The 2007 AAAI Mobile Robot Workshop featuring
    The Personal Robotics Revolution Panel and
    Presentations from The Robot Exhibition and Competition
July 23, 2007
Vancouver, BC, Canada
This year will be the sixteenth edition of the AAAI Robotics Program and Competition. The Robotics Program has a long tradition of demonstrating innovating research in robotics. While the Mobile Robot Workshop has been part of the robot program each year, our intention is to better to better integrate with the overall AAAI conference through inclusion of workshop as general AAAI conference workshop.
The AAAI Mobile Robot Workshop is an extension of the AAAI-07 Robotics Program centered around the theme of “Cultivating Robotics Through Practice.”  The workshop features both a panel on the Personal Robotics Revolution and presentations from Robotics Program participants:
The Personal Robotics Revolution brings together robotics experts from commercial, academic, and governmental sectors to discuss the current and future impact and accessibility of robots for the general public.  
Participants from the AAAI 2007 Robot Competition and Exhibition will present highlights of their work at this workshop.  The Robot Competition is comprised challenges pertaining to Semantic Robot Vision and Human-Robot Interaction.  
Paper contributors to the AAAI-07 Technical Program are encouraged to participate in the workshop and, if desired, present technical specifics regarding implementation of their work.
Workshop Program (Tentative)
8:55 Welcome Remarks (Jenkins)
9:00 Robot Program Overview (Forbes)
9:15 RoMeLa: Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory - Virginia Tech (slides)(paper)
9:30 HMC - Harvey Mudd College(paper)
9:45 Keystone Mixed Reality - Autonomous Agents Lab, University of Manitoba (paper)
10:00 Fishtank Assassin - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (slides) (paper)
10:15 -- Break --
10:30 Panel: The Personal Robotics Revolution
                (Adams [slides], Breazeal, Smart [slides], Tansley, Vaughan)
12:00 -- Lunch --
1:30 Tekkotsu Cognitive Robotics - Carnegie Mellon University (slides) (paper)
1:45 STAIR - Stanford University (paper)
2:00 Robotics, Learning, and Autonomy at Brown - Brown University
2:15 -- Break --
2:30 Institute for Personal Robotics in Education (Tansley)
2:45 Semantic Robot Vision Fast Forward (Rybski, paper)
        University of Washington (paper)
        University of British Columbia (paper)
3:30 Closing Remarks (Jenkins)
3:35 End of Workshop
The Personal Robotics Revolution:
Where does it stand and where is it going?
The AAAI 2007 Mobile Robot Workshop Panel
Bryan Adams (iRobot Corp.)
Bill Smart (Washington Univ. in St. Louis)
Stewart Tansley (Microsoft Research)
Richard Vaughan (Simon Fraser University)
It is often speculated that the progression from current-day robotics to truly personal robot systems will transform society in a manner similar personal computing. The aim of this "personal robotics revolution" is for robots to ultimately become a ubiquitous medium through which human users can affect physical environments. This revolution has analogies to the (relatively) recent innovations of personal computing for manipulating digital information, the Internet for manipulating shared information, and computer graphics for manipulating virtual worlds. Similar to robotics, each of these innovations began as research endeavors where the users of the technology were a limited technical elite due to expensive infrastructure and difficult usability.  Each of these innovations broke into mainstream ubiquity through their own convergence of industrial development, academic research, and driving applications. Robotics, however, has yet to reach this level of commonplace utility. Although progress has been made, one could claim robotics is not yet on the critical path in people's daily lives.  Thus, the question is what is the state personal robotics and what remains to be done to get on the critical path of society.
The panel will occur of a 90 minute period.  Each panelist will give a short presentation about their perspective on the topic.  The floor will then be opened up for discussion between the panelists and questions from the audience.
The objective of this 90-minute panel is to gain insight into the state and future directions of personal robotics from leaders in academic, commercial, and governmental robotics sectors.  Each panelist will give a short talk/presentation (approx. 5 minutes) about their perspective on the topic.  The second half of the panel will be devoted to discussion around questions from the audience.
Specific topics of interest include:
 What are the driving applications of robotics?  (Killer robot apps need not apply)
 What are the pieces that need to come together to realize personal
computers?  Analogies to other areas of innovation are encouraged.
 How do we get robots to work "right out of the box"?
 How should robot hardware and software be standardized?
 How will humans interface with, direct, and customize robot behavior?
 What types of physical manipulators are needed?
 What will be the breadth of heterogeneity in robot platforms?
 For dealing with uncertainty, what balance between software and
hardware should be maintained?
 How does the robotics industry benefit from academic robotics research?
 Is the AAAI Technical Program useful to the industry?
 Is the Robot Exhibition and Competition useful?
 What crucial problems need attention from academic robotics?  
 What types of platforms and services should commercial robotics consider?