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ROSCon will happen October 22nd - October 23rd, 2021 (Workshops on October 21st)

Join us in New Orleans, Louisiana!

ROSCon 2021

ROSCon 2021

ROSCon 2021 is a chance for ROS developers of all levels, beginner to expert, to spend an extraordinary two days learning from and networking with the ROS community. Get tips and tricks from experts and meet and share ideas with fellow developers.

ROSCon is a developers conference, in the model of PyCon and BoostCon. Following the success of the past ROSCons, this year’s ninth annual ROSCon will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Similar to previous years, the two-day program will comprise technical talks and tutorials that will introduce you to new tools and libraries, as well as teach you more about the ones you already know. The bulk of the program will be 10-30 minute presentations (some may be longer or shorter).

We aim for ROSCon to represent the entire ROS community, which is global and diverse. Whoever you are, whatever you do, and wherever you do it, if you’re interested in ROS, then we want you to join us at ROSCon. We encourage women, members of minority groups, and members of other under-represented groups to attend ROSCon. We expect all attendees to follow our code of conduct.

The ROSCon planning committee acknowledges that the barriers to attendance for traditionally under-represented groups may be many and varied, and we are striving throughout the planning process to make the event as inclusive and accessible as possible. This year we are proud to continue the ROSCon Diversity Scholarship to help make ROSCon 2021 more representative of the global ROS community.

We also welcome suggestions for what else we can do to encourage more participation. Contact us if you have ideas that you’d like to share.

If you don’t want to make a formal presentation, you should still bring your new project or idea to ROSCon and present it in a lightning talk.

There will be an opportunity to give a lightning talk at ROSCon. These are 2-3 minute talks, one session each day (3 minutes in the past but this may be reducing to 2.5 or 2 minutes this year). We expect to have many more people who want to present than slots are available. For fair access there will be a lottery for requesting to give a lightning talk. Talks from 2016 can be seen in this blog post or browse the recordings from past years.

There will also be open space for impromptu hacking sessions and informal presentations.

If you are looking for information on past ROSCons, including past programs, slides and videos of the presentations, see their separate websites.

Dates

An updated schedule for 2021 is to be announced.

Sponsors

Become a ROSCon 2021 sponsor! Check the sponsor prospectus for this year’s benefit packages.

Whether you’re ready to commit to a specific level or have a question or special request regarding the sponsorship program, please contact the executive committee.

Find our sponsors in the exhibit area. See this layout to find specific exhibitors.

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Friends of the Conference

Diversity Scholarship Sponsors

The following sponsors are supporting the ROSCon Diversity Program, which is designed to enable participation in ROSCon by those typically underrepresented in the robotics community to make the conference a more fulfilling experience for all attendees. To get a sense of the impact of prior years’ programs, which funded travel and lodging costs for dozens of scholars from around the world, we encourage you to watch this 2016 lightning talk from Ahmed Abdalla and Husam Salih, two students at the University of Khartoum in Sudan who talked about starting a robotics lab under extremely challenging conditions.

Video Archive Sponsor

The video archive sponsorship supports the recording of the talks as well as the publication of the video archives online for the greater community.

If you are interested in finding out more about sponsoring ROSCon please contact the executive committee. Or view our sponsor prospectus.

Location

The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

Program

The program for ROSCon will be announced after submissions have been accepted.

Call For Proposals

As previously announced, ROSCon 2021 will be held in person in New Orleans October 21st-23rd, 2021. The core of the conference is (and always has been) content from the community, and this year, we’re looking for proposals for three different types of content.

Workshops: As in 2019, we will offer workshops on Day 0 of the conference. The goal of the workshops is to provide space for participatory/interactive experiences between the presenter(s) and the attendees and the chance to go more in depth into a subject than a regular talk could allow.

Talks: The standard presentation format is the talk, with the presenter(s) talking live about a specific topic, with a brief question period at the end, fitting into a 10, 20 or 30 minute time slot.

Videos: At a later time frame, we will be soliciting submissions for videos (following the deluge of submissions to ROS World 2020). Submissions will be opened after notifications for standard talks goes out, so that everyone can have a chance to present topics that are not yet included in the program.

We are also planning panels, keynote speakers and of course, lightning talks. The conference program will be a combination of single-track and multitrack.

Event Attendance

We are currently planning for ROSCon 2021 to be a FULLY IN PERSON EVENT. Just like all previous ROSCons there will be a live stream and recorded talks for those who can’t make it. In practical terms, this means that we will need all ROSCon speakers to attend the event in person. We realize that company travel policies, international travel bans, personal preferences, and safety concerns may make it difficult for many potential speakers to attend the event. We ask that talk submissions be made with a good-faith intent for in person attendance as we will not be able to accommodate virtual talks or workshops. The program committee will reach out to all speakers the week of 8/16/2021 to re-confirm their ability to travel to the event. If you encounter an unforeseen issue, or a sudden change in travel restrictions, please e-mail the program committee to discuss how to address the situation.

General Content Guidelines:

All topics related to ROS and ROS 2 are invited. Example topics include:

  • New packages / frameworks
  • Insights / improvements for existing packages
  • Case studies on unique ROS deployments / use cases
  • Developments for specific robots, sensors, platforms
  • Competitions / collaborations / initiatives
  • ROS in commercial / research / teaching environments
  • Standards / best practices / development tools

To get an idea of the content and tone of ROSCon, check out the slides and videos from previous years. We cannot offer content that is not proposed! If there is a topic on which you would like to present, please propose it. If you have an idea for an important topic that you do not want to present yourself, please post it for discussion on ROS Discourse.

Review Criteria

All submissions will be reviewed by the program committee to evaluate:

  • Relevance to the ROS Community - The proposed content should use ROS in a substantial way, but beyond that, the work must also be relevant and compelling to a general ROS audience. Writing a ROS driver for a specific piece of hardware is an excellent contribution to the community, but describing the intricacies of its firmware may not be relevant to this audience. Furthermore, content should be relevant to a global and diverse community.
  • Quality of Content/Impact - We encourage proposals to contain big ideas with high impact. Proposals should have a demonstrable quality as opposed to being purely theoretical.
  • Quality of Presentation - Articulating your ideas clearly and grammatically is a key prerequisite for giving a compelling live presentation.
  • Originality/Novelty - Content should be original and not something that has already been heard before. Will this be the 41st talk on a particular topic at ROSCon? Or are you presenting something new?
  • Open Source Availability - Because we are an open-source community, proposals for which the underlying code and other content is available under an open source license have a greater chance of being accepted. It is not a hard requirement, but proposals focused on proprietary systems should contribute in some other way to the community. Promises of future release are difficult to evaluate, so having your content released at the time of proposal submission is preferred.

Additional consideration will be given to balancing the subject matter and duration of presentation. We encourage proposals from presenters of all backgrounds and experience levels.

Workshop Submission Information

Workshop proposals must include:

  • Title (maximum 70 characters)
  • Presenter(s) (name and affiliation)
  • Summary - for public consumption, used in the program schedule (maximum 100 words)
  • Description - outline and goals, for review by the program committee. Describe the intended audience and what resources (if any) would be required. Please be sure to include enough information in your proposal for the program committee to evaluate the above review criteria.

Please submit your workshop proposal via this Google Form. Workshops proposals must be submitted by 2021-05-07. The chosen workshops will be published out no later than 2021-06-09.

Talk Submission Information

Talk proposals must include:

  • Title (maximum 70 characters)
  • Presenter(s) (name and affiliation)
  • Desired talk length (10, 20, or 30 minutes)
  • Summary - for public consumption, used in the program schedule (maximum 100 words)
  • Description - outline and goals, for review by the program committee. Describe the intended audience and what they can expect to learn. Please be sure to include enough information in your proposal for the program committee to evaluate the above review criteria.
  • (NEW) Audio abstract - All talk proposals must include a (maximum) one minute recording of the presenter describing the content of the talk. It should be a single-take, responding as if a colleague asked what the talk was about. Please use either the mp3 or ogg file format.
  • (NEW) Key URL/Twitter handles - Optionally include a single link/Twitter handles to be associated with talk in publicity materials. Submit these files to the ROSCon 2021 Hot CRP Website. Talk proposals must be submitted by 2021-07-09. The program will be announced 2021-08-17.

If you have any questions/comments/firmware patches, please email roscon-2021-oc@openrobotics.org

Program Co-Chairs:

More Info

ROSCon 2021 Diversity Scholarships

The ROSCon 2021 organizing committee aims for ROSCon to represent the entire ROS community, which is diverse and global. In addition to promoting technology that is open source, we strive to ensure that our community is as open and accessible as possible. Inclusion and diversity benefit the ROS ecosystem as a whole.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, and wherever you do it, if you’re interested in ROS, then we want you to join us at ROSCon. To help reduce financial barriers to conference attendance, the ROSCon organizing committee is offering a number of scholarships to members of traditionally underrepresented groups in the robotics community. Thanks to the support of the program’s sponsors, each scholarship includes one complimentary conference registration and three nights’ accommodation shared with another recipient*. Limited travel support is available for participants whose travel to the conference would otherwise be infeasible**. Please note that all other expenses (including any visa requirements) will be the responsibility of the participant.

Please note the following about the scholarship program:

  • To maximize the impact of scholarship funds, scholarship recipients will be asked to share a room with another recipient. Under special circumstances alternative arrangements can be accommodated.
  • Participants will be responsible for covering their travel expenses up front, as the travel support will be provided after the conference has been attended.

Eligibility

We invite applications from members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the robotics community, including but not limited to: women, people in LGBTQIA+ communities, people with disabilities, people from racial and/or ethnic minorities in the robotics community, and people from developing nations who may not otherwise be able to attend ROSCon. Previous ROSCon Diversity Scholarship recipients are not eligible to re-apply.

We are proud to share the following feedback from past Diversity Scholars:

The ROSCon Diversity Scholarship Program provided me with an opportunity that would have been completely impossible without it. I was able to attend my first robotics conference and feel empowered to keep working to try and make a positive impact on this community. Also, it was very encouraging to see so many companies stepping up to promote and enable diversity within their companies and the robotics community. Thank you!

ROSCon 2017 scholarship participant

ROSCon has been an incredible experience. It is really encouraging to see that everyone in the robotics community is really welcoming and willing to share their expertise. I learned a lot and I met incredible people. This experience inspired and motivated me to contribute more to the robotics community and make a positive impact.

ROSCon 2018 scholarship participant

We also have a blog post of the 2017 Diversity Program.

Diversity Scholars Sponsors

The ROSCon Diversity Scholarship is made possible thanks to sponsor organizations from the ROS community.

If your organization is interested in getting involved in the Diversity Program, please contact us at roscon-2021-oc@openrobotics.org

How to apply

To apply, fill out this form by July 16, 2021, describing how you are involved with ROS and the robotics community, and what you hope to get out of attending ROSCon. Scholarships will be awarded based on a combination of need and impact. Every applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application.

Travel restrictions to the United States

Please note that as of Wednesday, April 7, 2021 travelers who have been physically present in the countries listed on this CDC page may be prohibited from entering the United States. On Wednesday, April 7, 2021 this list includes China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa. We encourage everyone to submit a scholarship application and as the conference approaches and the travel situation is updated we will provide further information. This year will also have a live stream to accommodate those who would prefer, or are required, to remain at home.

Past Events

ROSCon has been held annually since 2012. If you’d like to know more we have archives of all the past programs with recordings of the talks and most of the slides. The sites can be found at the locations below.

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

The Quick Version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.

The Less Quick Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they’ll be wearing badges as well as there will be staff at the registration desk.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.

Social Media

#ROSCon2021 #ROSCon @OpenRoboticsOrg @rosorg