Overview + Scope

We are pleased to announce our Robotics: Science and Systems 2017 workshop event, ROBOT COMMUNICATION IN THE WILD: MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF REAL-WORLD SYSTEMS!

Robots and multi-robot teams use communication to facilitate data sharing, coordination, and cooperation with other robots and human users. Real-world communication is often unreliable, expensive, non-ideal, and/or otherwise challenging in a variety of ways. These challenges lead to interesting theoretical and practical ramifications for the design, analysis, and deployment of robotic systems, algorithms, and hardware. This workshop aims to foster a better understanding of the communication challenges faced by robots/teams, and how we analyze them, model them, and overcome their negative effects in practice.

Topics are expected to have well defined assumptions, constraints, or experimental observations that reflect the real-world communication challenges faced by robots/teams, but may come from any sub-field of robotics and be motivated by any robotic problem.

Example topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication assumed/observed to be intermittent, lossy, difficult to model, highly asymmetric, partial, blocked, expensive, compressed, encrypted, or non-ideal in other ways.
  • Any-Com algorithms (graceful performance declines vs. decreasing quality).
  • Robotic systems that adapt to communication constraints.
  • Robotic hardware designed to overcome communication issues common in robotics.
  • More accurate modeling of real-world communication.
  • Overcoming real-world communication constraints in practice (e.g., undersea, air, ground, space environments).

Call for Contributions

To encourage participation that is both wide and deep, the workshop will have a poster track and a proceedings track. A particular piece of work should be submitted to one or the other, but work that is not accepted to the workshop proceedings will be automatically considered for participation in the poster session.

Submissions Instructions

  1. Sign up for openreview.net here before initiating submissions.
  2. Submit to the desired track as follows:
Poster track: we solicit extended abstracts for the poster session, 1-4 pages in standard RSS 2-column format.

Submit Poster Track

Proceedings track: we solicit short papers for the workshop proceedings, 6-8 pages in standard RSS 2-column format.

Submit Proceedings Track


Poster Track Submissions

The poster session is designed to foster a wide exchange of ideas between many people. By design, the work presented in the poster session will not appear in archival form to encourage the participation of works-in-progress, works previously published elsewhere, and works aiming to submit elsewhere in the future. Extended abstracts submitted for the poster session will be refereed by at least one committee member.  

Proceedings Track Submissions

In contrast, the workshop proceedings is designed to showcase more mature work. Work accepted to the workshop proceedings will be presented by the authors in a 20 minute talk, appear on the workshop website, and be invited to appear in extended form as a book chapter. Short papers submitted to the workshop proceedings will be formally peer-reviewed in an open review process using the openreview.net review engine. 

Open Review Process

The open review process for the workshop proceedings (not poster submissions) will operate as follows:

  • At least two different committee members will review each paper.
  • The identities of the reviewers will remain anonymous to the authors and to the public, however the written reviews will be publicly visible.
  • The public will be invited to critique both the papers and the reviews; public commentators will register on the review management site, and their identities will be publicly visible within their comments.
  • The authors will have an opportunity to address any issues raised by reviewers or public commentators, and the author responses will be publicly visible.
  • For each paper, a member of the PC will act as "editor'' and provide a final verdict on submission, as well as any "official'' list of conditions necessary for acceptance.
  • Comments will be frozen after the review process is over, and all reviews, responses, and other comments will be available on openreview.net.

Dates and Location

  • Submission deadline: June 17, 2017, 11:59:59pm Anywhere on Earth (AoE) time.
  • Acceptance notification date: June 29, 2017 (notifications have now been emailed out!)
  • Workshop date: July 16, 2017, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA at MIT Stata Center Room 32-124

Program and Speaker Instructions

Time Topic
09:15 – 09:30 Introduction
09:30 – 10:00

Invited Talks (1 x 30min)

10:00 – 10:30 Poster Preview Session [View Slides Online]
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break and Poster Session #1
11:00 – 12:00

Invited Talks (2 x 30min)

  • Urbashi Mitra and Junting Chen: "Learning for flying relays in cellular communications"
  • Jason Stack: "Naval perspective on comms for distributed autonomous systems" [Slides]
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 14:00

Invited Talks (1 x 30min)

14:00 – 15:00 Panel Discussion and Open Problems
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee Break and Poster Session #2
15:30 – 16:30

Proceedings Talks (3 x 20min)

  1. Ryan J. Marcotte, Xipeng Wang, Edwin Olson, "AprilFEC: Real-time channel estimation and adaptive forward error correction"
  2. Alice Danckaers, Mae L. Seto, "Transmission of images through the underwater acoustic channel to submerged networks"
  3. Spencer Watza, Eric Frew, "Hybrid RF Propagation Model using ITM and Gaussian Processes for Communication-Aware Planning"
16:30 – 17:00

Invited Talks (1 x 30min)


Instructions for proceedings presenters:

  • Proceedings talks are allotted 20 minutes each
  • We suggest planning for a 15-17 minute talk, leaving a few minutes for Q&A

Instructions for poster presenters:

  • Printed posters should be brought by presenters, with easels provided at the workshop.
  • Poster boards will be 30" x 20" and will be set up in portrait perspective.
  • A poster preview session will be held in the morning, where each presenter has a 2 minute spotlight (with 1 to 2 slides) to outline their work. Please email your preview slides to Michael Otte (ottemw[at]gmail[dot]com) by July 11, 11:59:59pm AoE time, so they can be assembled on one computer.

Invited Speakers

We are excited to announce the following confirmed speakers:

Program Committee

We are excited to have the following program committee members:

Organizing Committee