An opportunity to meet some latent PCT fans

[From Oded Maler (930820)]

I enclose a part of a posting from - it might be an interesting

In article <250mnv$>, (Rick Skal

AAAI 1994
Spring Symposium Series
March 21 - 23, 1994
Stanford University, California
(Special Symposium, March 19-20)

Call for Participation

Sponsored by the American Association for Artificial Intelligence
445 Burgess Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(415) 328-3123

The American Association for Artificial Intelligence presents the
1994 Spring Symposium Series, to be held Monday through
Wednesday, March 21-23 at Stanford University, Stanford,

The topics of the ten symposia in the 1994 Spring Symposium Series

.. deleted

- Toward Physical Interaction and Manipulation

Symposia will be limited to between forty and sixty participants.
Each participant will be expected to attend a single symposium.
Working notes will be prepared and distributed to participants in
each symposium.

A general plenary session, in which the highlights of each
symposium will be presented, will be held on March 22, and an
informal reception will be held on March 21.

In addition to invited participants, a limited number of other
interested parties will be able to register in each symposium on a
first-come, first-served basis. Registration will be available by
December 1993. To obtain registration information write to the
AAAI at 445 Burgess Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (

Submission Dates
Submissions for the symposia are due on October 15th, 1993.
Notification of acceptance will be given by November 15th, 1993.
Material to be included in the working notes of the symposium
must be received by January 31, 1994. See the appropriate section
below for specific submission requirements for each symposium.

.. deleted


Subject: AAAI-94 Spring Sympsium Call for Participation - #16444

Toward Physical Interaction and Manipulation

The range and scope of practical robotics applications depends
critically on the ability of robots to physically interact with their
environments. Current applications are highly specialized, and
typically involve carefully controlled, well understood workspaces
with little or no sensory feedback. Construction costs and
inflexibility limit the economic viability of these systems. The
general manipulation skills of humans and other animals contrasts
starkly with the current capabilities of robots. From threading a
needle, to opening a door, to catching a ball, to moving a sofa, we
engage our environments in myriad ways. Unlike most current
robots, we rely upon rich sources of sensory feedback to cope with
uncertainties in our varied world.

The purpose of this workshop is to draw together researchers from
a range of disciplines to study the principles of physical interaction
and manipulation. The goal is to consider theories, paradigms, and
ontologies for both natural and artificial systems, and to develop
generally useful concepts, architectures, and algorithms for
building and describing them.

The approach is to select in advance a set of tasks that range in
difficulty and span a number of research issues. Each prospective
participant is to develop conceptual designs for one or more of
these tasks prior to the workshop. It is acceptable for designs to be
speculative, as we encourage creative solutions. However, the aim
is to examine tasks in detail and sketch complete systems. At the
workshop, selected designs will be presented, discussed, and
compared in an attempt to reach a more general understanding. By
analyzing a range of tasks, we aim to broaden our perspective,
identifying common themes and useful design principles. The
rationale for this format is that participants will be well prepared
for the discussions by thinking in detail about some of these tasks
in advance. The list of candidate tasks include: make a cup of
coffee; fry and serve an egg; prepare buttered toast; play catch;
insert and play a video tape; vacuum/mop the floor or mow the
lawn; dig a hole/trench; (un)lock a door with a key; open, pass
through, and close a door; feed someone using a fork, knife, spoon,
cup, etc.; retrieve a screwdriver from the toolbox in the garage.; fold
clothes; move large objects (boxes, chairs, furniture).

These activities involve a range of skills and will most likely require
a range of mechanisms. They can be characterized by their
requirements for real-time dynamics; ballistic vs. servo control;
timed control; position/orientation/velocity/force control; tool
usage & action at a distance; multiple temporal phases; sensor
modalities (e.g., visual, haptic); compliance; constraints on the

Participants should attempt to characterize their tasks and designs
according to these (and other) features to facilitate comparison.

Potential participants should submit a short description of their
background and research interests along with designs and analysis
for individual tasks. To improve the depth and quality of the
designs, participants are encouraged to work in teams, especially in
collaborations that combine complementary expertise. Of course,
demonstrations of working systems, including simulations and
videos, are encouraged. Send submissions to either:
Steven Whitehead
GTE Laboratories Incorporated
40 Sylvan Rd.
Waltham, MA 02254
phone: (617) 466-2193
FAX: (617) 890-9320
David Coombs
Natl Inst of Stds and Tech (NIST)
Robot Systems Division
Building 220, Room B-124
Gaithersburg, MD 20899 USA
phone: (301) 975-2865
FAX: (301) 990-9688

Organizing Committee: Emilio Bizzi, MIT; Jon Connell, IBM
Watson; David Coombs, (cochair), NIST,;
Ken Goldberg, USC; Rod Grupen, University of Massachusetts;
Stan Rosenschein, Teleos Research; Steven Whitehead, GTE Labs,
(cochair), (


Oded Maler, VERIMAG, Miniparc ZIRST, 38330 Montbonnot, France
Phone: 76909635 Fax: 76413620 e-mail: