1st RSS Workshop on Social Robot Navigation

Event to be held in conjunction with Robotics: Science and Systems 2020 (RSS 2020)


Our goal is to organize a truly interactive workshop that will convene small, interdisciplinary working group sessions around each of the workshop’s focus topics. We will run a sequential set of three workshopping sessions, each focused on one of the key topics. Each session will begin with either an invited speaker or a panel of speakers, who will provoke the audience with controversial ideas, stories, and/or arguments that lead to challenging questions. In particular, each organizer will moderate one focus topic, each invited speaker will be assigned to one or more focus topics, and the moderators will dialogue with each speaker about their focus topic in advance of the workshop.

The following is the current assignment schedule (although this can change as the workshop evolves):

Focus topic 1
What are the most important variables that influence social robot navigation performance? In other words, what levers should we be exploring?
Speakers: Takayuki Kanda, Wendy Ju, Ross Knepper
Moderator: Leila Takayama

Focus topic 2
What are the best abstractions for social robot navigation from the perspective of perception, planning, and control?
Speakers: Reid Simmons, Ben Kuipers, Wendy Ju
Moderator: Chris Mavrogiannis

Focus topic 3
What properties should a social navigation dataset capture? How do we deal with uncontrollable variables in experimental settings?
Speakers: Anca Dragan, Jon How, Ross Knepper
Moderator: Pete Trautman

After each “provocation talk”, the organizers will divide up the workshop attendees into small, interdisciplinary working groups. Using the challenge question as a prompt, we will task each small group to share their perspectives with each other and brainstorm answers. One team member in each small group will be tasked with capturing the ideas, which will then be shared with the full set of workshop participants. Together, the small groups will brainstorm, summarize, and present their key findings to the full workshop group at the end of each of the three working sessions.

To provide both grounding and inspiration for these workshopping sessions, we will also run two sets of lightning talks and associated poster presentations by students between each of the three workshopping sessions.