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Image Credits: ICRA

ICRA 2023: Showcasing the Growth and Future of Robotics and Automation 

The Largest Robotics and Automation Event in London Draws Experts, Innovators, and Enthusiasts from Around the Globe

London, UK – The bustling city of London became the vibrant hub for the biggest and most esteemed event of the year in the Robotics and Automation realm: the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). This world-class gathering brought together the brightest minds, top academics, renowned researchers, and industry representatives from across the globe. 

Held for the first time in the United Kingdom, ICRA 2023 showcased the cutting-edge advancements and latest breakthroughs in the field of robotics and automation. With the backdrop of London, this event provided the perfect setting for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking. 

The conference kicked off on Monday with a remarkable lineup of 29 workshops and tutorials organized by researchers and industry experts from around the world. These sessions covered a diverse range of topics, including autonomous vehicles, software frameworks, nanorobots, and surgical robots. Packed workshop rooms saw engaging seminars, poster sessions, and panel discussions, supported by the strong backing from the industry. 

The excitement continued on Tuesday with oral presentations of research papers from the RAS Journal, which chose to appear at IEEE ICRA. The sessions were vibrant with participants engrossed in discussions both during the sessions and in the corridors. The day culminated in the Welcome Address, featuring a brass band playing iconic tunes from legendary British bands like The Beatles, Queen, and The Clash. The General Chair, Kaspar Althoefer, expressed his pride in hosting the 40th ICRA conference in the UK, and the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, extended a warm welcome to all attendees. 

The plenary session on Tuesday featured a captivating talk by Hugh Herr from MIT. Herr, a leader in bionic limb development, shared his inspiring journey from amputation to advancements in prosthetics and exoskeletons. The session continued with experts Davison, Leonard, and Parker discussing the theme of “Robots for Society.” They explored the ways in which robots can perceive, reason, and interact with humans, emphasizing the importance of their integration into society. 

A new addition to ICRA 2023, the “Highlights of the Day,” brought together panels to discuss their favorite aspects of the conference and their expectations for the future. Conversations delved into topics such as updating educational curricula, ethical considerations, and the societal implications of robotics in our daily lives. 

Wednesday was filled with a plethora of oral presentations and poster sessions covering various topics in robotics, including soft actuators, grasping, robot autonomy, medical imaging, and marine robotics. The plenary and keynote sessions continued to captivate attendees with thought-provoking talks by experts like Jasia Reichardt, who explored the integration of robotics into human life, and Marc Raibert from Boston Dynamics AI Institute, who discussed the future of smarter robots. 

The conference sessions concluded on Thursday with competitions held in realistic environments to showcase the advancements in robotics research. The plenary session by Marc Raibert featured an impressive tango dance performed by Boston Dynamics’ Spot robots, leaving the audience in awe. The agriculture and robotics theme explored the critical role of robotics in sustainable food production, from seed placement to farming and packaging. 

Throughout the conference, the “Highlights of the Day” sessions brought together speakers and community leaders to discuss the manipulation challenges faced by robots and provide valuable career advice to aspiring researchers and students. 

The event concluded with a farewell drinks session at a traditional British pub, where participants had the opportunity to network, socialize, and plan their attendance at the workshops held on Friday. The legacy of this exceptional event will undoubtedly shape the future of robotics and automation, fueling further advancements, collaborations, and breakthroughs. 

 

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