[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] ICRA 2017 Tutorial on the Buzz Programming Language

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[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] ICRA 2017 Tutorial on the Buzz Programming Language

Giovanni Beltrame
Dear roboticists,

You are invited to join us for the ICRA 2017 tutorial on the Buzz
programming language (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__the.swarming.buzz&d=DwIDaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=RGttEKGDGjs9MY_GQHknVcrd9wnPFixCu7JBbs-Y_H8&s=9NHzYOlmHr0ojdak9v0xrFFYseRt3ki91j1IXhfQgn0&e= ) for swarm robotics:

Monday - May 29, 2017
13:30 – 17:00 (PM)

Sands Expo and Convention Centre
1 Bayfront Ave
Singapore 018971

Swarm robotics is a discipline that studies fully decentralized
approaches for the coordination of large-scale teams of robots (swarms).
Research in this field is ambitious: robot swarms are envisioned for
scenarios for which solutions are today impractical, too dangerous, or

From drones to self-driving cars, robot swarms will become pervasive
thanks to the development of the Internet-of-Things, and will be used in
many applications. Examples of such applications are search and rescue
operations, industrial and agricultural inspection, coordinated vehicle
platooning, space exploration, and medical or surgical activities. We
envision a world where a designer can specify the behaviour of
heterogeneous groups of robots, and package this behaviour in an
application that can be installed on multiple robotic systems.
Swarm-based solutions will likely form the backbone for the upcoming
self-driving car infrastructure, and will act as an enabling technology
to make widespread robotics a reality.

In this tutorial we present Buzz, a programming language designed to
provide an adequate level of abstraction to allow developers to express
complex swarm algorithms comfortably. Two opposite approaches have been
proposed in swarm robotics:

- The bottom-up approach, in which the focus is on individual robots and
their low-level interactions; and
- The top-down approach, in which a swarm is treated as an continuous,
unique entity (e.g., aggregate programming or spatial computing).

While the bottom-up approach ensures total control on the design, the
amount of detail exposed to the developer is often overwhelming. In
contrast, the top-down approach presents a simple abstraction of the
swarm, but it prevents the developer from fine-tuning the behavior of
individual robots.

Buzz is based on the idea that the developer should be offered both
levels of abstraction, and that the syntax of the language should allow
for seamless mixing of bottom-up and top-down constructs. Buzz includes
a number of constructs specifically designed for top-down swarm-level
development, such as primitives for group formation and management,
local communication, and global consensus.

# Schedule

The tutorial will show the basic concepts of Buzz, its syntax, the inner
workings of the Buzz Virtual Machine (BVM), the language primitives, and
a hands-on development session using the ARGoS simulator. The attendees
will learn how to design swarm algorithms and write a script controlling
a swarm of unmanned air vehicles looking for a target. We will be
providing a virtual machine for the attendees to be installed on their
computers for the hands-on part, or used via Amazon EC2. More practically:

- Introduction to Buzz (1.5 hours - Giovanni Beltrame)
  + Motivation
  + Syntax and tools
  + The Buzz Virtual Machine
  + Swarm control primitives

- Hands-On with Buzz (2.5 hours - Carlo Pinciroli)
   + Introduction to the development tools
   + Behavior examples

# Organizers

Giovanni Beltrame - Polytechnique Montreal
Carlo Pinciroli - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Giovanni Beltrame, PhD, Ing.
MIST Lab - mistlab.ca
Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

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