IROS 2011 WS Active Semantic Perception and Object Search in the Real World


This workshop brings together a number of key researchers as invited speakers to discuss the problem of efficiently searching for objects in the real world. This is an important component in most service robot systems. It is a very complex problem incorporating a number of, in themselves very hard, sub-problems such as object detection, recognition and classification, view planning, active perception, mapping, spatial reasoning and more recently the incorporation and exploitation of semantic knowledge. Together with the other presenters we will give an overview of the field and discuss, together with the audience, where we are today, what the challenges and opportunities are and where the field is going.

Motivation and Objectives

A key competence for an autonomous mobile service robot operating in an unstructured indoor environment is to reliably find objects. A further requirement in this aim is the ability to acquire the relevant semantic information, update it during the whole lifetime of a robot and handle search queries in large environments. The underlying sub-problems, such as semantic perception and mapping, object recognition and categorization are the main focus of various independent research streams. Since perception algorithms can be computationally expensive, the robot must also plan its sensory actions to find the object efficiently. Our goal is to bridge the gap between those topics to allow for building robots actively seeking and integrating spatial knowledge for the purpose of efficient object search.

A common assumption present in previous work in the field is that the objects of interest are located within the immediate sensory reach of a robot. Searching for objects with mobile robots over larger regions of space has received more interest recently with various methods being developed simultaneously by different research groups. The main focus of this workshop is on autonomously finding objects in larger-scale space and methods for building a semantic spatial representation. The workshop will provide a common forum where researchers can exchange ideas and experiences with these problems.


The workshop will consist of a mix of invited speakers and poster session.
A poster submission consists of an abstract. At the workshop each poster presenter will get a few minutes to introduce the poster to the other participants. The length of the introduction will depend on the number of posters. Each presenter will be encouraged to submit a single slide in pdf format before the workshop. These slides will be compiled into a single presentation to speed up the procedure.

Invited speakers

  • John Tsotsos, York University, Canada
  • Charlie Kemp, Georgia Tech, USA
  • Jim Little, UBC, Canada
  • Michael Beetz, TUM, Germany
  • Wolfram Burgard, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

Program committee

  • Ales Leonardis, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Henrik Christensen, Georgia Tech, USA
  • Achim Lilienthal, Örebro University, Sweden
  • Markus Vincze, TUW, Austria
  • Jana Kosecka, George Mason University, USA
  • Dieter Fox, University of Washington, USA
  • Tom Duckett, Lincoln University, UK
  • Radu Bogdan Rusu, Willow Garage, USA


  • Alper Aydemir, KTH, Sweden
  • Andrzej Pronobis, KTH, Sweden
  • Bhaskara Marthi, Willow Garage, USA
  • Patric Jensfelt, KTH, Sweden
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