The SSRRSS will be held for the first time in 2012 and is intended to be an annual event. It draws inspiration from the highly successful Rescue Robotics Camps, which were hosted by the University of Rome “La Sapienz” from 2004 to 2007 and supported by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the RoboCup Federation. It is also inspired by the International Rescue Robotics Workshops, hosted by the Thai Robotics Society in 2009 and 2010.
These camps served as a crucial springboard for many students who have gone on to make contributions to the wider SSRR community. Several RoboCupRescue Robot League teams that have a history of best-in-class performance in the League also owe their beginnings to early iterations of the Rescue Robotics Camps and many best-in-class solutions that are now commonplace in the League, ranging from operator interfaces to sensing, mapping and autonomy, were first disseminated at these camps.
A unique aspect of these camps was that attendees actively participated in the research process, be it developing and testing the procedure for constructing a standard robotic platform, creating open implementations of algorithms for mapping or autonomy, collecting standard test data for robot performance or characterising the performance of cutting edge sensors. Thus not only did attendees leave with a starting point or point of comparison for their own research but they also contributed to an ongoing, open body of work that other researchers could take and build on.
The benefits are not limited to the RoboCupRescue Robot League; around half of the participants and speakers have not been previously associated with the League. Thus these events served as vital avenues for the League to absorb new developments from, and contribute back to, the wider SSRR community.