Welcome to ICRA 2023!
Welcome to the 40th IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2023) and thank you for joining the world’s leading robotics event for the very first time in the UK. We are excited to bring together the largest ever gathering of the world's top academics, researchers, and industry representatives in the fields of robotics and automation.
We have a packed programme with some of the most influential and innovative figures in the world of robotics delivering plenary speeches, workshops, turorials, competitions, oral sessions, poster sessions, outreach programme, access to talent, business talks and more than 100 industry representations pushing the boundaries in robotics and automation showcasing their latest robotic technology and equipment.
ICRA Update - Monday 29 May 2023
We kicked off Monday, with 29 workshops and tutorials, organised by researchers and industry representatives from all over the world. Almost every aspect of robotics is covered, from autonomous vehicles to software frameworks, nanorobots and surgical robots. We had packed workshop rooms, with engaging seminars, poster sessions and panel discussions. We are thankful for the industrial support that the workshops have received, assisting them in putting together the best set of speakers for our participants.
The day concludes with the Welcome Reception, providing the first cross-conference opportunity to meet old colleagues, make new friends, and kick start ICRA 2023!
What to Expect on Tuesday 30th May 2023
Tuesday follows up on the inertia of Monday, with the Welcome Address, and the first plenary session taking place. We will hear from international expert on bionics, Hugh Herr, who will deliver an inspirational plenary on how human capabilities can be recovered with the use of robotics. Continuing, our keynote speakers will take the stage. Experts Davison, Leonard, and Parker will present their ground-breaking research on “Robots for Society”, discussing how robots can perceive and reason about their environment, so that they can ultimately interact and support the activities of humans. The “Highlights of the Day”, an innovation of ICRA 2023, will bring our speakers and international experts together for a round-table discussion about the most captivating elements of the conference so far, live streamed to international audiences around the world. Accepted research papers will be presented at the first poster session of the conference, where we are looking forward to experience the buzz of robotics as the new state-of-the-art becomes established. Tuesday concludes with plenary sessions on Heathcare Robotics, from Vallery, Burgner-Kahrs, and Crea, covering rehabilitation robotics, wearables, and surgical systems.
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ICRA Update - Tuesday 30 May 2023
Tuesday opened with Oral presentation of RAS Journal papers, opting to appear at IEEE ICRA. The sessions were well attended, with a flurry of discussions happening during the sessions and corridors. ICRA delegates proceeded to attend the Welcome Address, where they were greeted by a brass band playing the tunes of Beatles, Queen, The Clash, and others. Kaspar Althoefer, General Chair, greeted the participants highlighting that this was the 40th ICRA conference, and the first time that the conference was held in the UK. Indeed, the pride of holding the conference was reflected in the address of Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal.
The plenary of Hugh Herr was given in a packed auditorium, with many participants asking for a standing ovation at its conclusion. Hugh’s journey from his own amputation to him becoming a leader of bionic limbs development, including the introduction of new surgical techniques in support of better human/robot interfaces, was truly inspirational. Experts Davison, Leonard, and Parker took the stage to present their ground-breaking research on “Robots for Society”, discussing how robots can perceive and reason about their environment, so that they can ultimately interact and support the activities of humans, keeping their integration in society in perspective as well.
The “Highlights of the Day”, an innovation of ICRA 2023, brought together panellists to discuss what has been their favourite aspect of ICRA so far, and what they look forward to seeing. Conversations took place on renewing educational curriculum’s, while the panellists also dove into the ethical and societal implications of introducing robots in our day lives.
The day concluded with Oral presentations of Best Paper nominated papers, with excellent attendance and prominent questions by the participants and evaluation judges. It is truly expected that these high ranking papers will usher paradigm shifts in our field.
What to expect on Wednesday 30 May 2023
Expect a packed scheduled on Wednesday, as the 2nd day of main conference. We look forward to hearing from Jasia Reichardt, who coined the term “uncanny valley”, nowadays so pertinent as robots and AI enter our lives. The exhibition is expected to be in full swing – drop by to see the impressive robotic systems that commercial and academic partners have brought. The “Highlights of the Day” will again capture the vibe of the conference, and we hope all attended will enjoy the Social Session at the end of the day.
ICRA Update - Wednesday 31 May 2023
Wednesday kicked off with Oral presentations covering a multitude of topics in robotics, including Soft Actuators, Grasping, and Robot Autonomy. In parallel, poster sessions were in full swing, with Medical Imaging and Perception, 3D Vision, Learning from Demonstration and Marine Robotics being some of the topics covered. The breadth of topics are truly staggering, and demonstrate how much the robotics community has expanded over the years.
The day carried on with the Plenary and Keynotes. Attendees had the unique opportunity to hear from Jasia Reichardt, who delivered a seminar blending robotics, arts, psychology, and ethical inquiries on what developing superhuman intelligence may mean for humankind. Keynotes followed on the theme of art and robotics, with Ishiguro, Hanson and Jackson presenting the development of life-like humanoid robots. Truly excellent keynotes pushed the boundaries of what life-like means for robotics, addressing the elements of appearance, interaction, and communication with avatars in real and virtualised environments.
The Highlights of the Day were broadcasted to our international audience and on site participants. The keynotes on avatars naturally linked with the concept of hybridisation that is pervasive in ICRA 2023, lending to discussion about what it means to be an avatar in a human conference, shared autonomy, societal acceptability, and how can we maximise the inclusion opportunities through the use of technology.
Proceeding in full swing, participants attended Orals and Poster presentations on Localisation, Computer Vision, Reinforcement Learning and other topics, before enjoying the keynotes of Paik, Iida, and Jansen. As robots enter our society, embedding intelligence within their physical characteristics will become increasingly important – the speakers framed well the current research boundaries and where we are heading as a community.
The day concluded with a spectacular event, showcasing the best of London and celebrating 40 years of IEEE ICRA. It was an opportunity to network, socialise, enjoy, and admire the scenes of London sites all under one roof!
What to expect on Thursday 1 June 2023
Thursday is the final day of the main conference sessions. Competitions are in full swing to realise how far the research envelope has been pushed in realistic environments. We expect to be inspired by the Plenary of March Raibert from Boston Dynamics AI Institute, an organisation that has been spearheading legged robot research for decades. The “Highlights of the Day” will again capture the vibe of the conference, and the panellists will delve on the topics of the keynote seminars, covering the effect of robotics in key sectors such as agriculture and manipulation, as well as Artificial Intelligence and its impact on robot embodiments.
ICRA Update - Thursday 1 June 2023
Thursday was the final day of the main conference sessions. Competitions were in full swing to realise how far the research envelope has been pushed in realistic environments. Oral presentations on Medical Robotics, Learning and much more set the stage for the excellent plenary of Marc Raibert from Boston Dynamics AI Institute; a new research organisation aiming to push further the envelope on hardware, software and Ethics of Robotics. Marc showcased his journey through the early stages of legged robot locomotion to the impressive achievements of Boston Dynamics, and the creation of the AI Institute. Spot robots took the stage to perform an impressive tango dance, captivating the audience. Spot also joined the robot parade that happened later, at the exhibition stage, alongside an inspiring number of mobile/legged robots.
The plenary speakers took the relay and addressed the pertinent topic of agriculture and robotics. Food production and manipulation, all the way from seed placement to farming and packaging, is crucial for sustaining human kind, and robotics research can be critical in that domain as well.
The Highlights of the Day invited the plenary speakers and senior members of the community to discuss the manipulation challenges that robots need to address. The discussion meandered into the future of ICRA and concluded with career advice for students in terms of research and networking.
The ICRA awards session, running in parallel, recognised the most excellent papers, reviewers, editors of ICRA, as well as members of the community that inspire us with their level of research excellence and citizenship.
As the conference comes to its conclusion, a farewell drinks session took place at the quintessential British establishment: the pub! Participants had the opportunity to close the conference enjoying the good old British weather, and plan which workshops they will attend on Friday.
What to expect on Friday 2 June 2023
Friday is the second workshop day of the conference. We expect extremely good attendance to these workshops, which have become veritable mini symposia on their own. Workshops on Software, Surgical Robotics, Learning, Localisation, will take place, with poster presentations, mini keynotes, competitions, and stimulating domain-specific discussions.
ICRA Update - Friday 2 June 2023
ICRA 2023 kept up its momentum with a day of workshops and the conference felt to continue with all its intensity. More than twenty workshops and tutorials, organised by our academic and industrial research community, covered topics from wearables, vision, autonomy, intelligence, healthcare etc.
The topic specific workshops brought together sub specialists for in depth conversations on their field of robotics research, initiating research projects and planting the seed of international consortia.
It was astounding to see the variety and number of posters that were presented in the workshops. Many workshops featured awards for best poster presentation, raising the competition bar highly.
Participants left the venue fulfilled, hoping for quick reunions at future ICRAs and similar venues.
Thank you from Kaspar Althoefer, ICRA 2023 General Chair
As the General Chair of ICRA 2023, it gives me great pleasure to express my heartfelt gratitude to all participants. As the conference is drawing to a close, we can look back at the remarkable success we have achieved during this week. Without your unswerving commitment and dedication this would not have been possible.
I send my appreciation to all the participants. Your undeterred dedication to advancing knowledge, sharing insights, and fostering collaboration has been truly inspiring. The level of engagement and the quality of discussions witnessed during the conference were beyond our wildest expectations. Your active participation and contribution have undeniably elevated the impact and significance of this ICRA.
I would also like to thank our esteemed partners for providing support and contributions – an essential ingredient in making ICRA 2023 a triumph. Your invaluable insights, resources, and expertise have advanced the dissemination of knowledge and the translation of research. We are very grateful for your excellent commitment.
I also acknowledge and extend a special note of thanks to the professional conference organizer, TFI Lodestar. Their tireless efforts, meticulous planning, and flawless execution have played a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth functioning of every aspect of this conference. From managing logistics and registrations to providing exceptional support for all the conference sessions and events, their dedication and expertise have been invaluable.
It gives me also great pleasure to let you know that with 6000 attendees overall, we have broken all previous records. This clearly underlines the ever-growing significance and impact of ICRA. Your presence here has not only contributed to the success of this conference but has also fostered a vibrant community that will, I am sure, continue to collaborate. Following the conference’s motto “Embracing the future: Making robots for humans”, let us continue to push the boundaries of knowledge, inspire one another, and work together to shape a better world.
Thank you again for your noteworthy contributions.