2019 Workshop on

Topological Methods in Robot Planning

2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
May 20-24, Montreal, Canada.
Subhrajit Bhattacharya
Lehigh University
Florian T. Pokorny
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Vijay Kumar
University of Pennsylvania

Workshop Details

Tentative Date: 23rd or 24th of May 2019.
Time: TBA.
Location/Room: TBA.


Over the past several years algebraic and differential topology have been used extensively in a variety of problems in robotics. Topological invariants have been used to reason about shapes of configuration spaces. Invariants have also been used to develop algorithms for computing optimal solutions in topologically distinct classes in configuration spaces, with direct application to multi-robot exploration problems and in systems involving flexible cables. Representation as simplicial complexes has transcended the traditional graph representations in context of sensor networks, making way for new methods in reasoning about the shape of configuration spaces and in developing effective coverage algorithms. With advances in persistent homology algorithms, topological data analysis techniques have been used on large data sets (such as 3D point clouds in context of visual mapping) and sensor networks for identification and classification of spaces based on their topology.

This workshop is aimed at bringing together a diverse group of people who are working at the frontier of application of topological techniques to solving problems related to robotics, perception and automation. The goal of the workshop is not only dissemination of new ideas related to topological methods, but also to encourage intellectual exchange through discussions and collaborations across the discipline.

Call for Posters

Abstract submission deadline: 5th April 2019.

We highly encourage submission of posters for the workshop. If you would like to present recent and ongoing work related to topological approaches for robotics, please submit a short abstract (1-2 pages) over email, outlining your research by midnight 5th April 2019, Pacific Time. We are planning to have a short poster spotlight session for selected submissions as well as a dedicated poster session for all accepted submissions during the workshop, providing a unique opportunity to discuss your work in this area with colleagues.

Contact (for questions and poster abstract submissions):

Subhrajit Bhattacharya:  sub216@lehigh.edu
Florian Pokorny:  fpokorny@kth.se

(please use "Poster Submission: 2019 Workshop on Topological Methods in Robot Planning" as email subject)

Tentative Schedule

Duration Speaker and Affiliation Tentative Title of Talk
20 mins Dr. Florian T. Pokorny
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
Welcome and introduction to Topological Methods in Robot Planning
20 mins Dr. Subhrajit Bhattacharya
Lehigh University, U.S.A.
Welcome and introduction to Topological Methods in Robot Planning
30 mins Dr. Vijay Kumar
University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
30 mins Dr. Sethu Vijaykumar
University of Edinburgh, U.K.
Relational descriptors for online, adaptive replanning in dynamic scenes
30-45 mins Poster Spotlight Session
45 mins Poster Session and Coffee Break
30 mins Dr. Howie Choset
Carnegie Mellon University, U.S.A.
The role of topology in optimal path planning
30 mins Dr. Maxim Likachev,
Carnegie Mellon University, U.S.A.
30 mins Dr. Daniel C. Cohen
Lousiana State University, U.S.A.
Topological complexity of surfaces and related configuration spaces
30 mins Dr. Carme Torras
Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, Spain
30 mins Dr. Alberto Speranzon
Honeywell, U.S.A.
Uncooperative Topological Mapping