December 13th: The Return of the Light
The First Örebro Winter School on "Artificial Intelligence and Robotics"



The fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics were strongly connected in the early days of AI, but have since diverged. Today, and with few exceptions, they are regarded as separate fields, with separate communities and scientific traditions. Typical graduate student curricula concentrate on AI or on robotics, but rarely on both. Students in one area are seldom aware of the concepts, methods, and achievements in the other one. This separation is often exacerbated by the barriers among traditional academic disciplines.

Despite this separation, many now feel that the two fields ought to be brought together towards the development of fully integrated intelligent robots. In particular, there is a growing consensus in the robotics community that the next quantum leap in robotics will come by incorporating capabilities which lay at the core of AI, like knowledge representation and reasoning, action planning, learning and adaptation, and human-robot interaction.

This Winter School aims at filling this educational gap, and creating the next generation of researchers who will realize integrated intelligent robots. These researchers should be familiar with the methods in the two fields, and should be able to work across their traditional boundaries. They should combine theoretical insights from both areas with practical understanding of physical robotic systems. As an example, one such researcher might push the state of the art in semantic maps in robotics by leveraging the rich tradition on knowledge representation in AI.

This School will provide graduate students in AI and in Robotics a unique training and human experience. Students will be exposed to technologies at the forefront of research in AI and in Robotics, and will apply some of these through exercises on real robots. They will have the opportunity to discuss their research work with top level scholars as well as other students, and to extend their networks.


The School will run for one full week, Monday to Friday, December 9-13. Students are expected to arrive on Sunday and will leave on Saturday. The School will offer a mixture of traditional lectures and innovative features, including:

Students will be assigned preparatory work to be done before the school. This will ensure that all students are sufficiently familiar with basic tools (e.g., ROS, the Robot Operating System) and theories needed to fully leverage lectures and the exercises. Assignments will be made in groups that mix students from different backgrounds.

Ample room will be provided during the School for group discussions, interactions between students and teachers, and social activities.

->See detailed program.


->See lecture abstracts.

Attendance and Applications

PhD students from any institution in any part of the world can apply to the School. Applications by motivated early-stage postdocs are also welcome. Applicants are not expected to have any specific previous experience in the above topics, but they are expected to have a strong background in robotics or in artificial intelligence, along with the curiosity and drive in exploring the integration between the two. Applications by women and minorities are strongly encouraged.

The total number of participants is limited to 30. To apply for admission, send the following material by email to the Chair, packed in a single TAR or ZIP file:

    * full CV
    * abstract (1/2 page) of the PhD thesis topic, with start date of the PhD
    * recommendation letter by the PhD advisor
    * transcript of records of the BSc and MSc courses
    * motivation letter: what do you expect to gain from the school,
      and what experience you will bring to the school
Applications must be received by October 25, 2013. Late applications will not be processed. Admission decisions will be mailed on November 4, 2013. Quality and motivation of the applicant will be the main selection criteria; field, gender, and geographical balance will be considered all other things being equal.

There is no registration fee. Admitted students will be offered accommodation in shared rooms (from December 8 to 14), course material, lunches and social dinner. All other costs, including transportation, will have to be covered by the student or her/his sponsor.

->See practical information.


This School is fully supported by Örebro University, Sweden, through a special strategic grant.


Important dates

  October 25, 2013 Application deadline (expired)
  November 4, 2013 Admission decision
-> December 9, 2013 School starts


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Last updated on November 5, 2013