AAAI Robot Challenge
AAAI-2002 Mobile Robot Competition
National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2002)
July 28 - August 1, 2002, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Robot Challenge Event Chair:
Assistant Event Chair:
Ashley W. Stroupe: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Last update: 1 March 2002.
The purpose of the AAAI Robot Challenge is to "raise the bar" for
intelligent robot participation in a natural human environment,
to stimulate robotics research groups to address these challenges,
and to use robotics demonstrations to educate the public about
the excitement and difficulties of intelligent robotics research.
The Task: Attend AAAI-2002
The task is to attend the National Conference on Artificial
Intelligence, interact with the other attendees, and give a (brief)
technical talk on itself in an assigned room. In the long run, the
robot should be given no more information than any other participant
arriving in a new city to attend a major technical conference. In the
short run, compromises and flexibility will be necessary, and will be
taken into account in the judging process.
The subtasks are the following. Ideal performance is indicated
(think of Lieutenant Commander Data or C3PO), and some possible
- Start at the front door of the conference center.
- Navigate to the registration desk.
- Ideally, locate signs or ask people how to find the registration desk.
- Or, the robot gets directions using a special-purpose gesture language.
- Or, show the robot a graphical map to follow.
- Or, provide a human guide to track and follow.
- Or, directly download a map of the convention center into
the robot's memory (robot telepathy).
- Or, develop some other creative solution.
- Register: stand in line if necessary, identify itself,
receive registration material, a map of the conference center,
and a room number and time for its talk.
- Ideally, stand in line politely, moving forward as appropriate,
recognize when it has reached the head of the line,
use voice to identify itself, receive and understand printed or
- Or, bull its way directly to the registration desk, ignoring
other people or robots in line.
- Or, expect to be recognized by the registrar or identified by
a human colleague.
- Or, receive map, room number and talk time by direct download.
- Interact with other conference attendees.
- Ideally, recognize other participants by reading nametags or
recognizing faces, and strike up brief personal conversations.
- Or, recognize friendly roboticists by specially-colored tags
or ribbons, and converse with them.
- Or, stand near a non-moving person and emit speech-like sounds.
- Or, avoid collisions with static and moving pedestrians on the
way to the conference room.
- Get to the conference room on time, taking an elevator if necessary.
- Ideally, use the conference center map to plan a route to the
conference room, including using the elevator. Predict the
required amount of travel time. Carry out the plan in spite
of large numbers of other conference attendees.
- Pushing its own elevator buttons is especially classy, or
a human attendant can do the button-pushing.
- Or, follow a human-created plan, but localize in the map
and autonomously avoid collisions while carrying it out.
- Or, accept the shame of being driven like an RC toy.
- If requested, perform volunteer tasks as time permits.
- Ideally, recognize a verbal request to deliver something to
another room, decide whether there is time before the talk,
and if so, do the delivery and return on time.
- Or, receive a keyboard interrupt specifying a delivery destination.
Accept and perform the chore only if there is time.
- Or, on receiving the keyboard interrupt, politely decline to help.
- Make a two-minute presentation about its own technology,
and answer questions.
- Ideally, give a PowerPoint presentation with clarifying
verbal explanations, and give cogent replies to questions.
Be prepared to discuss the relevance of Asimov's Three Laws
of Robotics to contemporary research robots.
- Or, give a PowerPoint presentation, reading the slides aloud,
and rephrase whatever question is asked to match one of the
- Or, give a PowerPoint presentation with recorded voice
- Or, stand mute while the human attendant gives the presentation.
There are a number of important technologies that are involved in
meeting this Challenge.
- Localization in a dynamic environment.
- Safe navigation in the presence of moving obstacles (people).
- Path planning and replanning.
- Planning with time constraints.
- Visual tracking of people, signs, and architecture.
- Speech, gesture, and face recognition.
- Natural language generation and understanding.
- Effective and friendly human-robot interaction.
Here are the
registered robot teams.
The robot teams that are currently registered are:
Judging and Awards
Robots participating in this event will not be ranked. However,
the judges will recognize excellent performance in the variety of
skills required by this event.
We will have a distinguished panel of judges again this year.
- Leslie Kaelbling
- Ben Wegbreit
- Ben Kuipers
The Robot Challenge event itself will take place on Wednesday, July 31.
There may be preliminary trials on Tuesday, July 30 as well.
To ensure that the technical advances in each entrant are clearly
understood and can be built upon, each team should submit a
paper (up to six conference pages) summarizing their approach.
There will be a workshop on Thursday, August 1, at which these papers
will be presented and experiences and difficulties discussed. (More