The internationally trend-setting Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) will be held in Freiburg from June 22-26, 2019. After taking place in well-known localities like the MIT and Berkeley, Cluster-speaker Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard could convince the organisational committee that the black forest capital would portray a proper scene for the conference: „It is a great honor and compliment for Freiburg robotics and computer science as well as the BrainLinks-BrainTools cluster to be host of the RSS.“ In addition to professional aspects the decision also involved logistic factors: Freiburg provides an excellent infrastructure and is easy to reach from Europe’s most important transport hubs.
Burgard expects up to 500 national and international guests. Participation of scientists from Freiburg is, of course, anticipated as well. „Eventually, many of the most debated research questions concern projects of the cluster and of our computer science department“, he emphasizes. To do justice to the conference’s magnitude, Burgard likes to outsource the event: „Only the workshops will take place at the Faculty of Engineering’s campus. For the main program the Messe Freiburg is set as a venue“, the plan reads. „But we won’t tell where are going for dinner yet“, Burgard adds. The conference will be chaired by the Italian Antonio Bicchi, who is an authority in the field of „soft manipulation“ as it is used with robotic arms that are able to grasp objects.
Since 2005, the RSS brings together the cream of the crop. With an average acceptance rate of under 30% of papers and workshop presentations, it is one of the most rarified expert conferences. However, it is not esoteric: the RSS foundation which stands behind the conference wants to initiate a lively debate in the community. This is reflected in the openly accesible conference proceedings which contain all session contributions. Some highlights are also frequently published in special issues of the International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR). The RSS foundation is a non-commercial association supported by well-respected academic chairs and laboratories for robotics research.