International IEEE/EPSRC Workshop on Autonomous Cognitive Robotics, at The University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, UK, 27-28 March 2014

Few places still available for participants (including registration discounts/scholarships). Full (draft) Workshop programme now available on-line:

Call for Participation

International IEEE/EPSRC Workshop on Autonomous Cognitive Robotics

University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, UK, 27-28 March 2014

Draft Workshop Programme now Available Below

(Subject to change - Last Updated 12 March 2014)

Autonomous Cognitive Robotics is an emerging discipline, fusing ideas across several traditional domains and seeks to further our understanding in two problem domains. First, by instantiating brain models into an embodied form, it supplies a strong test of those models, thereby furthering out understanding of neurobiology and cognitive psychology. Second, by harnessing the insights we have about cognition, it is a potentially fruitful source of engineering solutions to a range of problems in robotics, and in particular, in areas such as intelligent autonomous vehicles and assistive technology. It therefore promises next generation solutions in the design of e.g. urban autonomous vehicles, planetary rovers, and artificial social (e)companions.

The aim of this 2-day workshop, co-sponsored by the IEEE UKRI, EPSRC and SICSA, is to bring together leading international and UK scientists, engineers and industry representatives, alongside European research network and EU funding unit leaders, to present state-of-the-art in autonomous cognitive systems and robotics research, and discuss future R&D challenges and opportunities.

We have invited contributions from people working in: neurobiology, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, control engineering, and computer science, who embrace the vision outlined above. Both “works-in-progress” and fully-developed ideas are being presented – see draft Workshop programme below – with selected abstracts also invited for oral presentations. There will also be a research posters session (with a best poster/presentation prize) and an Exhibition organized by Springer. Of particular interest to Doctoral and postdoctoral researchers will be an invited talk by the Senior Publishing Editor of Springer Neuroscience, Dr Martijn Roelandse, on “publishing interdisciplinary research in scientific journals”. Authors of selected best (oral & poster) presentations will be invited to submit extended papers for publication in a special issue of Springer’s Cognitive Computation journal (

Invited Speakers:

  • Juha Heikkilä, Acting Head of Unit: Robotics & Cognitive Systems, European Commission
  • Prof Vincent Muller, Co-ordinator, EU-Cognition-III: European Network
  • Dr Ingmar Posner, The Oxford Mobile Robotics Group, University of Oxford, UK
  • Prof Dongbing Gu, Human-Centred Robotics Group, University of Essex, UK
  • Prof Tony Pipe, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK
  • Prof David Robertson, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Prof Mike Grimble, Strathclyde University & Industrial Systems and Control Ltd. UK
  • Dr Tony Dodd, Dept. of Automatic Control Systems Engineering, Sheffield University, UK


Workshop Organisers & Co-Chairs:

Prof Amir Hussain, University of Stirling, UK

Prof Kevin Gurney, University of Sheffield, UK


Important Dates:                 

Abstract submissions deadline (extended): 25 February 2014 (until 5 March for SICSA applicants);         Decisions Due: 28 Feb 2014 (7 March for SICSA applicants)

Workshop dates:  Thurs 27- Fri 28 March 2014



Registration fees will include lunches, refreshments, the Workshop Dinner on Thurs, 27th March, and a copy of the Workshop Abstract Proceedings

Early Registration Fee: £100  Early Deadline: 4 Mar 2014 (7 Mar for SICSA applicants)

Late Registration Fee: £150    Final deadline: 15 Mar 2014

Registration payment details will be sent on acceptance of Abstract, or can be obtained by emailing:

Research students are entitled to a 50% discount (proof of registration is required), and IEEE Members can benefit from a 15% discount.


Workshop Scholarships:  Part/full Workshop Scholarships (covering the full registration fee and part/full travel costs) are available – see details below. Please include a short statement on your research achievements (no more than 200 words - including your career stage and publication details if any) if you wish to be considered for this - at the time of submitting your Abstract.

  1. SICSA, as part of its sponsorship of this Workshop, through the SICSA Modeling & Abstraction Theme and SICSA Complex Systems Engineering Theme, is covering the full ‘early’ registration fee for ALL (SICSA and non-SICSA funded) PhD students in computer science departments of SICSA member Scottish universities (for a full list of SICSA Universities, see: The number of SICSA students is limited and a decision on ranking will be taken if necessary. Note that SICSA sponsored PhD students will be responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses to get to Stirling – they should be able to access local support from their own Schools/Departments to support such travel.
  2. SICSA applicants wishing to attend (without submitting an abstract) can register (for free) until 17th March.
  3. Two competitive places are also being generously sponsored by the IEEE UKRI Industry Applications Society (IAS) Chapter. Please state if you wish to be considered for these.


Venue, Travel & Accommodation: The Workshop will be held in the Cottrell Building, Division of Computing Science and Maths, School of Natural Sciences, at the University of Stirling. Travel directions and maps can be found at:

Accommodation options include the on-Campus Stirling Management Centre (, as well as numerous local B&Bs, including the Lynedoch B&B which is walking distance from the Campus (Contact: Ms Sandra Skerry 01786 832 178). For more options, see:


Local Organizing Team:

Dr Erfu Yang & Ms Grace McArthur

Division of Computing Science & Maths, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, UK




COGROB’2014 Workshop Programme (Draft – subject to change - last updated, 12 March 2014):

(ALL Talks are in Room 2X4, with Lunch/Tea/Coffee served in Room 2X6, and the Research Poster Session and Exhibition in Room 2B84 - all in the Cottrell Building:


DAY 1: Thursday, 27 March 2014

9:30-10:00       Registration Opens with Tea/Coffee, Room 2X6

10:00-10:10     Welcome

Professor Edmund Burke  TBC

Deputy Principal Research, University of Stirling

10:10-10:20     Overview of the Workshop

Professors Amir Hussain and Kevin Gurney

10:20-11:00     Invited Talk: More Autonomy, Less Control, More Ethical Problems?

Professor  Vincent Muller. Co-ordinator, EU-Cognition-III: European Network

11:00-11:30     Tea/Coffee, Room 2X6

11:30-12:15     Invited Talk: Cognition: the key to unlocking robot autonomy?

Professor Tony Pipe, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK

12:15-12:30     Spatio-Temporal Representation for Cognitive Control of in Long-Term Scenarios

Tom Duckett, Marc Hanheide, Tomas Krajnik, Jaime Pulido Fentanes, Christian

Dondrup. Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, University of Lincoln, UK

12:30-12:45     Simultaneous Learning of High Level Action Sequence and Muscular Control

Ekaterina Abramova and A.Aldo Faisal. Imperial College London, UK

12:45-13:00     Improving Performance of Humanoid Robots in Interaction through Embodied Mental Simulation.

Alessandro Di Nuovo. Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, School of Computing

and Mathematics, Plymouth University, UK

13:00-14:00     Lunch (provided), Room 2X6

14:00-14:45     Invited Talk and Q&A Discussion:  An Overview of EU Funding and Priorities in Robotics and Cognitive Systems

Dr Juha Heikkilä. Acting Head of Unit: Robotics & Cognitive Systems, European Commission

14:45-15:00     Trends in Intelligence and Cognition for Control of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems

Chelsea Sabo. Department of Computer Science, Kroto Research Institute, University of  Sheffield, UK

15:00-15:15     A Robotics-based Approach to Modelling Visually-guided Reaching Movements in Humans

Dietmar Heinke, Soeren Strauss. Centre for Computational Neuroscience & Cognitive

Robotics (CNCR), School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK

15:15-15:30     A Study for Evaluating Visual Exploration in ASD Children

Francesco Adamo, Dario Cazzato, Cosimo Distante, Marco Leo, Giuseppe Carlo Palestra, Giovanni Pioggia.  

University of Salento, Lecce, Italy; and National Research Council of Italy, National Institute of Optics, Lecce, Italy

15:30-15:45     Tea/Coffee, Room 2X6

15:45-16:30     Invited Talk: Autonomy, Agency and Social Computation

Professor  David Robertson, University of Edinburgh, UK

16:30-16:45     Learning Sensorimotor Affordances in An Embodied Autonomous Robot.

Damien Drix. Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin, Germany

16:45-17:15     Invited Talk: Publish or Perish: How to Write for, and Publish in Interdisciplinary Scientific Journals

Dr. Martijn Roelandse, Senior Publishing Editor, Neuroscience @ Springer


17:30- 18:30   Research Posters Session & Springer Exhibition, Room 2B84

19.15-21.30     Workshop Dinner for all invited Speakers and participants

Venue: Kama Sutra Restaurant, 50 Upper Craigs, Stirling, FK8 2DS


(Taxis will be available at the Cottrell Building Car Park, leaving @ 19.15 & returning around 21.30)


DAY 2: Friday, 28 March 2014

 9:30-10:15      Invited Talk: Intelligent Wheelchair for Ambient Assisted Living

Professor  Dongbing Gu, Human-Centred Robotics Group, University of Essex, UK

10:15-10:30     Towards a Cognitive Agent for Collaborative Control of an Intelligent Wheelchair

Adity Saikia, Rupam Bhattacharyya, Shyamanta M. Hazarika. Biomimetic and

Cognitive Robotics Lab,Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Tezpur University, INDIA

10:30-10:45     Implementation of Matching Stimulus-Movement Experiment on a Robot

Emec Ercelik. Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

10:45-11:15     Tea/Coffee, Room 2X6

11:15-12:00     Invited Talk: Title TBC

Dr Ingmar Posner, The Oxford Mobile Robotics Group, University of Oxford, UK

12:00-12:15     The Neuroscience of Sensorimotor Feedback

Christopher L Buckley. Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, University of Sussex, UK

12:15-12:30     Perspectives of Robot Action Generalisation: Challenges and Achievements

Paschalis Veskos and Katerina Pastra. Cognitive Systems Research Institute, Athens, Greece

12:30-12:45     A New Computational Model of Cognitive Visual Attention for Video Saliency Detection

Zhengzheng Tu, Erfu Yang , Bin Luo, Amir Hussain.  School of Computer Science and Technology, Anhui University,

Hefei, China; and Division of Computing Science and Mathematics, University of Stirling, UK

12:45-13:00     A Psychologically Inspired Approach to Developmental Learning in Cognitive Robots.

Patricia Shaw and Mark Lee. Aberystwyth University,UK

13:00-14:00     Lunch (provided), Room 2X6

14:00-14:45     Invited Talk: Autonomy – What Is It, Is It Desirable and Is It Achievable?

Dr Tony Dodd, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, UK

14:45-15:00     Heuristically Guided CSPs for AI Planning

Mark Judge. University of Strathclyde,UK

15:00-15:15     Tea/Coffee, Room 2X6

15:15-16:00     Invited Talk: Advances in Intelligent Nonlinear Control for Robotics Applications

Professor  Mike Grimble, University of Strathclyde & Industrial Systems and Control Ltd. UK

16:00-16:15     An Online Learning System for Autonomously Operating Robots  Based on Spatial and Temporal Associative Learning

Matthias U. Keysermann and Patricia A. Vargas. Robotics Laboratory, School of

Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

16:15-16:30     Cognitive Control of Autonomous Vehicle Systems: Towards a Neurobiologically- inspired Multi-Stage Framework

Erfu Yang, Amir Hussain, Division of Computing Science &  Mathematics,

Kevin Gurney, University of Stirling, UK; Department of Psychology, University of  Sheffield, UK

16:30-16:45     Cortical Oscillations May Modulate Excitation and Inhibition Differentially During Cognitive Efforts

Mufti Mahmud. Theoretical Neurobiology & Neuroengineering Lab, University of

Antwerp, Belgium; Institute of Information Technology, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

16:45-17:00     Bio-inspired Calibration of Topographic Maps for Robotic Applications

Emma D. Wilson,  Paul Dean, Sean R. Anderson, and  John Porrill. Department of Psychology,

and Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, Sheffield Centre for Robotics, University of Sheffield, UK.

17:00-17.15     Concluding Session/Wrap-Up



Workshop Sponsors:  UK EPSRC, SICSA, IEEE UK RI Section Industry Applications Society, University of Stirling, Springer Neuroscience, Royal Society of Edinburgh, British Council (China), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), and National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation, Beijing


Technical co-sponsor: IEEE UK RI Computational Intelligence Society Chapter