Over the past decades, deploying robots in extreme environments has become imperative, due to the inherent risks and insurmountable challenges that such environments pose to human safety. From monitoring the terrestrial cryospheric processes to sampling south polar lunar regolith, robots have the capacity to operate in and adapt to these otherwise hardly accessible environments, executing complex tasks without the need for human presence.
Leveraging heterogeneity (either behavioral, physical, or both) within teams of robots can enable efficient data collection, enrich measurements precision, and enhance mission resilience. However, navigating and negotiating the numerous hurdles imposed by these environments—including complexly illuminated landscapes, featureless and unstructured visual fields, uneven topographies, and GPS-denied conditions, among others is no straightforward endeavor. In this 2nd edition of the HERMES (Heterogeneous multi-robot cooperation for exploration & science in extreme environments) workshop we will bring together seasoned scientists and young researchers working toward improving data acquisition, perception & sensing, and spatial & situational awareness in extreme environments through heterogeneous multi-robot cooperation.
Our goal is to explore and identify new solutions to enhance the spatial and situational awareness of multi-robot teams operating within and across extreme on- and off-Earth environments. Three primary objectives have been identified for this year's edition of the workshop:
to identify major challenges for the autonomous and semi-autonomous navigation of teams of robots, particularly those associated with sensing and perception, across unstructured and dynamic environments
to understand whether and how heterogeneity and cooperation within teams of robots or even single robots with multiple sensing capabilities potentially enhance enhances the effective acquisition and interpretation of environmental data for self-localization and local mapping
to explore key areas of knowledge within this domain where further study is needed, identifying potential avenues for collaboration among participants in the upcoming years
We are currently accepting papers. Research work that includes field testing results or demonstrations is preferred, although papers describing novel sensing and perception approaches and/or early results can also be submitted. Preference will be given to work conducted by early career researchers. More information can be found here.