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Workshop on Perception and Planning for Robotic Inspection

Quadrotor inspecting the Coleman Memorial Bridge in Yorktown, Virginia.
Quadrotor inspecting the Coleman Memorial Bridge in Yorktown, Virginia.

Time and Venue

Half-day workshop. Sunday, September 24 (9:00 AM – 12:30 PM)

Room 220

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Vancouver, Canada


The main objective of the workshop is to identify a common set of fundamental challenges that arise in a wide range of inspection tasks for both terrestrial and underwater applications.

There is an extraordinary and increasing demand for infrastructure inspection of civil services. Bridges, high-rise buildings, off-shore oil and gas facilities, and chemical processing plants, to name a few, must be regularly inspected to evaluate current conditions, deterioration rates, and potential safety issues. Due to the repetitive nature, limited access, and need for accuracy, many of the inspection tasks are ideal applications for autonomous vehicles. Companies that are able to advance the practice of infrastructure assessment using autonomous vehicles will gain access to service and equipment contracts estimated at over $1 billion per year, just in the U.S. As a result, there has been great interest in commercializing autonomous inspection with terrestrial as well as underwater robots. Nevertheless, a number of research challenges still remain to be addressed.

The workshop brings together researchers working on autonomous inspection using aerial an, underwater robots to discuss recent advances in autonomy and how this technology can be realistically integrated into infrastructure inspection industries. We will particularly focus on identifying the technology gap between existing solutions and needs in planning, perception, and control across inspection domains and identifying the role of robotics researchers is in bridging this gap.


09:00 - 09:10    Welcome remarks

09:10 - 09:35    Sebastian Scherer and Daniel Maturana (presenter). CMU. "Robust Flight for Infrastructure Modeling in Challenging Environments

09:35 - 10:00    Giuseppe Loianno. Penn. "Research Challenges and Opportunities for Autonomous Inspection of Penstocks and Agile Navigation with MAVs"

10:00 - 10:30    Coffee break

10:30 - 10:55    Kostas Alexis. University of Nevada Reno. "Robotic Inspection for Infrastructure Facilities and Nuclear Sites"

10:55 - 11:20    Geoff Hollinger. Oregon State. "Robotic Inspection in Marine Environments: Perception, Navigation, and Shared Autonomy"

11:20 - 11:45    Yogesh Girdhar. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "Unsupervised learning for exploring sparsely distributed spatiotemporal phenomena"

11:45 - 12:10    Brendan Englot. Stevens Institute. "Efficient Exploration of Unknown, Cluttered Environments as a Precursor to Fine-Detail Inspection"

12:10 - 12:35    Ryan Eustice and Joshua Mangelson  (presenter). Univ. of Michigan. "Perception and Planning for In-Water Autonomous Ship Hull Inspection"

12:35 -                 Concluding remarks


Pratap Tokekar. Virginia Tech (

Daniel Stilwell. Virginia Tech (

Craig Woolsey. Virginia Tech (

Ryan Williams. Virginia Tech (

Matthew Hebdon. Virginia Tech (

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Vancouver, Canada

Room 220

Sunday, September 24

9:00 AM – 12:30 PM