Debates on the Future of Robotics Research

Workshop at ICRA 2021

June 4th, 2021

"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it."

Joseph Joubert

As an interdisciplinary field that has the potential to change and be changed by numerous diverse stakeholders, the future and potential impact of robotics research are frequent subjects of debate. We believe making these debates more formal and public can be beneficial to the general community.

Following on from previous workshops at ICRA 2019 and ICRA 2020, the third iteration of the debates will be held as part of ICRA 2021.


February 2021: Workshop accepted to ICRA 2021!


Camillo Jose Taylor

University of Pennsylvania

Chris Crawford

University of Alabama

David Hsu

National University of Singapore

Dmitry Berenson University of Michigan

Gillian Hadfield University of Toronto

Gregory Dudek

McGill University

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Matthew Johnson-Roberson

University of Michigan

Maynard Holliday

RAND Corporation

Pete Trautman

Honda Research Institute

Ram Vasudevan University of Michigan

Sabine Hauert University of Bristol

Stuart Russell University of California, Berkeley

Vandi Verma

NASA Jet Propulsion Labratory

Workshop Schedule

To be announced.

Debate Structure

Total Length: 80 minutes

  • Introductions & initial audience poll (5 min)

  • Opening arguments (20 min = 4 debaters x 5 min each)

  • Moderated discussion between debaters + audience Q&A (15 min)

  • Closing remarks (10 min = 4 debaters x 2.5 min each)

  • Final audience poll + polling results (5 min)

  • Moderated panel debrief + audience Q&A (15 to 20 min)


Please address all inquiries and questions about the workshop to