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January 15 – 20 , 2017, Dagstuhl Seminar 17031

Planning and Robotics

Organizers

Malik Ghallab (LAAS – Toulouse, FR)
Nick Hawes (University of Birmingham, GB)
Daniele Magazzeni (King's College London, GB)
Brian C. Williams (MIT – Cambridge, US)

Coordinators

Andrea Orlandini (CNR – Rome, IT)

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Documents

Dagstuhl Report, Volume 7, Issue 1 Dagstuhl Report
Aims & Scope
List of Participants
Shared Documents
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]

Summary

Automated Planning and Scheduling (P&S) and Robotics were strongly connected in the early days of A.I., but became mostly disconnected later on. Indeed, Robotics is one of the most appealing and natural application area for the P&S research community, however such a natural interest seems to not be reflected by advances beyond the state-of-the-art in P&S research in Robotics applications. In light of the accelerated progress and the growth of economic importance of advanced robotics technology, it is essential for the P&S community to respond to the challenges that these applications pose and contribute to the advance of intelligent robotics.

In this perspective, a Planning and Robotics (PlanRob) initiative within the P&S research community has been recently started with a twofold aim. On the one hand, this initiative would constitute a fresh impulse for the P&S community to develop its interests and efforts towards the Robotics research area. On the other hand, it aims at attracting representatives from the Robotics community to discuss their challenges related to planning for autonomous robots (deliberative, reactive, continuous planning and execution etc.) as well as their expectations from the P&S community.The PlanRob initiative was initiated as a workshop series (http://pst.istc.cnr.it/planrob/) started at the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) in 2013. The PlanRob workshop editions gathered very good feedback from both the P&S and Robotics communities. And this resulted also in the organisation of a specific Robotics Track at ICAPS since 2014.

The aim of this Dagstuhl Seminar was to reinforce such initiative and increase the synergy between these two research communities. Then, most of the attendees contributed with position statements (whose abstracts are available in this report) to present their major challenges and approaches for addressing them. In general, this involved sharing views, thoughts and contributions across the following main topics:

  • Long-term autonomy / Open world planning, providing an overview on issues related to continuous planning for robots with partial information or even incomplete models;
  • Knowledge Representation and Reasoning in Planning, with presentations on cognitive features and robot planning;
  • Challenges in Industrial, Logistics & Consumer Robotics, providing relevant insights related to deployment of robots in real world scenarios;
  • Human-Robot Planning, with a wide overview on planning solutions for dealing with interactions between humans and robots;
  • Planning and Execution, discussing issues and challenges related to robust planning and execution for robot control;
  • Motion Planning / Hybrid planners, with presentations on integrated solutions for robot control at different levels;
  • Reliable and Safe Planning for Robotics, providing an overview of ISO standards for robots and, more in general, investigating the exploitation of formal methods to guarantee reliability in robotic applications;
  • Technological Issues in Robot planning/Multi-robot Planning, with statements on technological issues in (multi-) robot solutions.

Each session was animated by (i) an opponent, whose role was to be critical about the position statements and (ii) a moderator, to organise the discussion. Therefore, opponents and moderators have provided a short summary of the session ideas and discussion in dedicated Synthesis Sessions to further foster the discussion.

In addition, two panel sessions have been organised on (i) Evaluation, Benchmarking and Competitions, discussing the experience in RoboCup@Home and the organisation of the new Planning and Execution competition (that will be held in 2017), and (ii) Outreach & Training, discussing about the possible organisation of summer schools and the opening of new scientific networking initiatives (e.g., a COST action).

During the seminar, discussions focused on different issues, challenges, possible solutions and new promising trends over a very wide variety of relevant topics: knowledge representation, modelling issues, the need of incomplete models; cognitive features such as, for instance, learning and goal reasoning; human-aware solutions for flexible human-robot interaction; adaptive solutions for human-robot collaboration; robust execution capable of effectively dealing with failure; integration issues in robotic architecture that, e.g., exploit different kind of models and then perform hybrid reasoning; application of formal methods to provide verification and validation functionalities to guarantee reliable robotic systems; etc. Indeed, addressing the integration of P&S and Robotics for development of intelligent robots entails covering a heterogeneous spectrum of problems, often requiring complex solutions that require a vast set of knowledge and technologies.

During the seminar, there was a very high level of engagement and interaction between the participants, enabling a lively and productive week. The main outcome of the seminar was to share a common understanding of issues and solutions with thorough discussions. And the workshop ended with an open discussion on possible follow ups and possible actions to create further opportunities for fostering synergies and interactions between the two communities.

License
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Andrea Orlandini and Malik Ghallab, Nick Hawes, Daniele Magazzeni, and Brian C. Williams

Classification

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