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World’s largest robotics conference to take place in Canada for first time

ICRA, the world’s largest robotics conference, is set to be held in Canada for the first time, offering insights into the future of robotics across the globe.

ICRA, short for International Conference on Robotics and Automation, is organised by the IEEE, the world’s largest engineering association. Specifically, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society.

With global spending on robotics systems and drones forecast to total $115.7 billion this year alone – an increase of 17.6 percent over 2018 – the world’s largest robotics conference is scheduled to get under way in Montreal later this month, unveiling the latest and greatest in robotics research and innovations from 71 countries under one roof.

ICRA 2019 will take place from May 20-24 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, also known as the Montreal Convention Center, marking the first time that the conference – now in its 35th year – is being held in Canada.

This will be world’s largest, most prestigious and most significant robotics event, with more exhibiters, scientific papers and participants than any prior robotics event anywhere, said Gregory Dudek, ICRA 2019 conference chair and head of Samsung Montreal AI Center, and James McGill, professor at McGill University.

The five-day event features 100 exhibits, live demos, research poster displays, conference sessions, robotics competitions and a unique robotic art exposition.

All 1,200 research papers to be unveiled present novel never-before-published results.

Dudek says: “ICRA will bring together the world’s top researchers and most important companies to share ideas and advances in the robotics field.

“Many of the most important developments in robotics and automation have historically been first exposed at ICRA, and 2019 will continue this trend.”

Highlights of ICRA 2019, which is expected to attract about 4,000 academic and industry representatives, include:

  • Cutting-edge robotics research currently under way that is poised to benefit consumers and industry worldwide.
  • A large exhibition featuring the world’s most impactful robotics companies, working in domains including self-driving cars, factory automation, voice assistance, and underwater vehicles.
  • Live and pre-taped demos of robots that walk, talk, swim, fly, drive and perform multiple tasks – from self-driving cars and smart appliances for the home and workplace, to mobile robot healthcare assistants and breakthrough medical technologies, to the latest in legged robotics, aerial robotics and factory automation.
  • Conference sessions on such topics as biologically-inspired robots, humanoid robots, medical and rehabilitation robotics, and field and aerial robotics.
  • Robotics competitions focused around AI for self-driving cars, fully-autonomous robotic “pilots”, and mobile manipulation and navigation.
  • Prestigious awards that will be presented to industry representatives globally for best research projects and papers.
  • An innovative robotic art exposition, featuring pieces by robotics artists and addressing the importance of artistic contributions to the field of robotics research, and its social and cultural impacts. Creations by local and international art students will also be on display. An international art expert panel and guest speakers, including artists that are presenting their works, will round out the exposition. More details about the robotic art program can be found here.

ICRA 2019 plenary and keynote speakers include:

  • Yoshua Bengio, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at the Université de Montréal and recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence and deep learning, who will speak about Challenges for Deep Learning Towards AI (May 20, 9:15 am).
  • Vijay Kumar, Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, who will address the topic of Opportunities and Challenges for Autonomy in Micro Aerial Vehicles (May 21, 8:30 am).
  • Anouk Wipprecht, leading Dutch FashionTech designer and Innovator, who will shed light on Robotic Dresses and Emotional Interfaces (May 21, 9:45 am).
  • Raquel Urtasun, Chief Scientist of Uber ATG, Head of Uber ATG Toronto and Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, who will speak about A Future with Affordable Self-Driving Vehicles (May 22, 8:30 am).
  • Arianna Menciassi, Full Professor of Biomedical Robotics at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA, Pisa, Italy) and team leader of the “Surgical Robotics & Allied Technologies” Area at The BioRobotics Institute, who will address the topic of Robotic Technologies and Targeted Therapy: Challenges and Opportunities (May 22, 2:45 pm).