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UKRAS20 Conference Proceedings – Out Now!

The UK-RAS20 Conference “Robots into the real world” Proceedings were published today.

The UK-RAS conference is specifically for PhD students & early-career robotics researchers, and it aims to promote quality research, networking, and community building for PhD students and practitioners at the frontier of science and technology in intelligent robots and systems. 

The Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (LCAS), and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training: AgriFoRwArdS (CDT), were due to welcome approximately 100+ students, researchers and experts in robotics and autonomous systems to Lincoln for the 3rd UK-RAS Conference.

Going digital

In response to the ongoing threat from the Covid-19 outbreak the Conference Committee took the decision to go ahead with UKRAS20 virtually. UKRAS20 was conducted via Zoom, and the conference exceeded the expectations of organisers and attendees alike. 

Keynote speakers included Prof Ingmar Posner (University of Oxford), Dr Fumiya Iida (University of Cambridge) and Dr Adam Stokes (University of Edinburgh). 15 papers were presented orally in three sessions on AI and Robotics, Field and Service Robotics, and Novel and Emerging Technologies. 41 papers were presented in two poster sessions during the lunch and tea breaks. Awards for the best paper, runner-up and best poster were also presented during the closing session of the event.

A successful event

The UK-RAS network of students and researchers embraced the technology, and registration numbers soared as soon as the Virtual Conference communication went out. Attendees on the day totalled 233, far surpassing the number expected at the physical conference in Lincoln.

Bristol’s FARSCOPE CDT took the lead on using the Zoom technology, with support from Lincoln CDT colleagues. Feedback so far from attendees is that the conference ‘worked exceptionally well’ and that the transition between presenters ran ‘more smoothly than during many physical conferences’.

The decision to host the UKRAS20 conference was made following another successful virtual conference hosted a month before. The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training: AgriFoRwArdS hosted its first ever CDT Annual Conference using Zoom technology, on the 19th and 20th March.  The team will certainly embrace virtual events moving forward, based on the success and positive feedback following both of these online conferences.