RSS 2014 CarNet Workshop

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Workshop Time and Location

This workshop is listed in the RSS workshop program as SUN2. Communication-aware Robotics: New Tools for Multi-Robot Networks, Autonomous Vehicles, and Localization

Workshop details:

  • Time and Date: Sunday, July 13 at 8:25am
  • Location: Wheeler 122 on the UC Berkeley campus

Communication-aware Robotics: New Tools for Multi-Robot Networks, Autonomous Vehicles, and Localization

Recent advances in communication are enabling teams of robots to achieve new and exciting capabilities. Of current interest in the robotics literature are multi-agent teams for their applications to distributed exploration, search and rescue, and in the near future, global connectivity. The effectiveness of these coordinated systems inherently depends on communication infrastructure and hinges on the assumption of adequate inter-agent communication. This necessitates the development of robust communication tools with guaranteed performance in real-world environments.

Emerging technologies in the communications field include using information exchange as a virtual sensor to be used by autonomous cars in future networked cities, leveraging WiFi to "see through walls" to track people or objects behind occlusions, and processing of wireless signals for the purpose of localization in an environment. From providing the necessary communication quality guarantees to achieve coordination tasks amongst robot teams in real-world environments, to using wireless signals as sensors for localization and/or tracking, cutting edge advancements in communication are becoming a critical component of future robotic systems. The potential for robotic systems that are tightly coupled with the newest and most capable tools in communication is pressing. However, in order for us to achieve these goals we must encourage collaboration between the largely independent fields of communication and robotics.

The goal of this full day workshop is to bring together leaders of both fields to discuss recent and targeted advances in communication for robotic systems, identify the major needs and challenges in translating these capabilities to practical arenas, and encourage an exchanging of ideas from robotics and communication experts to tackle these challenges towards development of high performing and reliable networked multi-agent systems for the real-world.

List of Topics

Including but not limited to:

  • Development of spatial wireless signal strength profiles for use in robotic path planning
  • Communication-aware multi-robot planning
  • Communication as a sensor for autonomous driving, object detection, and localization
  • Network optimization in realistic communication environments
  • Prioritized communication over multi-agent networks
  • Accurate localization using wireless signals for multi-agent networks
  • Sensing and Object tracking using wireless signal characteristics
  • Communication protocols for collaborative sensing and applications in robotic networks
  • Efficient communication Systems for vehicular ad-hoc networks
  • Tradeoffs in performance quality, correctness and convergence
  • Cooperation and communication in heterogeneous teams
  • Coordination with intermittent communication
  • Tradeoffs between guarantees and computational efficiency
  • Developing theory to accommodate events inconsistent with assumptions, i.e. loss of global positioning data

Invited Speakers

  • Keynote Speaker Dina Katabi: Wireless@MIT, MIT Adaptive Communication Networks, RFID localization of objects in cluttered environments, Communication systems for autonomous driving [confirmed]
  • Vijay Kumar GRASP, UPenn Control and coordination of multi-robot teams [confirmed]
  • Sonia Martinez UCSD Networked control systems and robotic sensor networks [confirmed]
  • Romit Roy Choudhury EECS, UIUC Wireless networking and mobile device computing, smartphone sensing and localization [confirmed]
  • Bhaskar Krishnamachari USC Wireless and mobile networks [confirmed]
  • Brian Sadler ARL Dynamic spectrum access, signal processing, wireless signal mapping and control [confirmed]
  • Gaurav Sukhatme RESL, USC Large-scale distributed robotic systems [confirmed]
  • Yasamin Mostofi UCSB Spatial prediction of communication quality, communication-aware robot path planning [confirmed]
  • Venkat Padmanabhan Microsoft Research, India RFID geolocation, peer-to-peer networking, WLAN based user localization [tentative]

Call for Extended Abstracts

We solicit extended abstracts to be included in the workshop as a poster presentation and short spotlight talk. Papers addressing one or more topics from List of Topics are particularly encouraged. A selected few contributions will be given longer 10-15 minute talks.

RSS 2-column format, max. 2 pages, please use the latex or word template.

Note that the reviews will not be double blind -- please include the authors and affiliations in your submission.

  • Please send submissions Stephanie Gil at with the subject line RSS 2014 CaRNet Workshop Submission

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: May 1, 2014
  • Acceptance notification: May 10, 2014
  • Workshop date: July 13, 2014


We intend to provide ample opportunity for round-table discussions where invited speakers and workshop participants will be encouraged to propose questions and ponder the next greatest challenges for networked robot systems. An example schedule for our proposed workshop would be the following:

Time Speaker Title
8:25 Opening
8:30 Keynote: Dina Katabi New Approaches for Leveraging Radio Signals in Robotics
9:10 Invited talk: Gaurav Sukhatme Communication Aware Robotics: Models and Abstractions
9:35 Invited talk: Romit Roy Choudhury Mobile Infrastructure: Challenges, Opportunities, and Applications
10:00 Coffee Break
10:20 Invited talk: Venkat Padmanabhan Tracking users indoors: from localization to physical analytics
10:45 Invited talk: Sonia Martinez Robot coordination through opportunistic communications
11:10 Roundtable Discussion with Invited Speakers
11:50 Lunch break
15:00 Invited talk: Vijay Kumar Cooperative Detection, Localization and Mapping of Targets and the Environment with Heterogeneous Robots
15:25 Lightning Round I:

i)Kiran Joshi,

ii)Carlos Rizzo,

iii)Ramviyas Parasuraman,

iv)Soon-Jo Chung, and

v)James Stephan

i) Promoting RF Signal Fadings: a Solution for Localization and Navigation in Tunnel-like featureless environments,

ii) Sensing and Imaging while Communicating,

iii) A Fast Radio Signal Strength Prediction Algorithm for Mobile Robots in Unknown Environments,

iv) Distance Optimal Target Assignment for Networked Robots with Communication and Target-Sensing Limitations,

v) Autonomous motion control of robot teams while preserving communication

16:30 Coffee Break
17:00 Lightning Round II:

i)Christopher Amato,

ii)and Omur Arslan

i) Combined Planning Under Uncertainty for Communication and Control in Multi-Robot Teams,

ii) A Recursive, Distributed Minimum Spanning Tree Algorithm for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks,

17:25 Invited talk:Yasamin Mostofi Robotics and RF: Opportunities and Challenges
17:50 Invited talk: Bhaskar Krishnamachari Controlling mobility to improve wireless network performance
18:15 Closing


Daniela Rus: Daniela Rus is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. She also leads CSAIL’s Distributed Robotics Laboratory MIT Distributed Robotics Lab @ CSAIL. Rus’ research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter, transportation, security, environmental modeling and monitoring, underwater exploration, and agriculture.

Nora Ayanian: Nora Ayanian is a Gabilan Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California in the department of Computer Science. She was previously a postdoctoral associate in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. She received the MSE (2008) and PhD (2011) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests are in multi-robot coordination in uncertain environments with provable guarantees.

Stephanie Gil: Stephanie Gil is a PhD candidate with Prof. Daniela Rus in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. Her research interests are in multi-robot control, distributed optimization of ad hoc communication networks, and space robotics. She completed her MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and her BS in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell, where she also worked on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover team.

Swarun Kumar: Swarun Kumar is a Ph.D candidate with Prof. Dina Katabi in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His research is focused on building robust protocols and architectures for wireless networks. Swarun received his S.M. degree from MIT in 2012 and a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Madras in 2010.

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