Workshop on Robotics for Environmental Monitoring



In the past decades a huge progress in robotics have been achieved, with robots moving from the common manipulator, fixed on the factory floor to more flexible and autonomous devices, capable to operate in natural environments.

Nowadays, robots are fundamental data gathering tools to scientists studying the Earth environment. Robots can be seen in areas ranging from the study of deep oceans, the track of water surface blooms and pollution spread, the wide area monitoring of climate variables, or even in the study of volcanoes activity.

From the robotics community point of view, the utilization of robots in the environmental research also presents significant challenges to the field robotics research, stimulating new findings in the direction of robots more capable to perceive, move and actuate in natural environments. These Environmental Monitoring Robots require increased energy autonomy to allow for extended periods of operation. Low energy design and energy harvesting can be used for that purpose. Additionally, they should be able to exchange information and to cooperate with other agents of a large data gathering network.

Motivation and objectives

The full-day Workshop on Robotics for Environmental Monitoring intends to bring together researchers with different backgrounds in at least one of the areas relevant to this new multidisciplinary field of research, namely researchers from field robotics, sensors for environmental variables, sensor networks, environmental data processing, low energy robot design, low energy design and energy harvesting.

List of topics

Presentations will cover a broad range of topics linked to robotic monitoring, including but not limited to:

  1. Field robotics,

  2. Aquatic robotics,

  3. Aerial robotics,

  4. Networked and multi-robot systems,

  5. Environmental sensing,

  6. Environmental data processing,

  7. Sensor networks,

  8. Multi-scale sampling,

  9. Telemetry in environmental monitoring applications,

  10. Environmentally constrained path planning,

  11. Coordination of heterogeneous systems,

  12. Low-energy robot design,

  13. Energy harvesting.

Intended audience

This workshop aims to build upon momentum created in this research area by the Workshop on Robotics for Environmental Monitoring at IROS 2011 and RSS2012 and the Marine Robotics Workshop at RSS 2011. The environmental monitoring community is growing steadily as evidenced by the number of workshop attendances (> 20 at both IROS and RSS 2011), and submissions (>20 to IROS 2011). To this end, all submitted papers to this workshop will be reviewed and selected by the workshop committee.

Submission procedure

Participants are invited to submit an extended abstract of maximum 4 pages using IEEE conference format. In contrast to the conference we encourage submission of preliminary results and half-baked ideas. Of particular interest is results from field deployments.

Accepted papers, together with the data and code will be available online at the workshop website.

In case of a sufficient number of high quality submissions, extended versions of the selected contributions will be considered for publication as a Special Issue in a robotics journal.

Submissions should be sent by email to any of the organizers (at the bottom of this page).


Lino Marques

Institute of Systems and Robotics

University of Coimbra

3030-290 Coimbra, Portugal

Phone: +351 239 796 277

Email: lino (at)

Ryan N. Smith

School of Engineering Systems

Queensland University of Technology

Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia

Phone: +61 07 3138 2483

Email: ryan.smith (at)

Ibrahim Volkan Isler

Department of Computer Science

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

Phone: +1-612-625-1067

Email: isler (at)

Matthew Dunbabin

Autonomous Systems Laboratory


Brisbane, QLD 4069, Australia

Phone: +61 7 33274754

Email: Matthew.Dunbabin (at)

Important Dates

Deadline for extended abstract submissions: 3rd of August 2012

Notification of acceptance: 24th of August 2012

Deadline for final papers submission: 14th of September 2012

Workshop: 7th of October 2012, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal

Deadline for Final Paper Submission

IROS2012 Workshop

The workshop will be held on the IEEE/RSJ

International Conference on Intelligent Robots

and Systems (IROS2012) in Vilamoura, Algarve,