Welcome to the 4th Workshop on Proximity Perception in Robotics at IROS 2021:
Increasing Safety for Human-Robot Interaction using Tactile and Proximity Perception

Starting 27th of September, IROS 2021


In the 4th workshop we want to focus on the open questions on safety-related applications involving proximity and tactile systems and sim-to-real learning, respectively. We have therefore put together a program of speakers with expertise in these areas. Our speakers from industry are able to provide first-hand accounts of the procedures for certifying and deploying proximity and tactile perception technologies on real robotic systems. They will also provide valuable insights about the challenges found in this domain in general. Our speakers from research provide expertise in cutting edge proximity and tactile perception technology and their applications. This includes approaches for sensor simulation and HRI using these sensors. As a result, the workshop continues to bridge between research and industry as well as between the communities of proximity and tactile perception. Once again, we will feature an extensive demo -session that will anchor these concepts to concrete hardware already available today.

As in the previous editions, we will feature a Panel Discussion for an organized exchange between the workshop participants and an extensive Demo Session that will relate these ideas to concrete hardware already available today. In addition, we provide a platform for PhD students to present their work in the field to a broader audience.

The goals of the workshop can be summarized as follows:

  • Continue to foster the community of roboticists and hardware developers working in this domain
    • Feature technologies with various measurement principles such as optical, acoustic, capacitive, radar etc.
    • Show current technologies in the Demo Session
  • Provide insights in current research and industry on safety applications
    • Discuss the benefits in safety with proximity and tactile perception.
    • Elaborate the requirements for certification and deployment of such systems.
  • Let experts in multi-modal perception and HRI give an account of their experience, to help motivate novel approaches for proximity perception in robotics. 
    • Identify requirements on the technology of proximity sensors for such approaches.
  • Continue to bridge to industry via invited industrial talks and demos
    • Let leading industry experts provide insights on how current technologies can be part of products and commercial solutions in the future.
    • Offer a point of contact between industrial partners and researchers
  • Offer PhD-students a forum for their work through short talks, posters and demos
  • Promote scientific collaborations between the participants of the workshop



We are grateful for the support of the following organizations:


- IEEE RAS Technical Committee Robotic Hands, Grasping and Manipulation (Homepage)

- IEEE RAS Technical Committee Human-Robot Interaction and Coordination (Homepage)

- IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Haptics (Homepage)