razjigaev, A., Rowntree, T., Shen, T., Smith, R., Wade-McCue, S., Zhuang, Z., Lehnert, C., Lin, G., Reid, I., Corke, P., & Leitner, J. (2017). Semantic Segmentation from Limited Training Data. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1709.07665

Miller, D., Nicholson, L., Dayoub, F., & Sünderhauf, N. (2017). Dropout Sampling for Robust Object Detection in Open-Set Conditions. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.06677

Morrison, D., Tow, A. W., McTaggart, M., Smith, R., Kelly-Boxall, N., Wade-McCue, S., Erskine, J., Grinover, R., Gurman, A., Hunn, T., Lee, D., Milan, A., Pham, T., Rallos, G., Razjigaev, A., Rowntree, T., Kumar, V., Zhuang, Z., Lehnert, C., Reid, I., Corke, P., and Leitner, J. (2017). Cartman: The low-cost Cartesian Manipulator that won the Amazon Robotics Challenge. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1709.06283

Park, C., Moghadam, P., Kim, S., Elfes, A., Fookes, C., & Sridharan, S. (2017). Elastic LiDAR Fusion: Dense Map-Centric Continuous-Time SLAM. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.01691

Pham, T., Do, T.-T., Sünderhauf, N., & Reid, I. (2017). SceneCut: Joint Geometric and Object Segmentation for Indoor Scenes. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1709.07158

Weerasekera, C., Dharmasiri, T., Garg, R., Drummond, T., & Reid, I. (2017). Just-In-Time Reconstruction: Inpainting Sparse Maps using Single View Depth Predictors as Priors. View here

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