The longest-running UK-hosted international conference on Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) has been held here at the Department of Engineering.
This year, we welcomed student delegates from four robotics-related CDT programmes to extend the visibility of outstanding ongoing research. With this arrangement, we truly hope to cement the flagship position of this conference.Professor Fumiya Iida
The TAROS 2023/Joint Robotics CDT Conference got underway earlier this month and involved three days of discussion and exploration, attracting senior researchers, early-stage researchers and student researchers in the field. Also in attendance were student delegates from four UK-based robotics-related EPSRC Centres of Doctoral Training (CDT) programmes:
- AgriFoRwArdS – the world's first EPSRC CDT in Agri-Food Robotics, established by the University of Lincoln in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia (UEA).
- Robotics and Autonomous Systems – the EPSRC CDT in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CDT-RAS), hosted at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, which is run by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.
- Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems – the EPSRC CDT in Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems (AIMS), established by the University of Oxford.
- Future Autonomous and Robotic Systems – the EPSRC CDT in Future Autonomous and Robotic Systems: FARSCOPE, delivered jointly by the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England through their partnership, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
The conference, sponsored by EPSRC and AgriFoRwArdS CDT, featured keynote speakers, practical demonstrations of robotics in action (with a tour of the Department’s Observatory for Human-Machine Collaboration (OHMC)), and an awards and prize-giving ceremony supported by industry and academic partners.
The keynote speakers were:
- Professor Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena, Imperial College London
Talk title: Surgical robots and their journey towards effective medical products
- Professor Amanda Prorok, University of Cambridge
Talk title: Heterogeneous learning for resilient multi-robot systems
- Dr Gert Kootstra, Wageningen University
Talk title: Robotics for a sustainable agriculture
- Cambridge alumnus Dr Jamie Shotton, Chief Scientist at Wayve, a self-driving technology company
Talk title: Frontiers in embodied AI for autonomous driving
Dr Shotton’s talk included the unveiling of what Wayve claims is a “first of its kind” AI model for self-driving. More information on the origins of Wayve, which was co-founded by Cambridge alumni, is available to read in our “alumni stories”.
Prizes were presented to the winners of the following awards:
- Best Computation Award – Charalampos Matsantonis (AgriFoRwArdS CDT, Engineering, Cambridge)
Work title: A geometric algebra solution to the 3D registration problem
- Best Innovation Paper – Saloni Hajare (University of Sheffield)
Work title: Suction cup detachment mechanism based on fluidic soft actuators strain for in-vivo applications
- Best Application Paper – Roopika Ravikanna (AgriFoRwArdS CDT, Univerisity of Lincoln)
Work title: Smart parking system using heuristic optimisation for autonomous transportation robots in agriculture
- Best Poster Award – Emanuele De Pellegrin (Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, Heriot Watt University)
Work title: Towards multimodal sensing and interaction for assistive autonomous robots
- Best Abstract Award – Daniel S. Johnson (University of Manchester)
Work title: Receding horizon contact planning for advanced motions in hexapod robots
- Best Paper Award – Myles Flanagan (Loughborough University)
Work title: Mobile robots for collaborative manipulation over uneven ground using decentralised impedance control
Fumiya Iida, Professor of Robotics, Deputy Director of AgriFoRwArdS CDT, and General Chair of the TAROS 2023/Joint Robotics CDT Conference, said: “It was an honour to host this prestigious conference in Cambridge, bringing together robotics researchers (from various career stages, backgrounds and specialisms) and industry to discuss and share the latest results in autonomous robotics research and applications.
“This year, we also welcomed student delegates from four robotics-related CDT programmes from across the UK to extend the visibility of outstanding ongoing research in front of both TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems) and CDT participants. This move was to ensure better coordination and collaborations in the future. With this arrangement, we truly hope to cement the flagship position of this conference.”
Photos from the conference are available to view online.