About

The 2020 IEEE RAS Summer School on Multi-Robot Systems follows the great success of Summer Schools in Singapore, 2016 and in Prague, 2019. As in last year, the IEEE RAS Summer School on Multi-Robot Systems, 2020 will be held at the campus of Czech Technical University, located at the heart of the historical city Prague. The Summer School aims to promote the newest achievements in multi-robot system research to students, academic researchers and industrial practitioners to enable putting systems of cooperating robots into practice. The main scope of the 2020 IEEE RAS Summer School on Multi-Robot Systems will be swarm robotics, including lectures by well-recognized experts in the field, and hands-on experience with real-world experiments using state-of-the-art aerial platforms developed for Multi-Robot research.

Summer school content

Lectures from top robotic researches

The goal of 2020 summer school is to provide knowledge, ideas, and experiences of the best experts in the field of multi-robot systems in a comprehensive and effective way for students and young researchers working in this field. We want to provide you theoretical and practical overview required for getting your MRS research from scientific achievements into practical deployment and verification.

Group seminars

Based on your preference, you will be grouped with other students of the same research interest to strengthen networking and to gain deeper knowledge in the selected domain of MRS. During the group seminars, tasks relevant to an individual scope of students will be discussed and tackled.

Computer practicals

Following the lectures, you will get an opportunity to implement the learnt methodology into a fully functional robotic system under the supervision of researchers with experience in field swarm robotics, towards the real experiments conducted at the end of the school.

Outdoor experiments

One of the most attractive parts of the IEEE MRS Summer School is the practical exercise conducted by all summer school participants the last day of the event. The unique opportunity of putting hands on real aerial multi-robot systems enlarges gained knowledge and may be crucial in your consequent research. Students with the best performance of the final experiments will be awarded.

Rich networking program!

Each day of the summer school, a social evening program is organized to enable both, relaxing after tough lectures and exercises and networking among participants and lecturers. A variety of events take place, including Prague's tour, welcome and farewell parties, Czech pubs tour, and a banquet with a social program.

Would you like to know more?

Enjoy a short video summarising the most important moments of the IEEE MRS Summer School 2019.

Lecturers

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Lorenzo Sabattini

Professor at DISMI, IEEE RAS TC on Multi-Robot Systems

My main research interests are in the field of multi-robot systems and decentralized control. In particular, I’m working on coordination of multi-robot systems, decentralized strategies for connectivity maintenance, and emerging collective behaviors. I’m also interested in mobile robots in industrial environments, traffic coordination and advanced sensing techniques. I am one of the founders of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Multi-Robot Systems. The TC was founded in 2014, and since then I have been serving as the corresponding co-chair.

Inria/IRISA
Paolo Robuffo Giordano

Scientific leader of the Rainbow Team at Inria/IRISA

Bio:
I was born in Rome, Italy. In 2001 I received the “Laurea” degree (M.Sc.) in Computer Science Engineering (“Ingegneria Informatica”) from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and in 2008 the Ph.D. degree in Systems Engineering from the same institution. From November 2007 to October 2008 I was a Postdoc at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics of the German Space Agency (DLR) in Munich, Germany, headed by Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hirzinger. From October 2008 until November 2012 I joined the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, as a Senior Research Scientist in the department of Prof. Heinrich H. Bülthoff. Over the years, I have created and led the “Human-Robot Interaction” group in the Bülthoff department. In December 2012 I joined the Lagadic team of Inria/IRISA, Rennes, France, as a CNRS Permanent Researcher (CR1). In October 2016 I was promoted to CNRS Research Director (DR2). Since January 2018 I am the scientific leader of the Rainbow Team at Inria/IRISA. My scientific interests include motion control for mobile robots and mobile manipulators, visual control of robots, active sensing, bilateral teleoperation, shared control, multi-robot estimation and control, aerial robotics. In general I like to tackle robotics problems by exploiting tools from systems theory, automatic control, estimation, planning. In 2008 I received an award for the best Italian PhD Thesis in Automatic Control, in 2009 the Best Video Award at ICRA’09, in 2015 the Best Associate Editor Award at ICRA 2015, and 2019 the IEEE RA-L 2018 Best Paper Award. I served in the Program Committee for RSS 2010, RSS 2011, RSS 2013, RSS 2016, RSS 2017, RSS 2018, and as Associate Editor for IROS 2011, IROS 2017. ICRA 2012–2019. In 2011 I was Guest Editor for The International Journal of Robotics Research, co-organizing the special issue “Autonomous Physical Human-Robot Interaction” which was published in November 2012. From September 2012 to October 2016 and from March 2018 to December 2018 I have served as Associate Editor for the journal IEEE Transactions on Robotics. Starting from January 2019, I am Editor for the journal IEEE Transactions on Robotics. In 2014, 2015 and 2019 I have served as Area Chair for the RSS Conference. In 2016 I have served as Workshop and Tutorial Chair for the IROS 2016 conference.

Stanford University
Marco Pavone

Director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory

Dr. Marco Pavone is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he also holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering, in the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, and in the Information Systems Laboratory. He is a Research Affiliate at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. Before joining Stanford, he was a Research Technologist within the Robotics Section at JPL. He received a Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. Dr. Pavone’s areas of expertise lie in the fields of controls and robotics. Dr. Pavone is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a NASA Early Career Faculty Award, a Hellman Faculty Scholar Award, and was named NASA NIAC Fellow in 2011. At JPL, Dr. Pavone worked on the end-to-end optimization of the mission architecture for the Mars sample return mission. He has designed control algorithms for formation flying that have been successfully tested on board the International Space Station. Dr. Pavone is the Director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL). The goal of ASL is the development of methodologies for the analysis, design, and control of autonomous systems, with a particular emphasis on large-scale robotic networks and autonomous aerospace vehicles. The lab combines expertise from control theory, robotics, optimization, and operations research to develop the theoretical foundations for networked autonomous systems operating in uncertain, rapidly-changing, and potentially adversarial environments. Theoretical insights are then used to devise practical, computationally-efficient, and provably-correct algorithms for field deployment. Applications include robotic transportation networks, sensor networks, agile control of spacecraft during proximity operations, and mobility platforms for extreme planetary environments. Collaborations with NASA centers are a key component of the research portfolio.

The University of Sheffield
Dr Roderich Gross

Minimalist approaches to distributed robotics

Roderich Gross is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, where he leads the Natural Robotics Lab. He received his Ph.D. degree in engineering science in 2007 from Université Libre de Bruxelles, and was a JSPS Fellow (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Research Associate (University of Bristol), Marie Curie Fellow (EPFL & Unilever), and Visiting Scientist (MIT). He has made contributions to the coordination of robot swarms and reconfigurable robots, and invented the Turing Learning method. He served as the General Chair of DARS 2016.

ETH Zürich
Patrik Schmuck

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Vision for Robotics Lab at ETH Zurich

Patrik Schmuck is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Vision for Robotics Lab at ETH Zurich. He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Tubingen in 2015, and his Ph.D. in Collaborative Vision-based SLAM from the ETH Zurich in 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Margarita Chli. His research contributed to the first live demonstration of centralized collaborative SLAM with three small UAVs equipped with monocular sensors, dubbed 'CCM-SLAM', leading to the public release of this codebase. Follow up work demonstrated monocular-inertial collaborative SLAM in a centralized framework for the first time, while his current research focuses on leveraging the robustness and scalability of Multi-Agent SLAM, and its applicability to heterogeneous robotic and mobile devices.

Multi Robot Systems CTU
Martin Saska

Director of the Multi-robot Systems Group

Deployment of large teams of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) in real-world (outdoor and indoor) environments without precise external localisation or motion capture systems is very challenging. I will present the latest results of our endeavor towards fully autonomous compact flocks of MAVs with onboard artificial intelligence, which was achieved by the Multi-robot Systems group at the Czech Technical University in Prague together with Vijay Kumar Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Stabilization, control, and motion planning techniques for steering swarms and formations of unmanned MAVs will be discussed in the talk. We shall focus on biologically inspired techniques that integrate swarming abilities of individual particles with a Model Predictive Control (MPC) methodology respecting the fast dynamics of unmanned quadrotors. Besides the basic principles of formation flying and swarm stabilization, examples of real-world applications of the introduced methods will be shown in complex indoor and outdoor experiments. First, we show how we use MAVs for indoor documentation of large historical objects (cathedrals) by formations of cooperating MAVs, where one MAV carries a camera and its neighbors carry light sources with the possibility to set a relative angle between the camera axis and the lights as required. Second, we demonstrate cooperative manipulation of large objects by a pair of MAVs developed for the international MBZIRC competition. Last, we present the fully autonomous flying robot Eagle.one hunting for unauthorized drones.

Multi Robot Systems CTU
Tomáš Báča

Introduction to the Unmanned Aerial Platform in the MRS Lab

Tomáš Báča is one of the core members of the MRS group. His lecture will cover the structure of the MRS UAV platform and the seminar task for the summer school. Tomáš works on sensor-driven planning with drones using MPC control. He is persuading his Ph.D. in radiation localization using a swarm of UAVs.

Technology Innovation Institute (Abu Dhabi)
Dr. Eliseo Ferrante

Principal Scientist – Autonomous Robotics Centre

Dr Eliseo Ferrante is Principal Scientist at the Autonomous Robotics Centre at the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), and Assistant Professor in the Computational Intelligence group at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam). Dr Ferrante’s research focuses on swarm robotics studies from an interdisciplinary perspective comprising computational, statistical physics, and evolutionary models of collective behaviour. Some of the phenomena he studies include collective motion, aggregation, task specialisation, and collective decision-making in artificial agents and robots. Methodologically he uses computer simulations, real robot experiments, and evolutionary and mathematical models. He applies these methodologies to the control of large swarms of robots. He obtained a PhD in Engineering Sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB - Belgium) in 2013, an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MSc in Computer Science Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Program

14.9. - Monday

  • 8:00-8:45 -

    Registration

  • 9:00-9:30 -

    Martin Saska - welcome and organisation details

  • 9:30-10:45 -

    Lorenzo Sabattini - Modeling of a multi-robot system and basic control actions

  • 10:45-11:00 -

    Coffee break

  • 11:00-12:15 -

    Lorenzo Sabattini - Topology control, connectivity preservation, and robustness of the topology to failures of single nodes

  • 12:15-13:15 -

    Lunch

  • 13:15-14:45 -

    Martin Saska - Research of groups of aerial robots at CTU in Prague

  • 15:00-15:15 -

    Coffee break

  • 15:15-16:15 -

    Tomáš Báča - Introduction into MRS system in ROS

  • 16:30-17:30 -

    Petr Štibinger/ Tomáš Báča - Practical seminar tasks introduction

  • 17:30-18:45 -

    Practical in groups

  • 19:00-21:00 -

    Social program: Welcome drink

15.9. - Tuesday

  • 8:00-8:45-

    Registration (for later coming)

  • 9:00-10:30 -

    Paolo Robuffo Giordano -An Introduction to Formation Control and Localization of Multi-Robot Systems

  • 10:30-10:45 -

    Coffee break

  • 10:45-12:15 -

    Paolo Robuffo Giordano - Collective Control, State Estimation and Human Interaction for Quadrotors in Unstructured Environments

  • 12:15-13:15 -

    Lunch

  • 13:15-14:45 -

    Roderich Gross - Minimalist approaches to distributed robotics, part I

  • 14:45-15:00 -

    Coffee break

  • 15:00-16:30 -

    Roderich Gross - Minimalist approaches to distributed robotics, part II

  • 16:45-18:15 -

    Practical seminar in ROS, part 1

  • 18:30-20:30 -

    Guided tour in Prague's Old Town

16.9. - Wednesday

  • 8:00-8:45 -

    Registration (for later coming)

  • 9:00-9:30 -

    Short briefing regarding the practicals (Q&A)

  • 9:30-10:30 -

    Eliseo Ferrante - Swarm Robotics: physics and biology can guide the design of collective behaviours, part I

  • 10:30-10:45 -

    Coffee break

  • 10:45-12:15 -

    Eliseo Ferrante - Swarm Robotics: physics and biology can guide the design of collective behaviours, part II

  • 12:15-13:15 -

    - Lunch

  • 13:15-14:45 -

    Patrik Schmuck - Collaboration for Visual SLAM: Approaches, Systems and Applications, part I

  • 14:45-15:00 -

    Coffee break

  • 15:00-16:30 -

    Patrik Schmuck - Collaboration for Visual SLAM: Approaches, Systems and Applications, part II

  • 16:45-18:15 -

    Practical in PC lab (simulations in Gazebo)

  • 19:00-22:00 -

    Banquet

17.9. - Thursday

  • 8:00-8:45 -

    Registration (for later coming)

  • 9:00-10:30 -

    Short presentations of students, part I

  • 10:30-10:45 -

    Coffee break

  • 10:45-12:15 -

    Practical in PC lab (simulations in Gazebo)

  • 12:15-13:15 -

    Lunch

  • 13:15-14:45 -

    Lab tour

  • 14:45-15:30 -

    Briefing on the experimental part & organisation details & safety instructions

  • 15:30-15:45 -

    Coffee break

  • 15:45-17:00 -

    Short presentations of students, part II

  • 17:00-18:30 -

    Marco Pavone - Multimodal Deep Generative Models for Interaction-Aware Navigation in Crowded Environments

18.9. - Friday

  • 9:00-13:00 -

    Outdoor experiments

  • 13:00-14:00 -

    Outdoor lunch

  • 14:00-18:00 -

    Outdoor experiments

  • 18:00-20:00 -

    Farewell drink

  • 20:00 -

    Party in Prague's pubs (not organised event)

Registration fees

  • Students: 440 €
  • Academic participants: 510 €
  • Industry participants: 590 €
  • *The fee includes lectures, practicals with real robots, lunches, coffee breaks, banquet, welcome drink, farewell party, social program - guided tour in Prague's Old Town, VAT is not included

Accommodation

  • CTU in Prague offers a cheap accommodation at student dorms. Student status has to be proven by a study confirmation or any valid student card, e.g. ISIC, at the check-in. Available dorms close to the summer school main location are:
    • Hlavkova dorm - 7€/night
    • Podoli dorm - 5-9€/night (depends on the building)
    • For reservation and availability, please ask directly: recepce@suzcvut.cz or +420 234 678 111
  • Besides, the cheapest possibility of accommodation in Prague is AirBnb and also Booking.com is usually a reasonable and comfortable way for finding a good room. We recommend you to book the room as soon as possible to get a good offer close to the summer school site ( see map of the summer school site - building E ).
  • After the final registration, we will provide you the slack forum to enable you rooms sharing. This could be also useful for your networking which is one of the goals of this event.

Important dates

  • Dates: 14.09.2020 - 18.09.2020
  • Application deadline: July 31, 2020