Compositional Robotics (Part 2)

Very soon we’re having a workshop on applications of category theory to robotics:

2021 Workshop on Compositional Robotics: Mathematics and Tools, online, Monday 31 May 2021.

You’re invited! As of today it’s not too late to register and watch the talks online, and registration is free. Go here to register:

Here’s the schedule. All times are in UTC, so the show starts at 9:15 am Pacific Time:

Time (UTC) Speaker


16:15-16:30   Intro and plan of the workshop


Jonathan Lorand

Category Theory Basics


John Baez Category Theory and Systems 


Breakout rooms



Andrea Censi
& Gioele Zardini

Categories for Co-Design


David Spivak

Dynamic Interaction Patterns


Breakout rooms



Aaron Ames

A Categorical Perspective on Robotics

21:30-22:15 Daniel Koditschek Toward a Grounded Type Theory for Robot Task Composition
22:30-00:30 Selected speakers Talks from open submissions

For more information go to the workshop website or my previous blog post on this workshop:

Compositional robotics (part 1).

6 Responses to Compositional Robotics (Part 2)

  1. Martin Wen-Yu Lo says:

    I wonder if the “compositionality of robotics” will also consider the complexity of the “path planning problem”. The “Konigsberg Bridge Problem” and the “Traveling Salesmen Problem” are simple examples that path planning is a non-trivial subject. When robotic spacecraft are introduced, the dynamics of the path becomes an even more challenging problem.There is no serious treatment of the categorical nature of space trajectory design at present to my knowledge. Without a detailed knowledge of the possible space trajectories, there is no way to apply AI methods to path planning in space. Just imagine the GPS satellites without maps of the roads and cities on Earth. Knowing the detailed Lat Lon of your location will not help you get to UCLA Campus East Entrance.

    • John Baez says:

      I doubt this particular session on compositional robotics will talk much about the path planning problem. But by the way, I have a student who just wrote a paper about category theory and the shortest path problem for graphs:

      • Jade Master, The open algebraic path problem.

      She expounds on it in more detail in her thesis:

      • Jade Master, Composing Behaviors of Networks.

      • Martin Wen-Yu Lo says:

        Thank you so much for your student’s work!
        Do you see possibilities for including dynamics in the paths – for example to consider different models with increasing fidelity in a categoric frame work? e.g. orbits around the Moon in 3 models: Restricted 3 Body, Bicircular 4 Body, JPL Ephemeris.

      • John Baez says:

        I haven’t thought about including dynamics in the paths. But amusingly, I have another student, Joe Moeller, who recently got a job at NIST where he is talking to someone at NASA about the interplanetary superhighway.

        Hmm, I now see you invented interplanetary superhighway—and you’re at NASA! Are you talking to Joe Moeller? If not, I should put him in touch with you.

  2. Allen Knutson says:

    Dan Koditschek! As an undergrad in the ’80s I saw a great talk of his on juggling robots (based on very different principles than Claude Shannon’s), and he was kind enough to send me a videotape about it, for the asking.

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