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ARIAC Workshop 2020 (at AIM 2020)

We are having a Virtual Workshop for the ARIAC Competition on Monday July 6th, 2020 as part of the Virtual IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2020).

To register for the workshop (registration for the workshop is free), please go to:

Once you have registered, if you do not have a WebEx link for the workshop, please email anthony.downs [at]


Workshop Schedule (All times are Eastern US Time UTC - 4 hours)
Time Speaker Presentation
09:00 - 09:15 Anthony Downs Introduction  & Agenda
09:15 - 09:30 Craig Schlenoff

ARIAC Overview

09:30 - 10:00 Zeid Kootbally & William Harrison ARIAC Environment
10:00 - 10:30 Anthony Downs ARIAC Metrics
10:30 - 10:50                                                Coffee / Bio Break
10:50 - 11:15 Atilla Vidacs Team Virsli Approach Talk
11:15 - 11:40 Siwei Feng Team RuBot Approach Talk
11:40 - 12:05 Steve Gray Team PackSwiftly Approach Talk
12:05 - 12:30 David Wuthier & Francesco Rovida Team SCALABLE Approach Talk
12:30 - 13:30                                                        Lunch
13:30 - 14:00 Matthew Robinson Industry Representative Talk (ROS-I, SwRI)
14:00 - 14:30 Phil Freeman Industry Representative Talk (Boeing)
14:30 - 15:00 NIST Staff Open Discussion
15:00 - 15:20                                                 Coffee / Bio Break
15:20 - 16:00 NIST Staff Lessons Learned & The Future of ARIAC

Speaker Bios

Anthony Downs (NIST)

Anthony Downs is a Mechanical Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, working in the Intelligent Systems Division. He is one of the designers of the Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition (ARIAC) which just finished running its 4th year in 2020 and has served as one of the Judges for the ARIAC competition during the 2019 competition. He is the lead in the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) Study Group on Robot Agility, which is currently in the process of becoming a Working Group under the Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) for developing standards and test metrics for Robot Agility. He is also part of the IEEE SA Robot Task Representation Working Group which is working to develop a representation of robot tasks that is independent of the nature of the task being performed. He has received awards for his efforts contributing to the testing of robots and technology, including the 2011 TARDEC Director’s Coin award for the NIST Efforts in support of the Multi Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge (MAGIC), the “Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government” from the Government Computer News (GCN) and a NIST/Department of Commerce Gold Medal for the NIST Efforts in developing and performing tests and evaluations for the DARPA Transformative Applications Project, and the 2014 NIST Edward Bennett Rosa Award for “Outstanding Achievement in or contributions to the development of meaningful and significant engineering, scientific or documentary standards either within NIST or in cooperation with other government agencies or private groups” for the work on the DHS/NIST/ASTM Standard Test Methods for Response Robots Project.

Craig Schlenoff (NIST)

Dr. Craig Schlenoff is the Group Leader of the Cognition and Collaboration Systems Group, the Associate Program Manager of the Measurement Science for Manufacturing Robotics Program, and the Project Leader of the Agility Performance of Robotic Systems project in the Intelligent Systems Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His research interests include knowledge representation/ontologies, intention recognition, and performance evaluation of autonomous systems and industrial robotics. He has led multiple million-dollar projects addressing performance evaluation of advanced military technologies and agility performance of manufacturing robotic systems. He has published over 150 journal and conference papers, guest edited three journals, guest edited three books, and written four book chapters. He is currently the Associate Vice President for Standardization in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the co-chair of the IEEE Robot Task Representation Working Group, was previously the chair of the IEEE Ontology for Robotics and Automation Working Group and has served as the Program Manager for the Process Engineering Program at NIST and the Director of Ontologies at VerticalNet. He also teaches two courses at the University of Maryland, College Park: “Calculus” and “Building a Manufacturing Robot Software System.” He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, his Master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his PhD from the University of Burgundy (France).

Zeid Kootbally (NIST)

Zeïd Kootbally received his Ph.D. in computer science in 2008 from the University of Burgundy, France, for a dissertation on "Moving Object Predictions in Dynamic Environments for Autonomous Ground Vehicles". Since 2005, he is a guest researcher in the Intelligent Systems Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His research interests include path planning, autonomous navigation, primarily applied to on-road driving.

William S. Harrison III (NIST)

William S. Harrison III is a mechanical research engineer in the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Harrison’s specialty within the project is virtual fusion, which is the mix of simulated and real components for process validation and training. His interests include virtual reality, game engines, augmented reality, and CG modeling. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, his master’s from the University of Florida, and his PhD from the University of Michigan. 

Atilla Vicacs

Dr. Attila Vidács received the MSc and PhD degrees from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, in 1996 and 2000, respectively. His research interests are in the field of cloud robotics, cooperative and modular robot systems, IoT communication technologies, ad-hoc and wireless networking. Currently he is leading the Cloud Robotics Group within HSN Lab. He was involved as a researcher in many national and international research project (including EU H2020 5G-SMART, EU FP5 IST-MIND, IST-INTERMON; FP6 IST-MOME, IST-MUSE, E-NEXT; FP7 EARTH, and acted as a Management Committee Member of COST Actions 295 and IC-0806). He published more than 100 conference and journal papers in various scientific research fora. He was the deputy head of BME-TMIT (2013- 2016). He was the head of the High Speed Networks Lab (HSN Lab), a research group of more than 20 researchers and 40 PhD students at BME (2013-2018). Between 2000 and 2006 he worked as a member of Research Group for Informatics and Electronics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Technology, Computer Architecture and Digital Technique Lab, Delft, The Netherlands; at the Research and Development Center of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Tokyo; and at the Lab of Telecommunications Technology of Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland.

Siwei Feng

Siwei Feng is a second year Ph.D. student studying computer science at Rutgers, supervised by Prof. Jingjin Yu with a research focus on multi-robot systems. website:

Steven Gray

Dr. Steven Gray is a Lead Robotics Engineer at GE Research in Niskayuna, NY.  His research interests include grasp and motion planning, robotics software architecture, and sliding-scale autonomy. He has previously worked on aerial inspection efforts using autonomous drones to monitor the health of industrial assets. Prior to joining GRC in 2016, Dr. Gray solved problems in humanoid motion planning and control for Lockheed Martin in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. He and coworker Shiraj Sen took second place in the 2017 NASA Space Robotics Challenge, using a sliding-scale autonomy approach to enable a simulated R5 Valkyrie to accomplish maintenance tasks.  Dr. Gray earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech in 2007 and his M.S and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2013, respectively, advised by Dr. Vijay Kumar in the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory.

Matthew Robinson

Matt Robinson is the Program Manager for the ROS-Industrial Consortium Americas at Southwest Research Institute. In this role, Robinson is setting the strategy and vision to align the open-source development community with industry needs to deliver innovative and sustainable advanced robotics solutions ready for factory deployment. Prior to this, Robinson was team leader for Caterpillar’s Manufacturing Technology Automation Research where he led development and deployment of automation tools to improve the performance and productivity of Caterpillar manufacturing facilities around the globe.

Phil Freeman

Dr. Phil Freeman is a Senior Technical Fellow in Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T), currently focused on Advanced Production Systems, Assembly Automation, & Precision Robotics. As a Senior Technical Fellow in the area of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Dr. Freeman has expertise in robotics, automation, and control. He works from Boeing’s Research and Technology Center in South Carolina. From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Freeman worked with BR&T South Carolina on 787 production support, helping the program meet production ramp up rate targets. Prior to that, he worked in the Assembly and Integration Technology team in St. Louis where he helped implement many of the automated drilling systems on the F/A-18 and F-15. Previously, he worked as Boeing’s liaison to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield, UK where he led the Centre’s development of an automated assembly research team, now the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG). Since joining Boeing in 1998, Dr. Freeman’s research work has been primarily focused on improving the accuracy of precision automated drilling and milling systems through accurate kinematics modeling and the use of robust machine vision. He holds over 30 patents covering a range of manufacturing technologies, and is an author on several publications in machine tool volumetric accuracy and machine vision for inspection. Currently, his research focus is in the area of automatic task and path planning for industrial automation. Dr. Freeman is a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where he is on the Board of Strategic Initiatives, serves as the vice chairperson for ASME B5.TC52 standards committee on machine tool performance, and is a contributing member to the Subcommittee on Robotic Arms (Manipulators). He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) where he previously served on the industrial advisory board for the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). Dr. Freeman earned his D.Sc. in System Science and Mathematics (2012), his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2003), and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1997) all from Washington University in St. Louis.


Presentation Abstracts

Coming soon​


For more details on how to participate, please contact anthony.downs [at] 


Created October 15, 2018, Updated July 2, 2020