The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), taking place simultaneously at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia and virtually, has just kicked off. ICRA 2022 brings together the world’s top researchers and most important companies to share ideas and advances in the fields of robotics and automation.
This is the first time the ICRA community is reunited after the pandemic, resulting in record breaking attendance with over 7,000 registrations and 95 countries represented. As the ICRA 2022 Co-Chair Vijay Kumar (University of Pennsylvania, USA) states, “we could not be happier to host the largest robotics conference in the world in Philadelphia, and the beginning of the re-emergence from the pandemic after a three year hiatus. We are back!”
Many important developments in robotics and automation have historically been first presented at ICRA, and in its 39th year, ICRA 2022 promises to take this trend one step further. As the practical and socio-economic impact of our field continues to expand, robotics and automation are increasingly taking the center stage in our lives and will play an important role in the Future of Work and Society, the theme of this year’s conference. Indeed, the Future of Work Forum Session being held on Thursday May 26th will specifically address the impact of automation on the future of employment, featuring panelists Jeff Burnstein (A3), Erik Brynjolfssonn (Stanford), Moshe Vardi (Rice University), Michael Lotito (Littler), Bernd Liepert (EuRobotics), Cecilia Laschi (NUS), and Ioana Marinescu (University of Pennsylvania). Five more Forums will be happening from Tuesday to Thursday, including an Industry Forum on Tuesday May 24th, or a Startup Forum on Wednesday May 25th.
The conference will also feature Plenaries and Keynotes by world-renowned roboticists on topics such as Robot Ethics, Legged Robots for Industrial and Search & Rescue Applications, Robot Farming, Autonomous Logistics or Smart Sensing, as well as 1500 Technical Talks on the state-of-the-art in robotics. A total of 39 researchers have been nominated to the 13 awards that ICRA 2022 is giving on Thursday, for their outstanding research contributions in categories such as Automation, Coordination, Interaction, Learning, Locomotion, Manipulation, Navigation or Planning, among others. As the ICRA 2022 Program Chair Hadas Kress-Gazit (Cornell University, USA) comments, “we are so excited to see the latest and greatest in robotics research and meet old and new friends!”.
Furthermore, a robot exhibition hall has been prepared with nearly 100 confirmed Exhibitors offering robot displays and demos from companies like Dyson, Motional, Built Robotics, NVIDIA, Technology Innovation Institute, Boston Dynamics, Pal-Robotics, KUKA Robotics, Toyota Research Institute, Tesla or Waymo, among others.
Competitions are also a big part of ICRA 2022. A total of 10 exciting Competitions will be taking place from Monday May 23rd to Friday May 27th, on the following topics: Autonomous Ground & Aerial Robots Navigation, Localization and Mapping, Robot Manipulation, Autonomous Racing, Roboethics, and LEGO League for 12th grade students.
To complete the program of the largest worldwide robotics conference, there will also be several Industry Tech Huddles led by industry experts, Technical Tours to the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, Penn Medicine and the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory, and several Networking Events.
ICRA 2022 is also proud to partner with the RAD Lab and several Philadelphia-based art galleries to offer a central space for art in its program. Building on the previous ICRA robotic art programs, this year’s installment explores aesthetic and creative influences on robot motion through interactive, expressive, and meditative robotic art installations. The exhibition and the associated workshop will provide new perspectives on imagining new technology futures.
“This is a very special conference for the majority of ICRA attendees,” ICRA 2022 General Co-Chair George J. Pappas (University of Pennsylvania, USA) comments. “The reason? 64% of all registrants and 56% of all in-person registrants are attending ICRA for the very first time! Given this influx of fantastic talent to our field, the future of ICRA is as bright as it has ever been.”
Not everyone can attend ICRA in person. That’s why the ICRA Organizing Committee, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and OhmniLabs have teamed up to offer access to the OhmiLab’s telepresence robots that will be on site. Three OhmniBots will be in the main exhibition hall (with all the other robots) from opening to closing on Tuesday May 24th, Wednesday May 25th and Thursday May 26th, with time slots aligning with Poster Sessions, networking breaks and Expo Hall hours.
No matter where you are, we hope you enjoy the conference either in person or virtually!
We would like to thank ICRA 2022 Partners, which have also supported us in record numbers this year.