AAAI-RSS Special Workshop on the 50th Anniversary of Shakey: The Role of AI to Harmonize Robots and Humans

Thursday, July 16th - Great Hall

Motivation and Objectives

At a time when computers were room-sized, but had less than 1 megabyte of memory, the achievements of Shakey were extraordinary. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Shakey, a milestone in the development of intelligent mobile robots.

With encouragement from the General Chair and Program Chair of RSS 2015, this workshop will join a series of events, organized by AAAI and the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society, to mark the anniversary, establish closer collaborations between the robotics and artificial intelligence communities, and encourage discussion of bold ideas through the Blue Sky Idea Competition.

Against this broader background, the theme of this workshop is to debate and understand the role of AI in achieving seamless interactions between robots and humans, i.e., robots living in harmony with humans. Recent successes have demonstrated the power of AI in understanding human artifacts like text and image corpuses and reasoning effectively about them. So much so that agents like Watson and Deep Blue are able to literally beat humans at their own games. As physically embodied agents start interacting and collaborating closely with humans in complex physical tasks, such reasoning becomes critical and reveals new challenges. Our goal is to bring together robotics and AI researchers to enlighten, discuss, and debate key challenges in the role of AI to harmonize robots and humans.


Siddhartha Srinivasa, siddh [at], The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Pieter Abbeel, pabbeel [at], University of California at Berkeley
Aaron M. Johnson, amj1 [at], The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Sachin Patil, sachinpatil [at], University of California at Berkeley

Invited Speakers and Panelists

Schedule (Tentative)

This half day workshop will be held on the morning of July 16th, 2015 during the Robotics Science and Systems (RSS) 2015 Conference in Rome, Italy.

Venue: TBA

08:25 - 08:30 Introductions
08:30 - 09:15 Invited Talk: Making Shakey, Peter Hart (member of the original Shakey team)
09:15 - 09:30 Q/A Session
09:30 - 10:15 Invited Talk: 50 Years After Shakey: What Have We Learned in AI? Or not. Oliver Brock (team leader for the winning 2015 Amazon Picking Challenge team)
10:15 - 10:30 Q/A Session
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:30 Blue Sky Talks: Talks selected from submissions to the Blue Sky Idea Competition
Acquiring Object Experiences at Scale, John Oberlin, Maria Meier, Tim Kraska, Stefanie Tellex
Robobarista: Object Part based Transfer of Manipulation Trajectories from Crowd-sourcing in 3D Pointclouds, Jaeyong Sung, Seok Hyun Jin, Ashutosh Saxena
End-to-End Training of Deep Visuomotor Policies, Sergey Levine, Chelsea Finn, Trevor Darrell, Pieter Abbeel
11:30 - 12:30 Panel Discussion

Call for Contributions / Blue Sky Ideas Competition

We invite submissions of four page extended abstracts describing new ideas / on-going work at the junction of AI and robotics. The abstracts should describe and demonstrate the application of novel ideas from fields such as (but not limited to) search, planning, motion and manipulation, perception, machine learning, human-robot interaction and collaboration, and natural language processing for robotics. In the spirit of celebrating Shakey's 50th anniversary, we highly encourage a working demonstration on a real robot.

We especially encourage students to submit. The best submissions will be selected for presentation during the workshop. Abstracts will be judged based on novelty of the proposed approach, clarity of presentation, quality and reliability of demonstrations on a real robot, and the potential to have major impact in one or more areas of robotics research. The top three submissions will win $750 travel awards, generously provided by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) through the Blue Sky Ideas initiative.

Final instructions for poster presentations and talks will be posted on the workshop website after decision notifications have been made. Accepted abstracts will also be digitally archived on the workshop website.

Important Dates:

Submissions should be no more than four pages in pdf format using the RSS paper template:

Please email submissions to with the subject line "RSS 2015 Workshop Submission"

For any questions or clarifications, please contact the organizers.

Additional Resources


The organizers would like to thank the Computing Research Association's Computing Community Consortium for sponsoring the workshop through the Blue Sky Ideas initiative.