The theme for this workshop is: "Planetary Robotics and Vision Processing for Future Planetary Exploration". With the success of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix Lander and several planetary exploration missions either being in development or planned for the future, this is an exciting and challenging time for Europe as it embarks upon its own plans and aspirations for planetary exploration.
A planetary robot can be regarded as an integral part of the 'planetary science apparatus', both as an
instrument in its own right (e.g. using wheel motion and soil mechanics for physical investigations),
and as a deployment device for instruments and surface/sub-surface sample acquisition. A major key to
efficient science sample selection is vision processing. Planetary rovers carry imaging instruments
such as panoramic and high resolution cameras, and the successful on-board and ground-based processing
of this data is essential if mission science targets are to be realised.
To fulfil this science role will require many planetary robotics and vision processing challenges
to be addressed. Such challenges include, for example, autonomous localisation and navigation; real-time characterisation of terrain and obstacles; autonomous monitoring and responding to system health and safety; robustness and the ability to function in the presence of faults or anomalous unexpected conditions; autonomous and ground-based camera image processing, and a shift from a human directing the minute-to-minute mission surface operations activities to the planetary robot performing this directing autonomously.
The session will be organised as a workshop and will include a number of presentations followed by an open-floor discussion that will draw together and identify the key robotics and vision processing
areas that must be addressed if we are to realise our future planetary exploration ambitions.
Presentations and posters are solicited which present current and future research into planetary
robotics and vision processing for planetary exploration. Papers will be especially welcome in the
following areas: planetary robotics and vision processing mission experiences; novel sensors and
imaging devices; in-flight and on-surface robotic and imaging instrument calibration methods; vision data fusion; planetary environment and terrain modelling techniques; simulation and image data visualisation methods; localisation and navigation; autonomous control and vision processing architectures; autonomous sample acquisition, novel locomotion methods including aerobots, submersible and sub-surface robots, and analogue field trials addressing the above mentioned aspects.