RSS 2014 Workshop: Information-based Grasp and Manipulation Planning


In order for robots to perform grasping and manipulation tasks robustly in the presence of environmental uncertainty, it is important to be able to reason about the acquisition of perceptual knowledge and to perform information gathering actions as necessary. This is especially important today because many recently developed inexpensive robots sacrifice actuator accuracy and performance for cost savings. In order for this tradeoff to work, it is necessary to make up for actuator error with improved perceptual capabilities.

This workshop will focus on the intersection between grasping/manipulation and planning under uncertainty. One the one hand, we are interested in planning algorithms that enable a robot to reason about how to obtain relevant information in the context of performing a task. On the other, we are looking for ways that these planning algorithms can make robot grasping and manipulation more robust. We envision a robot manipulation system that gains information by interacting with objects (touching, pushing, changing viewing perspective, etc.) in order to perform grasping, placement, insertion, assembly, or other tasks more robustly.

This workshop will bring together researchers working in sensing and perception, grasp and motion planning, and information/belief space planning to discuss the current state of the art and identify new research opportunities.


The workshop will focus on the following pertinent areas, including but not limited to:


The workshop will be held on July 13, 2014 (Sunday) during the Robotics Science and Systems (RSS) 2014 Conference in Berkeley, California.

Venue: 200 Wheeler Hall (Directions)

08:40 - 08:50 Welcome
08:50 - 09:20 Invited Talk: Prof. Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley.
09:20 - 09:40 Talk: Sergey Levine, UC Berkeley. (Paper)
09:40 - 10:00 Talk: Shervin Javdani, CMU. (Paper)
10:00 - 10:20 Coffee Break
10:20 - 10:50 Invited Talk: Prof. Hanna Kurniawati, University of Queensland.
10:50 - 11:20 Poster Spotlight Talks: 10 posters; 3 minute presentations
11:20 - 11:50 Contributed Papers: Poster Session I
11:50 - 15:00 Lunch Break
15:00 - 15:30 Invited Talk: Prof. Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell University.
15:30 - 16:30 Contributed Papers: Poster Session II
16:30 - 17:00 Coffee Break
17:00 - 17:30 Invited Talk: Jur van den Berg, Google.
17:30 - 17:50 Talk: Dylan Hadfield-Menell, UC Berkeley. (Paper)
17:50 - 18:20 Invited Talk: Siddhartha Srinivasa, CMU.
18:20 - 18:30 Closing Remarks

Contributed Papers

Workshop Agenda

There will be a mix of invited speakers and presentations of submitted papers. Invited speakers will get a 30 minute slot to present their latest work. An interactive poster session will be organized if there are a larger number of submissions, allowing more contributors to present their work and have detailed discussions with the workshop attendees. Audience participation will be encouraged through a panel discussion that will address specific questions on the state of the art in information-based grasp and motion planning and the proposed directions of new research efforts. In this way, we hope to include as many contributors as possible and make the workshop an open forum for fruitful discussions between invited speakers, active contributors, and the audience.

Call for Papers

We invite you to submit two page extended abstracts describing new/ongoing work.

Important Dates:

Submissions should be in .pdf format using the RSS paper template:

-LaTeX template:
-Word template:

The best submissions will be selected for either poster or oral presentations during the workshop. Final instructions for poster presentations and talks will be posted on the workshop website after decision notifications have been made.

Accepted presenters will have the option of submitting a full length six-page paper due on the day of the workshop for digital archival on the workshop website.

Please e-mail submissions to Sachin Patil (sachinpatil [at] and Robert Platt (rplatt [at] with the subject line "RSS 2014 Workshop Submission”

For any questions or clarifications, please contact the organizers.


Sachin Patil (UC Berkeley), sachinpatil [at] (contact person)
Robert Platt Jr. (Northeastern University), rplatt [at]