Lincoln to host Europe’s leading robotics conference

Robotics experts from around the world will present ground-breaking research on how robots are moving out of the laboratory and into homes and workplaces at a major international conference hosted by the University of Lincoln, UK.

The European Conference on Mobile Robots (ECMR) 2015 takes place on 2-4 September 2015. It is the first time the conference has been hosted in the UK, following previous meetings in Spain, Sweden, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Poland.

This year’s event is being organised by the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, a research centre within the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science which specialises in the integration of perception, learning, decision‐making and control capabilities in autonomous systems such as mobile robots and smart devices. The group applies its research in fields such as personal robotics, food and agriculture, security and surveillance, and intelligent transportation.

Conference organiser Professor Tom Duckett, who leads the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, said: “Hosting ECMR in 2015 is a fabulous opportunity to showcase our research in mobile robotics and to help to put Lincoln firmly on the map in the international scientific community. As today’s robots leave the laboratory and start entering many different real-world applications, it is a very exciting time to be working in robotics research, and I feel privileged to be hosting this important international event together with my colleagues in the robotics research team here at Lincoln. Our colleague Professor Adriana Tapus from ENSTA ParisTech, France, is leading the technical programme of the conference, and we already had nearly 100 paper submissions, so it promises to be a fantastic event with contributions from all over Europe and beyond.”

ECMR is a biennial European forum, internationally open, that allows roboticists throughout Europe to become acquainted with the latest research accomplishments and innovations in mobile robotics and mobile human-robot systems. The keynote speakers this year are Maja Pantic, Professor of Affective and Behavioural Computing at Imperial College London; Roland Siegwart, Professor for Autonomous Systems at ETH Zurich; and Ingmar Posner, Associate Professor in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford.

Professor Pantic, who is leader of the i•BUG group, works on machine analysis of human non-verbal behaviour and has published more than 200 technical papers in the areas of machine analysis of facial expressions, machine analysis of human body gestures, audio-visual analysis of emotions and social signals, and human-centred machine interfaces. In 2011, she was awarded the BCS Roger Needham Award, presented annually to a UK-based researcher for a distinguished research contribution in computer science within ten years of their PhD.

Professor Siegwart’s research focusses on the design and control of systems operating in complex and highly dynamical environments. His major goal is to find new ways to deal with uncertainties and enable the design of highly interactive and adaptive systems. Prominent application examples are personal and service robots, planetary exploration robots, autonomous micro-aircrafts and driver assistant systems.

Professor Posner, who is co-lead of the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group (MRG), focuses on the application of machine learning techniques to emerging mobile robotics tasks such as semantic mapping, active exploration and life-long learning.

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