Stochasticity in Robotics and Biological Systems

A Full-Day Pre-Conference Workshop
May 12, 2009



Motivation and Objectives



Workshop Program


We invite you to a full-day, pre-conference workshop entitled “Stochasticity in Robotics and Biological Systems”. This is a unique workshop; while addressing diverse topics of robotics we focus on an underpinning discipline and theory across many branches of robotics. Stochasticity has been a central issue in diverse robotics problems; Modeling of uncertain environment, estimation of state and parameters from noisy data, and decision making based on partial or incomplete information are all critical issues in SLAM, swarm robots, task planning, machine learning, neuro-robotics, and human intension understanding. Stochasticity is also a crucial aspect in biological systems where the multitude of cells and molecules interact stochastically. Yet, collective behaviors of those agents are well regulated and even robust and versatile. Recent progress in systems biology has revealed that the stochastic nature of cell behaviors and random molecular dynamics are the key to the understanding of their collective behaviors and regulatory mechanisms. Researchers of swarm robotics and others are learning from biological systems new stochastic regulatory mechanisms and protocols. Thus stochasticity is heavily involved in diverse fields of robotics and biological systems. The objective of this workshop is to bring together leaders in these isolated research areas, address fundamental issues across the diverse topics, and establish a scientific and disciplinary foundation of robotics. We think that considering fundamental issues beyond specific problems in hand is an important exercise, which will facilitate interdisciplinary studies and will lead to discoveries and breakthroughs for the future.

Organizer: H. Harry Asada
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
d’Arbeloff Laboratory, Bio-Robotics
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Room 3-346
77 Massachusetts Ave.,
Cambridge, MA 02139