Debates on the Future of Robotics Research

Full-Day Hybrid Workshop | May 27th at ICRA 2022

10:00 AM - 3:20 PM ET | Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 108A + Live streaming here!

Thank you all for a great workshop! The videos for each debate will be up soon. If you would like to join the team for the next one, email us at

"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, 2020, and 2021, the Robotics Debates will be back for ICRA 2022, in an all-new hybrid in-person/virtual format.

Topics and schedule

10:00AM- 11:20AM ET

Let it be resolved that...

Algorithms should not be published without an open-source reference implementation.

11:40AM-1:00PM ET

Let it be resolved that...

Research in robotics is intrinsically a social good because we seek to solve the dull, dirty, and dangerous stuff

2:00PM-3:20PM ET

Let it be resolved that...

The investment and involvement of industry giants in robotics research in academia is positive.

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 (20 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 (20 min)


Dr. Andreas Bihlmaier

ABB Robotics


Prof. Aaron M. Dollar

Yale University


Prof. Dan Halperin

Tel Aviv University


Prof. Sabine Hauert

University of Bristol


Prof. Ani Hsieh



Prof. Monroe Kennedy

Stanford University


Prof. Ayoung Kim

Seoul National University


Dr. Francesco Nori



Prof. Amanda Prorok

Cambridge University


Dr. Vandi Verma

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Prof. Camillo J. Taylor

University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Karol Hausman

Google Brain


Prof. Jonathan Kelly

University of Toronto



Prof. Sylvia Herbert


General Co-Chair

Prof. Karthik Dantu

University at Buffalo

General Co-Chair

Sudharshan Suresh

Carnegie Mellon University

Technical Chair

Shreyas Kousik

Stanford University

Organizing Committee

Alexis E. Block


Organizing Committee

Federico Rossi

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Organizing Committee

Khen Elimelech

Rice University

Organizing Committee

Benoit Rosa


Organizing Committee

Iris Andrussow

Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems

Organizing Committee

Advisory Committee

Prof. Florian Shkurti

University of Toronto

Prof. Jonathan Kelly

University of Toronto

Prof. Nico Hochgeschwender

Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Duygun Erol Barkana

Yeditepe University

Prof. Alexander Badri-Spröwitz

Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems

Prof. Xuesu Xiao

George Mason University | X, The Moonshot Factory | The University of Texas at Austin

Prof. Kim Baraka

VU Amsterdam

Prof. Jaime Fernández Fisac

Princeton University


Please address all inquiries and questions about the workshop to