The University of Leeds welcomed the 3rd Robotic Manipulation Workshop

MEETinLEEDS, the conference facilities of the University of Leeds, celebrated Leeds’ thriving digital sector with its latest conference, the 3rd UK Robot Manipulation Workshop. The University of Leeds welcomed approximately 100 delegates from roughly 32 UK universities and industries across the nation to the event in April, who were able to meet, discuss and learn about all aspects of robot manipulation, as well as gain the opportunity to network amongst professionals.

The 3rd Robot Manipulation Workshop is a UK only event, which came to Leeds for the first time this year after previously taking place in both Birmingham and London. Sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ocado, Dyson and Amazon Robotics, the event, hosted by Dr Mehmet Dogar and Dr Luis Figueredo at The Woodhouse Suite, brought the UK robotics community to Leeds to share ideas and present recent technologies and advances from some of the most brilliant roboticists in the nation.

With talks from laboratory directors to interactive presentations from PhD students, the workshop presented the community with new trends on robot manipulation, including motion planning and control, tactile sensing and manipulation, (semi-)autonomous manipulation, mechanical design, visual feedback and learning. Guests were also able to attend tutorials about Deep-RL for control with Jon Sholz from DeepMind and about Human Motor Control from Joseph Galea and Xiuli Chen from University of Birmingham and Ioannis Delis, University of Leeds. There was also a variety of demo robots on show, including tactile hands and other tactile robots. In addition to this, there was also a laboratory tour into the facility which showcased robot demos from the lab.

Dr Mehmet Dogar, University Academic Fellow at the School of Computing and Robotics, said: “Firstly, we hope that the delegates who came to the workshop were able to get a full picture of the recent work being performed in the UK within robot manipulation. Naturally, we also hope that they enjoyed the talks, networked with like-minded professionals and shared new perspectives and ideas for projects and collaborations. And finally, we were pleased to introduce new researchers (PhDs, Postdocs, and recent lectures) to the robotics community in the UK through this event. We were really excited to see the workshop take place, and we’d also like to say thank you to MEETinLEEDS, who had provided us with their full support in taking care of the event and helping us with the organisation every step of the way.”

Harriet Boatwright, Sales & Marketing Manager from MEETinLEEDS, said: “The workshop was definitely important for the School of Computing as a way to provide students with access to the leading researchers in robotics in the UK and to give them a chance to talk and network with these researchers and the companies involved (Ocado, IET, Dyson and Amazon Robotics). The University continues to attract important events from around the UK and having the opportunity for our researchers and students to showcase their work is fantastic. We’re really pleased to have been involved in the organisation of the event, and we are delighted with the wonderful turnout.”

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