May was quite the month. I passed my prospectus and also attended my first flagship IEEE conference!
Our paper on a coverage control approach for multi-resource allocation was accepted to ICRA 2023 in January, and I had the opportunity to present our work at this year’s conference in London, UK. It was such an amazing experience!
On the first day of the conference, I met up with the Women in Robotics group, organized by the UK chapter. We met for coffee and had the chance to meet other women in robotics and discuss our different fields.
This was only my second in-person conference, with my first being the International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS 2022). But, this was my first flagship IEEE conference in-person. With about 6,000 attendees, ICRA had to have been more than 10x the size of DARS, which made for a totally different experience. DARS was a much more intimate setting, where it was easy to get to know people in the field of multi-robot systems. ICRA, on the other hand, had such a wide variety of disciplines within robotics, from medical robotics to control theory to artificial intelligence. The exhibition hall was especially impressive, with companies such as Unitree and Ameca showing off their robots (I have a lot of apprehensive thoughts about human-like robots, but that’s a discussion for another time). Here are some pictures, the second of which is of the robot parade they put on in the exhibition hall. See if you can spot all the robots (I’ll give you a hint - there are twelve, and one of them is flying)!
There were also tons of competitions going on, from autonomous racing to assistive robot competitions. There was just so much to see at ICRA, and so many opportunities to have interesting discussions about the future of robotics in a variety of fields. I’m definitely looking forward to future in-person conferences!