The main objective of the CROWDBOT project is to demonstrate safe navigation of mobile robots in dense human crowd environments. There are both technical challenges and ethical concerns that must be addressed during the execution of this goal. While the team is devising new technical solutions and engaging with stakeholders on ethical concerns, it is also of the team’s interest and requirement to convey ongoing project activities and achievements to a larger outside community. This report provides a summary of various tools and methods we plan to use to communicate and exchange information with the larger audience. We call it the Communication & Dissemination Plan. Three main focus areas of communication and dissemination are 1) general public awareness of mobile robotics and artificial intelligence capabilities, 2) potential economic value and work productivity gains by using mobile robots, and 3) ongoing activities, resolutions and best practices that address ethical and safety concerns that arise when mobile robots co-exist in public spaces.
Beyond semantics, there is a difference in our usage of the term communication versus dissemination. The former covers the processes and tools used by the team for general information exchange with our targeted audiences while the latter term “dissemination” is a more focused delivery of information ─usually derived from data collected via test events and research analysis by the team.
Communication is the team’s outreach vehicle to interact and exchange information and ideas with external targeted audiences. This includes the team’s public website, social media portals, in-person and teleconference meetings and interview sessions, robotic test events with human participants and promotional engagements at public social gatherings.
Via dissemination, the team plans to release technical findings and contributions via published articles in technical conferences and journals. Supporting technical data and software code used in robotic tests will also be shared as open-source material to facilitate knowledge transfer with external researchers and robotic developers. Since the project scope of CROWDBOT includes both technical solutions as well as social acceptance of mobile robots, the team will use various mainstream media sources to relay technical information at a level that can be understood by the general public. For peer-to-peer technical exchange and collaboration, the team will organize several workshops and seminars. Other dissemination activities include active participation in industry working groups and standardization bodies in the areas of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics. Since mobile robots are intelligent machines with features similar to those of driverless cars and unmanned aerial vehicles, technical, social and legal matters addressed in these adjacent fields may have relevance to robotics. The team will contribute our findings to this larger technical community. Finally, the team will provide essential technical information regarding the state-of-the-art in mobile robotics and artificial intelligence as well as future trends and market projections such that EU and national authorities can assess and plan for future regulation and legislative activities.