Forum to Develop an Open-Source Ecosystem for Robotic Manipulation

Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) 2023 Conference Workshop

This half-day workshop was held during the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) 2023 conference on July 10, 2023 in Daegu, Republic of Korea.

Workshop Overview

To support and improve the development and deployment of robotic manipulation systems, an open-source ecosystem (OSE) is being scoped to facilitate development and dissemination of open-source assets (i.e., hardware, software, datasets), benchmarking practices, and sharing of results. A distributed, community-driven platform is envisioned where researchers and developers can share and learn about these open-source resources, find tools to easily utilize them, collaborate on developing systematic robot experimentation methodologies, and disseminate their findings effectively. As such, the OSE proposes to address the issues facing the advancement of robot manipulation due to the lack of systematic development and benchmarking methodologies, as well as the unique challenges related to physical assets (both equipment and benchmarking tools), which prevent this community from effectively utilizing such resources compared to other research domains like computer vision. 

This workshop is one of several scoping activities conducted this year to support the development of the proposed OSE: two workshops at high-profile robotics conferences (HRI 2023 in March, ICRA 2023 in May), a user survey (with over 100 respondents as of this workshop submission), and multiple deep dive meetings with key stakeholders in the field. These activities will be completed prior to this workshop, which is being proposed as a forum rather than a traditional conference workshop in order to facilitate interactive, guided discussions on our lessons learned from these prior activities and receive detailed feedback from the attendees to guide the development of the OSE. 

Key Takeaways

Based on the discussions had at the workshop, a set of key takeaways have been summarized and organized into topics below:

Current landscape: Issues

Current landscape: Existing efforts to leverage

Future solutions: Modular benchmarking software pipelines

Future solutions: Distributed physical benchmarking facilities

Future solutions: Online community resources

Future solutions: Working groups and advocacy

Discussion Topics

The forum will be split into two distinct categories: (1) the current landscape of robotic manipulation open-source and benchmarking practices, and (2) proposed new activities to improve robotic manipulation open-source and benchmarking practices. A note taker will record meeting minutes for all topics discussed and salient takeaways will be distilled. Topics for discussion include the following:

Schedule (Tentative)

All times given are in Korean Standard Time (GMT+9)


The workshop will be hybrid, with a focus on in-person participation given the time focus on forum discussions, but a virtual option for remote attendees will be available. Questions will be collected from the online chat and asked by one of the workshop organizers to the speaker. A Slack workspace is being established for pre, during, and post-workshop discussions and coordination, to serve as an open communication platform for the open-source ecosystem. 



Please contact Adam Norton with any questions or comments via e-mail:

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems (POSE), Award TI-2229577