December 13th: The Return of the Light
The Second 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. The 2nd Winter School on AI and Robotics provides a concrete step to fill this educational gap, and to create 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.

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 8-12. Students are expected to arrive on Sunday 7th and to leave on Saturday 13. The School will offer a mixture of traditional advanced lectures and innovative features. The latter include:

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 the 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.

Topics (preliminary)

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 ZIP file:

  (1) a full CV, specifying the start date of the PhD
  (2) a 1/2 page description of the PhD thesis topic
  (3) a recommendation letter by the PhD advisor
  (4) a transcript of records of the BSc and MSc courses
  (5) a motivation letter: what do you expect to gain from the school,
      and what experience you will bring to the school, not to exceed 1 page
Documents should be in PDF format. Applications must be received by October 15, 2014. Late applications will not be processed. Admission decisions will be mailed on October 24, 2014. Quality and motivation of the applicant will be the main selection criteria; balance across fields, genders, and geographical areas may be used to tie breaks.

There is no registration fee. Admitted students will be offered accommodation in shared rooms (from December 7 to 14), course material, lunches and social dinner. All other costs, including transportation, will need to be covered by the student or her/his sponsor.


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


Important dates

  October 15, 2014 Application deadline [closed]
  October 24, 2014 Admission decisions [sent]
-> December 7, 2014 Students arrive
  December 14, 2014 Students leave


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Last updated on October 31, 2014