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👉 ROSCon 2021 Cancelled / ROS World 2021 Announcement

ROSCon 2021 Cancelled / ROS World 2021 Announced

During difficult times it is always good to remain optimistic; therefore in January, on the heels of multiple announcements about effective Covid-19 vaccines, we decided to move forward with plans to return to an in person ROSCon in 2021. Our plans included contingencies to scale up or scale down ROSCon based on the public health situation; as we were fairly confident that in-person gatherings could be done safely.

While the US has made great progress in the fight against Covid-19 we are once again seeing a massive surge in cases. The situation in New Orleans is particularly grim, and multiple large events such as Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest have recently been canceled due to the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases. These cancelations have coincided with the renewal of an emergency declaration for the state of Louisiana. Even with appropriate safety measures in place it simply isn’t a suitable time to gather in large groups in Louisiana. As such we have decided that the most prudent course of action is to cancel the in-person ROSCon.

But, we are still having a conference! Instead of the in-person ROSCon 2021, we will host our second virtual event, ROS World 2021, Oct 20-21! If you were able to attend ROS World last year, you know how engaging and vibrant an online ROS event can be, with thousands of attendees from across the globe. We hope that you’ll join us for ROS World this year!

We’re still coordinating with our sponsors, speakers, and staff to create ROS World 2021. We’ll be releasing more information in the coming weeks as our plans come together. At this point you may be asking how these changes may impact you; here’s what we can tell you right now:

  • Attendees / Current Ticket Holders – we’ll be reaching out to you in the next few days. We’ll refund / exchange your tickets and work with the conference hotel to cancel your rooms.

  • Speakers – your talks are important to us and the ROS community – we still want to hear about your progress! Our team will be reaching out to ROSCon speakers to coordinate taking their talks virtual at ROS World.

  • Workshops – We’re working on a plan to take the workshops on-line and keep the experience engaging. We’ll have more details shortly.

  • Sponsors – we appreciate your support! We know your priority is engaging with the ROS community. We will work with you regarding your options and sponsorship packages that suit your needs. You should have already received an e-mail with details about the new event.

We’re planning ROS World 2021 as a two-day event; each day starts with a common shared session and then breaks into parallel tracks. The overall program will include most of the planned content from ROSCon. We’re also planning to add some community events to encourage socializing between members of the ROS community. We would love to hear your feedback about what sort of events you would like to see. Please reach out to us at roscon-2021-ec@openrobotics.org.

We know this is not the outcome we all had hoped for. We truly appreciate everyone’s support and patience as we put together our second virtual ROS World event.

If you have suggestions or general questions please let us know in the comments. If you have a specific issue addressed please e-mail us at roscon-2021-ec@openrobotics.org.

32 Likes

This is sad because we will go without seeing our awesome robotics community in-person for 2 years but on the absolute scale - the fact that we can just simply take an in-person event and paste it into a virtual one is the absolute awesome act. We should all feel fantastic to be able to do so.

Apex.AI will fully support ROS World 2021!!!.

21 Likes

If there was interest, I’d be happy to try to host a local (appropriately sized for the venue and CDC guidelines) ROS World – Bay Area Edition somewhere for vaccinated and interested people locally to meet up and enjoy ROS World and all its glory with your fellow roboticists.

I don’t know what form that would take, but if there was interest, I’d make it happen. That could be taking over the Samsung Research auditorium and projecting it on on a world-class stage (socially distanced) or even commandeering a bar/cafe in San Francisco. Almost certainly there would be a vaccination requirement or masks required.

If this would interest you and you’d be local to the SF Bay Area, please fill out this form

My personal preference is a bar / cafe setup so that there’s food / drink built-in with plenty of casual seating for group conversations (and they handle the ‘making sure everyone is vaccinated’ logistics for me).

15 Likes

Darn! We were bringing a racecar and IAC racing turtle t-shirts :racing_car::turtle: for everyone.
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We stand with the community and support ROS World 100%!

11 Likes

Sounds like this was the best decision to make, for all parties involved (including our host city).

Our team at Foxglove is as excited as ever to attend ROS World 2021 – we look forward to e-meeting everyone there!

2 Likes

Thanks for putting together this survey, I think this could be a great way to do a much smaller event but still get a bit of the excitement.

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Yeah, I haven’t decided on what the cap should be. For now just gathering interest to see if there’s even a need to enforce anything like that. I definitely don’t want to put on anything with > 100 people due to the obvious COVID situation.

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When will we be informed about Lighting Talk opportunities? Thanks!

Sometime in the next couple of weeks. Please sit tight; we’ve got a lot of things to handle while pivoting the event.

1 Like