TAROS 2021

Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems Conference (TAROS)

September 8-10, 2021

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RegisterTAROS 2021 will be virtual on Zoom and Discord. Register now to receive the links to participate for free in September closer to the event itself. We are looking forward to welcoming you to virtual TAROS 2021.



TAROS is the longest-running UK-hosted international conference on Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), which is aimed at the presentation and discussion of the latest results and methods in autonomous robotics research and applications.

TAROS offers a friendly environment for robotics researchers and industry to take stock and plan future progress. It welcomes senior researchers and research students alike and specifically provides opportunities for research students and young research scientists to present their work to the scientific community.

As in previous years, the TAROS 2021 proceedings will be published in the Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence series. 

Important Dates

  • 28 May 2021 – Submission deadline (5pm BST)
  • 1 Jul 2021 – Review decision notification
  • 28 Jul 2021 – Camera-ready paper submission (5pm BST)
  • 8-9 Sep 2021 – Main Conference (see programme below)
  • 10 Sep 2021Research and Industry Showcase Day 


Wednesday 8 September 2021

10:00-10:45 Registration  
10:45-11:00 Welcome talk Simon Parson
11:00-12:00 Keynote  Yiannis Demiris
12:00-12:20 ORAL1 A Study on Dense and Sparse (Visual) Rewards in Robot Policy Learning
12:20-12:40 ORAL1 An Open-Source Multi-Goal Reinforcement Learning Environment for Robotic Manipulation with Pybullet
12:40-13:00 ORAL1 CPG-Actor: Reinforcement Learning for Central Pattern Generators
13:00-13:20  lunch/poster  
13:20-13:40  lunch/poster  
13:40-14:00  lunch/poster  
14:00-14:20 ORAL2 Deep semantic segmentation of 3D plant point clouds
14:20-14:40 ORAL2 Grasp Stability Prediction for a Dexterous Robotic Hand combining RGB-D Vision and Haptic Bayesian Exploration
14:40-15:00 ORAL2 Improving SLAM in Pipe Networks by Leveraging Cylindrical Regularity
15:00-15:20 POSTERS1  
15:20-15:40 POSTERS1  
15:40-1600 POSTERS1  
16:00-16:20 ORAL3 CRH*: A Deadlock Free Framework for Scalable Prioritised Path Planning in Multi-Robot Systems
16:40-17:00 ORAL3 Human-Robot Cooperative Lifting using IMUs and Human Gestures
18:00-19:00 IET Public Lecture Nick Hawes
19:00-20:00 Reception (snacks+wine)  

Posters on Wednesday 08 September 2021

Reinforcement Learning-based Mapless Navigation with Fail-safe Localisation
Collaborative Coverage for a Network of Vacuum Cleaner Robots
Network-Aware Genetic Algorithms for the Coordination of MALE UAV Networks
Self-organised Flocking of Robotic Swarm in Cluttered Environments
Deep Learning Traversability Estimator for Mobile Robots in Unstructured Environments
Exploring Feedback Modalities in a Mobile Robot for Telecare
Demonstrating the Differential Impact of Flock Heterogeneity on Multi-Agent Herding
Evaluation of an OpenCV Implementation of Structure from Motion on Open Source Data
Benchmark of visual and 3D lidar SLAM systems in simulation environment for vineyards
Lidar-only localization in 3D Pose-Feature Map
Toward robust visual odometry using prior 2D map information
Comparison of Concentrated and Distributed Compliant Elements in a 3D Printed Gripper
Perception of a humanoid robot as an interface for auditory testing

Thursday 09 September 2021

09:00-10:00 coffee  
10:00-11:00 keynote Barbara Webb
11:00-11:20 UKRAS Best Paper presentation  
11:20-11:45 QMWC Best thesis presentation  
11:45-12:00 break  
12:00-12:20 ORAL4 3D printed mechanically modular two-degree-of-freedom robotic segment utilizing variable-stiffness actuators
12:20-12:40 ORAL4 Design of a Multimaterial 3D-printed Soft Actuator with Bi-directional Variable Stiffness
12:40-13:00 ORAL4 Designing a Multi-Locomotion Modular Snake Robot
13:00-13:20 lunch/posters  
13:20-13:40 lunch/posters  
13:40-14:00 lunch/posters  
14:00-14:20 ORAL5 Deep robot path planning from demonstrations for breast cancer examination
14:20-14:40 ORAL5 Priors inspired by Speed-Accuracy Trade-Offs for Incremental Learning of Probabilistic Movement Primitives
14:40-15:00 ORAL5 Tactile Dynamic Behaviour Prediction Based on Robot Action
15:00-15:20 POSTERS2  
15:20-15:40 POSTERS2  
15:40-1600 POSTERS2  
16:00-16:20 ORAL6 State space analysis of variable-stiffness tendon drive with non-back-drivable worm-gear motor actuation
16:20-16:40 ORAL6 Development of a ROS Driver and Support Stack for the KMR iiwa Mobile Manipulator
16:40-17:00 ORAL6 Collision Avoidance with Optimal Path Replanning for Mobile Robots

Posters on Thursday 09 September 2021

An Autonomous Mapping Approach for Confined Spaces using Flying Robots
Maximising availability of transportation robots through intelligent allocation of parking spaces
A Minimalist Solution to the Multi-Robot Barrier Coverage Problem
Scheduling Multi-robot Missions with JointTasks and Heterogeneous Robot Teams
Area Coverage in Two-Dimensional Grid Worlds Using Computation-Free Agents
Online Scene Visibility Estimation as a Complement to SLAM in UAVs
Statics Optimization of a Hexapedal Robot Modelled as a Stewart Platform
EtherCAT implementation of a variable-stiffness tendon drive with non-back-drivable worm-gear motor actuation
Growing Robotic Endoscope for early Breast Cancer Detection: Robot Motion Control
Design and Characterisation of a Variable-Stiffness Soft Actuator Based on Tendon Twisting
WhiskEye: A biomimetic model of multi-sensory spatial memory based on sensory reconstruction
Equipment Detection based Inspection Robot for Industrial Plants
Inference of Mechanical Properties of Dynamic Objects through Active Perception
  • The TAROS 2021 will be virtual and all the oral and poster presenters will present remotely via Zoom.
  • All poster presenters must also make a 2min recorded spotlight, we will broadcast these as showreels at the start of each poster session.

Research and Industry Showcase Day

Friday, 10 September 2021 

With TAROS being fully virtual and online in 2021, we had to take the decision to change the originally planned industry and research showcase day to a virtual event as well. Consequently, we cordially invite industries and academic research labs, active in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) research, to exhibit your innovative products, research and capabilities on Friday, 10th September in short online sessions. This can be just a short presentation of your capabilities and latest exciting results, or a live tour of your lab, or a presentation of your respective product or project. We trust you will participate in this virtual exhibition and enjoy the comfort of demonstrating from your respective labs or offices. You will be given a 15-minutes slot to present yourself to the audience of TAROS, engage with the participants and increase the visibility of your robotics research and products, free of charge! 

Please register directly on Eventbrite with the ticket type “Industry & Research Showcase Day Application“, which will ask you for a short description of your activity and a title so you can be featured in the programme. The programme committee will cluster the contributions thematically to put together an attractive programme. Please register your interest to be part of the showcase exhibition by Sunday, 15th August 2021. The session will be hosted on Zoom. The programme committee reserves the right to not accommodate all requested presentations in case of oversubscription of the event or out-of-scope proposals. The programme committee will confirm your session slot by 31/8/2021.

We’ll be happy to offer you more guidance and support should you have any queries. Please contact the TAROS Industry Support Chair, Prof Mini C. Saaj, to discuss your participation (msaaj@lincoln.ac.uk).



Due to the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we regret that TAROS 2021 again has to be purely virtual. However, this of course allows us to offer participation free of charge to anyone interested. TAROS 2021 will be hosted on Zoom, with additional interaction and socialising facilitated by the conference’s dedicated Discord server. Registration is required via Eventbrite. Participants will receive the respective links to join the conference and conversations after registration.

Eventbrite Logo PNG Images, Transparent Eventbrite Logo Image Download -  PNGitemRegister now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/towards-autonomous-robotic-systems-conference-taros-2021-tickets-164963152229.

There are three different tickets:

  1. General Attendee: This is for anyone wanting to attend the conference, but not being a presenter
  2. Conference Presenter: If you have a paper accepted at TAROS and you will be the main presenter, please choose this option, and provide your paper number during the registration process
  3. Industry & Research Showcase Day: This option is for exhibitors and presenters of the TAROS Research and Industry Showcase Day only (see above). Please include a title and an abstract of your demo/exhibit/presentation.

Call for Papers

Relevant Research Areas

Contributions are sought in all areas relevant to the overall goal of the conference, including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Autonomous robots
  • Assistive, service and personal robotics
  • Aerial robots, space and planetary robotics
  • Medical robotics, robots for surgery and intelligent prosthetics
  • Humanoid and walking robots
  • Soft and flexible robots
  • Swarm, collective and field robotics
  • Modular reconfigurable robots
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Multimodal interfaces
  • Navigation, localisation, map building and path planning,
  • Analysis of robot-environment interaction
  • Applications development, hardware issues, devices and techniques
  • Advanced sensors and actuators
  • Advanced materials and techniques
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Bio-mimetic, bio-inspired and bio-hybrid robotic systems
  • Evolutionary, cognitive and developmental robotics
  • Robot communication and language
  • Ethical and societal issues in robotics
  • Robots in education, arts and entertainment
  • Safety, verification and validation for robotic applications
  • Learning and adaptation
  • Long-term interaction and operation
  • Modelling and analysis

This list of topics is not exhaustive. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, relevant contributions from other fields will also be welcome.

Publication Details

TAROS 2021 invites both full papers and extended abstracts. The proceedings will be published in the Springer Lecture Notes in the Artificial Intelligence series. All contributions will be refereed. Full papers are invited from researchers at any stage in their career but should present significant findings and advances in robotics research; more preliminary work would be better suited to extended abstract submission.

Full papers (up to 10 pages in LNCS format) will be accepted for either oral presentation (single track) or poster presentation. Extended abstracts (up to 4 pages in LNCS format) will be accepted for poster presentation only.

Submissions MUST be in LNCS format, templates are available from:

The submission system is now closed, authors can still log in to access their submissions at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=taros2021.

Organisation Committees

General Chairs (GC)

Prof. Simon Parsons  and Prof. Marc Hanheide

Programme Chair (PC)

Dr. Charles Fox (deputy PC — Dr. Junfeng Gao)

Web-Publicity Team

Dr. Amir Ghalamzan, Dr. Marcello Calisti, and Dr Paul Baxter

Industry support Chair(W-PC)

Prof. Mini C. Saaj

General Enquiries

For general enquiries email: sparsons@lincoln.ac.uk or the TAROS2021 committee mailing list.