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2015 Developing Countries Forum

Call for participation

Interest in robotics is increasing in many parts of the world, and developing countries are no exception. From research projects aimed at developing novel robotic systems for unique challenges, to education and outreach programs that use robotics to enhance students’ interest in STEM fields, the collection of robotics projects in developing countries provides a fascinating panorama of the potential and impact robotics can have around the world.

For the first time at ICRA 2015, a forum will be specifically dedicated to highlighting robotics work in developing countries. During this forum, invited speakers will speak on current trends in robotics research and education in developing countries, an interactive display at the conference will feature information on a diverse array of robotics projects in developing countries around the world, and opportunities will be provided for remote participation in these activities. Work from a wide range of categories will be featured in the interactive display, including but not limited to research, education, outreach, academic work, industry work, governmental work, and NGO work. Moreover, the interactive display will be launched at the conference but will sustain beyond the conference to connect the international community interested in this topic.

The forum at ICRA 2015 will allow for deeper interactions, both in person and via remote participation, with authors of selected projects highlighted in the interactive display, and with other relevant invited participants. Discussions will center on themes such as relevant applications, current trends and future directions of robotics in developing countries, opportunities and challenges of robotics work in developing countries, and opportunities for “south-south” as well as “north-south” collaboration in this context.

Opportunities for remote participate will attempt to ensure that every interested potential participant has an opportunity to be a part of this forum irrespective of location logistics. A number of options to make the remote participation possible are currently been explored. These include the following:

  1. remote conference access which includes two way video and audio conferencing,
  2. real time chat rooms for online contributions during talks and panels,
  3. email contributions, and
  4. social networking via Twitter, Facebook etc.

Conversations will continue beyond the conference, centered on the web-based interactive display that will continue to be accessible on the World Wide Web beyond ICRA 2015.

Invited Speakers


9:15-10:30: Opportunities and challenges for robotics in the developing world

9:15-9:25: Welcome and introduction to forum
9:25-10:10: Panel of accepted forum submissions:

  1. Promoting Robotics Development in Mexico
    Jesus Savage, Alfredo Weitzenfeld, Marco Morales (Mexico)
  2. Shaping the Future of Robotics and Automation in Egypt
    Alaa khamis, Mohamed Aboud (Egypt,Canada)
  3. Europe and South African collaboration on the Mechatronics and Robotics systems as part of the SA Robotics Center
    Riaan Stopforth, Alexander Ferrein, Gerald Steinbauer (South Africa, Germany, Austria)
  4. GIT: A Peruvian Approach to Out-of-the-Box Robotics
    Eiji Onchi, Francisco Cuellar, Cesar Lucho (Perú)
10:10-10:30: Open forum discussion on opportunities and challenges for robotics in the developing world


10:30-11:00: Coffee Break

11:00-12:15: Affordable robots for education and outreach in the developing world

11:00-11:10: Interactive display hightlights
11:10-11:15: Introduction to education and outreach theme
11:15-11:30: Invited Speakers: Ken Goldberg (University of California, Berkeley) and Ayorkor Korsah (AFRON)
11:30-12:15: Panel of accepted forum submissions:

  1. Colias: towards an affordable mobile robot for education in developing countries
    Ernest Barfo Boadi Gyebi, Farshad Arvin, Marc Hanheide, Shigang Yue, Grzegorz Cielniak (United Kingdom, Ghana)
  2. Lollybot: Where Candy, Gaming, and Educational Robotics Collide
    Thomas Alan Tilley (Thailand)
  3. SAKSHAR: An Image-projective Desktop Varnamala Trainer (IDVT) for Interactive Learning of Alphabets
    Ravi, Prakash Joshi, Riby Abraham Boby, Subir Kumar Saha, Takafumi Matsumaru (India, Japan)
  4. Autonomous Humanoid Robot AcYut
    Kaustubh Nawade, V Aditya, Pratyush Kar, Anirudh Bhutani, Nishant Bansal, Anant Anurag, Shreyas Pramod Dixit (India)


12:15-14:30: Lunch Break

14:30-15:40: Robotics technology impacting education and outreach in the developing world

14:30-15:25: Panel of accepted forum submissions:

  1. Braille Tutor: Automated tutors to assist learning the slate and stylus method for writing braille
    Ermine Teves, M. Bernardine Dias (USA, India, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Zambia, China, Qatar)
  2. Team-NUST: First RoboCup SPL Team from South Asia
    Muhammad Talha Imran, Abdul Rehman, Maham Tanveer, Shams Azeem, Abdul Haseeb Ayub, Idrees Hussain, Hassan Umair, Fahad Islam, Yasar Ayaz (Pakistan)
  3. Robotic Competition Based Education in Engineering (RoC-BEE)
    Rishabh Agarwal, Subir Kumar Saha (India)
  4. The Ashesi Innovation Experience for High School Students: Leadership and Robotics for Creative Problem-Solving
    G. Ayorkor Korsah, Wumpini Hussein, Francis Delali Vorgbe (Ghana)
  5. Project Edubot
    Mateus Mendelson E. da Silva, Hugo Tadashi Kussaba (Brazil)
15:25-15:40: Discussion on robotics impacting education and outreach in the developing world


15:40-16:10: Coffee Break

16:10-17:20: Robotics research in and for the developing world

16:10-16:12: Introduction to research theme
16:12-16:27: Invited speaker: Raj Madhavan, Chair, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society-Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT)
16:27-17:20: Panel of accepted forum submissions:

  1. A Robotic Tour Guide for an African University
    G. Ayorkor Korsah, Francis Delali Vorgbe, Wumpini Hussein (Ghana)
  2. Sound Source Localization with 3D Optical Fusion for Hazardous Area Surveillance using Autonomous Ground Vehicles
    Ramu Reddy Vempada, Parijat Deshpande, Karthikeyan Vaiapury, Arindam Sahar, Keshaw Dewangan, Ranjan Das Gupta, Arpal Pal (India)
  3. The Scarab Project
    Tracy Booysen, Thomas Matthew, Greig Know, W.K. Fong, Marcel Stuettgen, Alexander Ferrein, Gerald Steinbauer (South Africa, Germany, Austria)
17:00-17:15: Discussion on robotics research in and for the developing world
17:15-17:20: Farewell and Conclusions

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