Bristol Robotics Laboratory to stage UK's largest robotics conference

Issue date: 30 April 2018

TAROS conference

Robotics and technology experts from the across the globe will descend on Bristol for a leading conference being hosted by Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL).

The TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems) event is the largest robotics conference in the country, bringing together the latest research and applications in autonomous robotics at the M Shed museum in July.

Now in its 19th year, TAROS is the longest running UK-hosted international conference on robotics and autonomous systems. Popular with robotics researchers and industry alike, the conference offers delegates an opportunity to learn about and discuss the latest results and methods in robotics, and to take stock and plan future progress.

The conference runs between 25-27 July, with delegates attending on the second day travelling to BRL at the University of the West of England's Frenchay campus for a guided tour of the facilities.

Two of the event's four keynote speakers are from BRL: Silas Adekunle, Co-founder of Reach Robotics, and Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics.

UWE Bristol graduate Silas Adekunle, whose company is creating the 'future of entertainment' by fusing robotics, augmented reality and video games, will speak on the second day of the conference with a lecture entitled From crazy robot ideas to a real business. He will talk about Reach Robotics' inaugural product, MekaMon, a competitive entertainment platform that combines advanced robots with video games via augmented reality gameplay, controlled by smartphone.

Professor Winfield, co-founder of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and an advocate for robot ethics, will speak on the opening day with an address entitled The Ethical Roboticist. The talk will outline his work in both robotics and artificial intelligence ethics, and in ethical robots.

The conference's other keynote speakers are Kerstin Dautenhahn, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at University of Hertfordshire, who on the final day will speak about robot-assisted therapy for children with autism; and Brian Scassellati, Professor of Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Mechanical Engineering at Yale University, who on the evening of the first day will discuss socially assistive robots capable of assisting users through social, rather than physical, interaction. Professor Scassellati's lecture, sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, is open to the general public and free to attend.

A team of nine academics from BRL is organising the event, with 12 students set to play a role through volunteering. The conference is expected to attract up to 130 delegates on each day.

Dr Manuel Giuliani, Professor in Embedded Cognitive AI for Robotics at BRL and General Chair of TAROS 2018, said: “TAROS is the perfect venue for the robotics community to come together and exchange ideas. Bristol is a wonderful innovative city that invites creative thinking and provides the perfect backdrop to create new ideas for robotics research and to find the right partners to realise these ideas.”

To register for the conference, visit:

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