Sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) affiliated with the Computing Research Association (CRA), we are organizing a Challenges and Vision Workshop at RSS 2013. The solicited papers are expected to present challenges in the field and potential future directions. The main purpose of this workshop is promoting dialogue and brainstorming in the community to identify new research directions and underdeveloped areas. This workshop is part of a larger initiative fostered by the CCC to create vision for computing research through bringing special "Challenges and Visions" tracks to leading computer science research conferences. By design, we expect the submitted papers to be rather unconventional and potentially controversial to promote dialogue. To archive these discussions, the accepted papers will be published, and a summary of the discussed topics will be disseminated either in the form of a review article or a website. The CCC will sponsor three Best Paper Awards for our workshop, which will be selected out of the accepted papers based on evaluations by the program committee and potentially votes from the audience.

Program Committee



With the advent of corobots acting in direct support of individuals and groups, fostered by the industry and also the National Robotics Initiative, we are now at the dawn of a new era in which semiautonomous robots intimately enter our lives. In such a symbiotic human-robot and bionic world, corobotic systems with critical missions will emerge as human mates for medical, educational, entertainment, and military applications. The paradigm shift induced by this change in the range of deployment of robots necessitates opening a front to discuss new problems that do not fit into the conventional frameworks as well as novel directions expected to help solve existing unresolved problems. The main objective of this workshop is to discuss new fundamental research directions and their applications for the next generation of robots. Specific topics include but are not limited to

  • Planning and Geometry Algorithms: complexity and completeness of motion planning, computational geometry and algebra, and simulation, particularly for flexible objects, high dimensional problems, and minimalist sensing.
  • Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control: nonlinear control and optimization, visual servoing, and mobile manipulation, particularly for systems with uncertainty, and nonholonomic systems.
  • Manipulation: contact modeling, grasp synthesis, assembly, force control, manipulation planning.
  • Bionics: biomimetic robotics, neurobotics, synthetic biological systems for computation, communication, control, sensing, and locomotion, bio-electronics interfaces.
  • Human-Robot Interaction: brain-machine interfaces, haptics and telerobotics, human augmentation, assistive robots, and safety.
  • Field Robotics: underwater robotics, aerial/space robotics, agricultural and mining robotics.
  • Distributed Systems: system of robotic systems, networked robots, and coordination.
  • Biomedical Robotics: wireless health, smart surgical tools, rehabilitation robotics, interventional therapy, surgical simulation, soft-tissue modeling, telesurgery, prosthetics, and molecular biology.
  • Mechanisms: humanoids, hands, legged systems, snakes, novel actuators and designs, reconfigurable robots, MEMS/NEMS, and micro/nanobots.
  • Robot Perception: vision, tactile and force perception, range sensing, inertial and propreoceptive sensing, and sensor fusion.
  • Mobile Systems and Mobility: mapping, localization, navigation, SLAM, collision avoidance, and exploration.
  • Estimation and Learning: reinforcement learning, Bayesian techniques, graphical models, and diagnostics.

Important Dates

Announcement of Call for Papers: March 15, 2013
Full Paper Submission Due: May 1, 2013 May 25, 2013
Acceptance Notification: May 14, 2013 June 4, 2013
Workshop: June 27, 2013

Invited Speakers

Call for Papers

The RCV2013 submission site is available at https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=rcv13.

In cooperation with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), we invite submissions to our special Challenges and Vision workshop. The emphasis of this workshop will be on visionary ideas, long term challenges, and opportunities in research that are outside of the current mainstream topics of the field. Submissions will be judged on the extent to which they expand the possibilities and horizons of the field or challenge existing assumptions prevalent in the field.

Submissions to this workshop should follow the same formatting guidelines as submissions to the research track, but are limited to at most 4 pages in length for both submission and final publication. A paper template is available in Latex and Word. Authors should take care not to reveal their identity in their papers since the reviewing is double-blind. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings and on the web only if they are presented at the conference. Presenters must register for this workshop at the rates announced on the RSS website. A summary of the topics discussed in the workshop will also be published alongside regular papers.

Best Paper Awards

To encourage researchers to present truly visionary concepts, the CCC is offering prizes for up to 3 top papers in this special workshop: first prize $1000, second prize $750, and third prize $500 to be awarded in the form of travel reimbursements subject to the National Science Foundation travel reimbursement policies. For more detailed information regarding such policies, contact Kenneth Hines. The CCC awards can be used for travel to any computing conference, not only RSS 2013. Selection of award winning papers will be done by the program committee after the conference, based on the novelty of proposed ideas, written and oral presentations, and potentially votes from the audience. Awards will be given in a ceremony after the workshop.