Distributed robotic systems are starting to revolutionize many applications, from targeted material delivery to precision farming. Assisted by technological advancements, such as cloud computing, novel hardware design, and manufacturing techniques; nowadays distributed robot systems are starting to become an important part of industrial activities such as warehouse logistics or autonomous transportation.
However, several of the heterogeneous characteristics that make them ideal for certain future applications – robot autonomy, decentralized control, collective emergent behavior, collective learning, knowledge sharing, etc. – hinder the evolution of the technology from academic institutions to the public sphere. For instance, controlling the motion and behavior of large teams of robots still presents unique challenges for human operators, who cannot yet effectively convey their high-level intentions in application. On the other hand, robots collaborating through the cloud might find difficulties applying shared knowledge due to physical hardware differences. Solutions to these issues might be necessary steps towards mainstream adoption.
This IJARS special collection seeks to move beyond the classical view of distributed robotic systems to advance our understanding about the future role of these systems in the marketplace and public society. Questions such as: What security methods are available and are efficient for these systems? What kind of distributed robotic algorithms are suitable to introduce human-oriented interactions? Are there new interfaces to connect with these systems or reduce their complexity? Are distributed networks such as Bitcoin a feasible way to integrate distributed robotic systems in our society? Are there new business models for distributed robot ventures? How can distributed robotic systems make use of unlimited access of information in the cloud?
Below is a list of possible topics that would fit this collection:
• Cloud robotics
• Swarm robotic systems
• Networked systems
• Modular robotic systems
• Self-reconfigurable robots
• Decentralized control and operation
• Distributed sensing
• New decentralized business models
In addition to this brief list of possible topics, we welcome submissions on other topics addressing multi-robot systems in the society. We seek papers with conceptual and theoretical contributions as well as papers documenting valuable results of experiments conducted with real-robots. We also welcome Reviews that provide a comprehensive view of any of the fields mentioned previously.
Please submit your paper according to the following timetable for the special collection:
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2017
Author Notification: September 22, 2017
Publication date: December 29, 2017
Lead Guest Editor: Eduardo Castello, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Media Lab (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sabine Hauert, PhD. Lecturer in Robotics, Bristol Robotics Labratory (BRL), University of Bristol (email@example.com)
Christian Penaloza, PhD. Research Scientist, Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute International, Visiting Faculty at Osaka University (firstname.lastname@example.org)